Tuesday, January 25, 2011

wipe that smile off your face

Would you rather spend $40+ per person to look at enormous rockets and astronaut suits? Or would you rather see this guy, for free?


I’ll take the gator, any day.

Mind you, as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been to the Kennedy Space Center before, and yes, the sight of the Saturn V rocket that launched the Apollo missions to the moon took my breath away. But on a beautiful warm, windy day, knowing that tomorrow we’ll be journeying through sleet and freezing rain all day on our way home to sub-zero temperatures, we elected to visit Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge instead. We drove around the Black Point Wildlife Drive, a…

7-mile, one-way drive follows a dike road around several shallow marsh impoundments and through pine flatwoods.  This provides an excellent place to see waterfowl (in season), wading birds, shorebirds and raptors. Alligators, river otters, bobcats, various species of snakes, and other wildlife may be visible as well. 


The highlights…


This beauty is a male Anhinga.


A Great Blue Heron.


A snowy egret. Black bill, black legs, yellow feet.


Great egret. Yellow bill, black legs and feet.

Conveniently, these two posed near each other so you can see their relative size:P1040223

And now, for a total coup – the Wood Stork! (What we had expected to see at Corkscrew the other day.)


It was fishing – rummaging around with one foot, and dunking its long beak into the bottom of a road-side ditch.



We proceeded to a manatee observation deck – presumably a location where manatees congregate to observe tourists – but saw only more egrets and pelicans.


No complaints.

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