It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Victory Lap

Even old earthquake prone, "We've seen it all.", "There's never anything good on the news anymore." Californians can get caught up in a once in a lifetime event like we had this morning.
The Space Shuttle Endeavour said goodbye to the sky and flew over the capital city of Sacramento and then San Francisco, on its last fight, before being taken to Southern California to its new and permanent home at the California Science Center (CSC) in downtown Los Angeles. 
I waited outside this morning, hoping that the shuttle, piggybacked on a Boeing 747 jumbo jet that took off from Edwards Air Force Base, would fly up across the Foothills before heading to Sacramento but it didn't. I waited, hopefully...
...watching the skies to the south. But, other than a heavier than usual amount of contrails, nothing much was going on. The California skies were pretty, but uneventful.
So I went inside to watch the whole thing on TV.
I became hopeful when I heard a large plane flying overhead, but it was one of our old, fire spotting monsters with a prop engine and it was going in the wrong direction.
The Shuttle finally came into Sacramento from the middle of the Central Valley. The excitement was overwhelming for those who could see it coming. I tried to take some pictures of the flight right into our TV, but they didn't come out well. These are the only ones that even look like they have an image.


Talk about a piggy back ride.
Most of the photos I took into the TV were blurry and awful. That's what I get for not driving down to Sacramento. But if you go here and here you can see some really good photos and videos of the flight.

I made the mistake of not going down to my friend "C"s house last night and being there for all of this. She said, this morning, that the shuttle went over her house and that, I quote, "I just got to see the Space Shuttle fly over my apartment! It was so huge and so low, and was going (relatively) slow. It was going southwest, after making a loop around the capitol..." She called it "strangely thrilling".
Yes, I blew that one. Should have been down there... with my camera.
Here is some history of the Shuttle. I thought it was interesting that the shuttle was named after Captain James Cook and his ship the British HMS Endeavour ,  the ship which took him on his first voyage of discovery (1768–1771). This is why the name is spelled with the British spelling, rather than the American version. ("Endeavor"). 
I emailed my son, in Oakland, to see if he saw the shuttle from his place of employment. He wrote back and said that he was in Los Angeles and was hoping that he would see the shuttle before he left the airport down there. Hope he gets some pictures. My other son works in San Francisco. I'm sure he got to see it too. Wow! I'm feeling like I missed the boat up here.
While I was waiting outside this morning, I did see the orange, double winged dragonfly again. Does that count?
 It was probably waiting to see the Endeavour too. One natural beauty and one created by man. Both astounding. Both amazing...

9 comments:

Rubye Jack said...

I always wondered why they spelled Endeavour the English way. A piece of time flew by, but you still got the orange dragonfly right there at home. What more can one ask for? btw, it's beautiful isn't it?

Jill said...

Love the orange dragonfly...such beautiful creatures and a joy to photograph:)

Karen Deborah said...

i wish we'd get our space program going again. i think it would get the economy going and just think of all the new inventions that would come of it. hate to see it go into moth balls.
i've never seen an orange double winged dragonfly before is it rare? it's cool!

Terra said...

I went outside to look for it and was 15 minutes too late. How sad our country is cutting back on these wonderful space flight programs.

Brian Miller said...

it counts in my book....i love dragonflies...smiles...oy what a missed opportunity though...must have been pretty cool...

Madeline's Album said...

I wish you could have seen it. Your pictures of the California skies are really great and the dragonfly is just beautiful. The pictures to took off the TV were not bad. Have a blessed day. Madeline

Pauline said...

What a shame you couldn't see it. Your TV shots are good, mine are always hopeless. And the little dragonfly? ... just delightful.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

You know Connie, even though this Endevour flight was one of those historic moments, I think in the dragonfly world, he thought his flight was a pretty important one too and I'm sure he was proud to see someone like you witnessing his flight. Maybe it was his last one as well!

thecrazysheeplady said...

I had to watch it on "twitter" and wished I could have been there to add my siting. Nice dragon fly shot :-).