Merritt Island NWR

 Posted by at 1:37 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 072014

Can you handle any more pictures? I hope so, because I have lots to share with you from our sightseeing trip to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge yesterday afternoon.

We started our visit to the 140,000 acre refuge at the Visitor Center, which has a small museum and video on the refuge and the plants and animals that live there. I picked up a map and got a couple of tips from one of the volunteers on duty on some of the best places to see wildlife.

Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge sign

We drove a few miles out to Playalinda Beach, stopping at several of the access points. The beach is separated from the paved parking lots by high natural dunes that stretch for 24 miles along the Canaveral National Seashore. The dunes protect the onshore habitat from wind, salt spray, and storm surges.

Dunes 2

Dunes 3

Spanish bayonet

For their protection, walking on the dunes is prohibited. But there are wooden access ramps at every parking area, and at least two of them are handicapped accessible.

Beach stairs 2

Beach stairs

The beach is not real wide, but it is beautiful.

Playalinda Beach

There were a few people out enjoying the day. These guys were surf fishing.

Surf fisherman

Surf fisherman 2

And further out in the water, a few surfers were waiting on a wave. This guy stayed up longer than any of them, but it still wasn’t a long ride.


It was getting late in the day and we wanted to see if we could spot any wildlife before we lost the light, so we drove down a six mile long dirt road that paralleled Mosquito Lagoon for most of its length.

Terry always has her camera handy, and she’s got a great eye for spotting subjects along the way. These are a few pictures she took along the way.


Heron in tree

I was hoping to spot some alligators, but I think it was too cool for them. This head poking out of one of the ponds is the only one we saw.

Gator head

And this has to be absolutely the best picture Terry has ever taken, as far as I’m concerned. I love it.

Bird Silhouette

There are a lot of small ponds and lakes along the way and I really like this sunset shot.

Sunset over water

After we left the refuge, we drove into Titusville and met Steve Arsenault and his pretty wife Lori for dinner. Steve is a member of my online author’s group and a popular science fiction author who created both the excellent Amp and Sodium series. He also just launched the Omega series. It was nice to meet Steve and Lori and have a chance to put a face to his online profile.

2014-11-06 20.42.02

Back at home, I found a link to this story about lawsuits over RV refrigerator fires in my e-mail inbox. These darned things have been burning up RVs for as long as I can remember and every recall they have ever done has not seemed to solve the problem. Upgrading to a residential refrigerator in our Winnebago is very high on our priority list.

I got an e-mail from somebody yesterday asking who did the RV solar seminars at our Arizona rallies and asking for a reference for someone in Arizona who was a reliable solar installer. I seem to have lost the e-mail before I could reply, but Larry Crutcher from Starlight Solar in Yuma presented those seminars and does excellent work.

Over 100 people have already entered this week’s Free Drawing. How about you? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, Book 2 in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Big Lake Lyinching Audio cover

If you’re looking for an excellent book that will both make you smile and bring a tear to your eyes, check out The Music Box by Heather Meyer. It’s currently free on Amazon and I know you’re going to enjoy it.

Thought For The Day – I need a six month vacation twice a year.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “Merritt Island NWR”

  1. Looks like kite flying weather!!!

  2. Absolutely love our beach, Playalinda. What a Florida beach REALLY looks like without buildings and tourists traps. The Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is one of the many wonderful places close by to see wildlife and enjoy nature. T’ville is one nice place to visit and winter.

  3. Very nice wildlife pictures, Miss Terry did a good job on all of them.

  4. I’m always amazed by Miss Terry”s photos. She certainly has the eye.

  5. Barbara says: that favorite picture should inspire Terry’s next shawl design, just sayn.

  6. Great pictures, Terry

  7. NWR is a Good place to put. Your sea kayaks in try haulover cut at the basin or past the bridge 1mile north turn right fishermans landing with 4 or 5 small island
    Waters only 2ft at most some spots you can walk as well if you do bring snacks
    Or thousand islands on cocoa beach side
    Don’t forget dixie crossroad your tables waiting

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