Friday, June 5, 2009

At Merritt Island refuge, it's about what I see, don't see and see through

A killdeer sees the light and runs for it ... fast.

A sea cow sees some sea grass he would like to munch on.

A red-winged blackbird sees a spot he would like to step on.

My trip to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on Monday was disappointing on many levels.

First of all, I went in the mid-afternoon, probably not the greatest time to see wildlife. That would be "the magic hour," around sunrise and sunset. Though, judging by a certain Orlando basketball team's recent success, every hour in Central Florida is Magic hour. But to get back on track: What little wildlife I did see was a rather bore.

Second of all, I exhibited an impressive amount of stupidity. After seeing a bird while along Black Point Wildlife Drive, a dirt road that meanders through swamps, I grabbed my camera and jumped out of my car. Unable to see well through the viewfinder with them, I took off my sunglasses and set them down on the driver's seat. I told myself that I could not forget them when I got back into my car.

Two minutes later, after a car drove by and scared away the bird, I forgot. And I didn't remember until another two minutes later. My heart stopped. I reached behind me and pulled out a mangled mess of metal frames and lenses. Mind you, these glasses are a $400 Italian pair prescribed to me for driving. I bought them for less than $100, thanks to insurance, but to replace them, it would cost the full $400.

I bent the frames back into shape, and we'll see how long they last. As for the photos, I also salvaged as much as I could. ...

Two killdeer see each other - one on top, one on bottom.

A bird sees a fish and goes after it.

Hundreds of crabs see me and scurry off.

I see some scrapes on these manatees. Poor manatees.

Flowers see sunlight.


Anonymous said...

Good stuff Andrew!

I don't think I've ever seen a manatee in real life (outside of an aquarium), even when I lived in Florida.

How common are they down there?

Andrew Knapp said...

Thanks, Tyler. Sea cows are pretty common. They have, of course, had problems with boats hitting them (they are rather easygoing, lazy animals). But they are well-protected now. As long as you know where to look, manatees are pretty easy to find.

Mark said...

you might want to check out turkey creek in Plam Bay. I've seen quite a few manatees down there