Afternoon at the Wildlife Refuge

     When I want to get away for an afternoon, Tom (or other family members) and I like to head over to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge specifically to travel the slow, winding seven mile Black Point Wildlife Drive located on the eastern coast of Florida.  It’s about a 45 minute drive from our house.  Nearby is the Haulover Canal waterway which connects the Indian River to Mosquito Lagoon.  Most often we stop there on our way home to visit the Manatee and watch Bottlenose Dolphin swimming slowly in the canal.

    On one particular winter visit to the refuge, the place was heavily populated with not only the usual Florida residents but many wintering species of birds.  We saw large groups of Roseate Spoonbills, you can’t miss their brilliant pink feathers, White Pelicans, bobbing on the surface of the water like small sailboats, and many species of ducks including Northern Shovelers with their unmistakable, large, broad bills.  We spotted charming Belted Kingfishers darting quickly through the scrub, which we commonly see well before we arrive at the refuge, perched on the telephone wires–their unique, large, crested heads easily identifying them.

                                                              Roseate Spoonbill

Belted Kingfisher

     Very common bird sightings at this wildlife refuge are Great Blue Herons, Green Heron, Tri-colored Heron, Snowy Egret, Moorhens, American Bittern, White Ibis, hawks, eagles, gulls, terns, snipes, sandpipers and coots.  Binoculars at the ready, we can zoom in on many of these birds and enjoy them more close up and personal.  Florida is fortunate to be such a haven for so many species.  Most everyone in my family are nature lovers and birders and take the chance whenever we can to watch and listen to see if we can add another bird to our long list of sightings.

     We almost always see alligators sunning themselves on the banks of the narrow canals that line the Black Point Wildlife Drive.  On one recent visit, I did my best impersonation of a baby gator cry and the large alligator we were watching, lifted his head up and looked back at me.  I’ve also had alligators swim towards me, attracted by the sound.  They may have been interested in a meal–they will eat their young.

     Native plants are also abundant there and we often spot the colorful, daisy like, coreopsis or Tickweed, catching our eyes by its bright yellow.

     My sister and her husband have seen the elusive Florida Bobcat several times,  sometimes catching them walking nonchalantly down the middle of the road barely paying attention to them as they follow.  I’ve yet to see one, although I have seen their tracks on the walking trails.

     Near the end of the seven-mile drive is a platform built partially over a canal with a device attached to it pinpointing an enormous Bald Eagle nest in the distance.  The mating pair raises a family there yearly–the nest seemingly growing more expansive as the years go by.  It’s held high in the branches of a huge oak tree.

     Then it’s over to Haulover Canal to see if we can spot a manatee or dolphin.  We usually do.  Last week, when I was laid up with my bad back (and couldn’t go), my brother and sister who are visiting here, went with another sister and a friend to the canal after completing the wildlife drive.  They had the most astonishing encounter with a manatee as they sat on a boat launch.  Our friend had heard that if you splash the water, the manatees may come over to investigate.  They are known to be very curious.  So my sister, Tracy, took up splashing her feet vigorously in the water and a huge, 800 pound manatee (by my brother’s estimation) swam right over to them.  They each took turns “petting” him as he brought his head up out of the water and peered at them.  My other sister began scratching his back, which he obviously seemed to enjoy, and then turned over floating on his back and allowed her to scratch his belly–even holding her hands gently with his front flippers at one point.  I’m getting over there as soon as I can!

     Needless to say, this is one of my most relaxing ways to spend an afternoon.  Immersed in nature–surrounded by Florida’s untouched beauty.

My entry for Monday Morning Writing Prompt–A Day of Refreshment:

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill - Myakka River State Park.

Image via Wikipedia

Roseate Spoonbill

wading through the shallow marsh–

SNAP!– a morsel found.

The Lonely Recluse

Poetry and Prose

Musings of a Wanderer

Love Travel Meditate

Charmed Chaos

Musings on Life, Love, and Linguine-Poetry & Writing

Bodhirose's Blog

Most of my writings will be true-life experiences. We'll see what else shows up...


Words and Pictures from The Isle of Wight

writing in north norfolk

Writer of children's literature, short stories and poetry

Lady Nyo's Weblog

A woman writer's blog with invitations to other writers

Poetry Breakfast

Serving a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry book reviews to feed poets' and poetry lovers' souls.

Mithai Mumblezz

Thinks and again mumbles!!


Thinking, writing, thinking about writing...


"We're all out there, somewhere, waiting to happen."


Nature needs Nurture

Whimsygizmo's Blog

poetic ponderings...parenting...procrastination...

Tao of Scrumble

A freeform way of life, love and everything

Tournesol dans un Jardin

Micropoetry ~ Waka ~ Flash Fiction

Sharp Little Pencil

Amy Barlow Liberatore... stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz


A Silent poet shouting to be heard


Romance of Five Clouds and Magical Poetry

kanzen sakura

South meets East: Poetry and Musings - words of the seasons

Poems, stories, paintings and more by Sharmishtha Basu

(Agnijaat, Agnishatdal, Agnijashatadalama, Indie Adda)

This, that and the other thing

Looking at life through photography and words

jaywalking the moon

poetry by claudia schoenfeld

She's Writing

Poetry and Prose

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple

Growing older is inevitable. Growing up is optional.

everyday amazing

spreading good cheer, fun & love for life

Michael's Lair

Just Write site

Björn Rudbergs writings

Poetry and fiction by a physicist from the dark side

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

The BeZine

Be inspired...Be creative...Be peace...Be

bardessdmdenton - author- artist

Historical and Literary Fiction / Essays / Poetry / Reviews /Book Cover and Interior Illustrations / Pet Portraits and Other Commissioned Artwork ... "Life can't ever really defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer's lover until death - fascinating, cruel, lavish, warm, cold, treacherous, constant." ~ Edna Ferber, 1885-1968, American novelist, short story writer and playwright

Soul Dipper

Spirit Builder by Design

Michael S Marsters

The official blog. Copyright 2007-2021. All rights reserved.

Ramblings From A Mum

This is my journey, my thoughts, my views, plain and simple and from my heart. Please travel with me and share, hopefully it will be an interesting trip.


copyright 2013 - no reuse without permission ( see for fiction and fantasy )

"On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea"

All Is One With Our Creator


Take Control of Your Health

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging


Mumblings of a Middle Aged Madwoman


if I go around more than once then ...

I Rhyme Without Reason

I live in words

Soul Speak

'You may say I'm a Dreamer, but I'm not the only one' ~ John Lennon

~ Dragon's Dreams ~

Carpe Noctem Quod Tempus Fugit!

Dreamwalker's Sanctuary

A Sanctuary for Enlightenment and Peace through Poetry and Inspirational Thoughts as we go through Life


laughing at the malfunction of the universe is better than crying about it

Olivia's In- Mind Whirls..

"It's all in my mind"


Poets Pub

%d bloggers like this: