Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cleaning, Roadtrips, Pelicans and Armadillos (Scottsmoor, FL)

I woke up yesterday with a mission. Just had to clean up the sand and dog hair which seems to take over the motorhome. After breakfast, Dan left in pursuit of a coffee shop and some conversation. He found Kim's Donut Deli in Titusville. Visited with a man who had been on the Titusville police force when Dan was stationed at Patrick Air Force Base, 1957-59. What a small world. No, Dan had not met the police officer professionally. :)

After lunch, we went for a drive with no definite destination in mind. We found Riverbreeze Park at Oak Hill just south of where we are staying. Very nice little city park on the edge of Mosquito Lagoon. The park has paved trails, and handicapped accessible fishing dock.

Hope they caught something.

This guy posed for us

Isn't this tree neat as it bends over the sidewalk?

Then it was on to Merritt Island, where technology meets wildlife.

This is the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center viewed from the road through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
We crossed over some rusty railroad tracks as we approached the entrance booth. Dan commented to the ranger that it didn't look like those tracks had been used in along time. She said the tracks are only used to transport shuttle parts back into the complex. She said that had only been done one time since she has worked there. She said the main responsibility the National Wildlife Refuge has with the tracks is to rescue turtles from the center of the tracks. They crawl over the metal track and then can't get back out.

The only buildings in the refuge are restrooms which are very low profile and placed periodically along the drive through the refuge. People are not allowed to walk on the sand dune which separates the land from the Atlantic Ocean. There are handicapped accessible walkways that cross the dune so you can get to the other side.

Playalinda Beach on the ocean side of the dune

This guy had 5 or 6 poles. Hope he had a good fishing day. :)

Not sure what these boys are waiting for on top of the restroom..... They are the only buildings in the refuge and none are taller than this.

Down on Their Luck

Saw lots of blue herons, white egrets and ducks on the water, but this little guy was a real treat. He was alongside the road. He let me walk next to him for several feet as he foraged for lunch.

Most people think of space exploration when Merritt Island and Canaveral are mentioned. But the miles of primitive beach are where endangered sea turtles lay their eggs and the marshy wetlands are home to numerous waterfowl, alligators, otters, snowy egrets, white ibises, and great blue herons. The barrier island and its waterways are home to 1,045 species of plants and 310 species of birds . Then there are the ancients oaks draped with Spanish moss and sand dunes covered with palmetto and sea oats. The area supports 14 wildlife species federally listed as endangered or threatened, including sea turtles, West Indian manatees, southern bald eagles, wood storks, peregrine falcons, eastern indigo snakes and Florida scrub jays.

1 comment:

O'Byrne Family said...

Wow...I had no idea there was so much wildlife in that area. I only think of spring break parties and Disney. Makes me more interested in visiting again someday.

And very cool about the Nascar stuff. Sounds like you guys are really enjoying yourselves!

Love ya,