Viera Wetlands – Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands

Viera North, 10001 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, FL 32940

Also called the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands, the Viera Wetlands is one of the older wetlands parks in Florida.

Situated between wall-to-wall subdivisions and farms along the floodplain of the St. Johns River, this 200-acre park is modeled after Orlando Wetlands Park.

It is made up of a series of ponds of varying depths through which treated wastewater flows to clean it naturally before the water seeps out into the St. Johns floodplain.

Viera wetlands is located north of central Melbourne Florida in Brevard County. It is a wide-open space with extraordinarily little shade (in other words – none). In the late fall to early spring there is a wide variety of birds, and of course your obligatory alligators and turtles etc. The resident birds are very used to seeing people, the great herons strut along almost close enough to pet them, do not for your own safety.

Great Blue Heron #2
Great Blue Heron #5
Great Blue Heron #6

Also, a little bit north and adjacent to the actual Viera wetlands is an area that is also quite open and has quite a few birds, Sometimes the side dirt roads are blocked off sometimes not, but you can drive over there. We saw Sandhill Cranes walking about with their chicks.

Adjacent Dirt Road to the north
Adjacent Area
Sandhill Cranes with Chick

Viera wetlands is highly recommended for the diversity of birds from migrating ducks to the resident Florida birds, spoonbills, herons, cranes, and the occasional wood stork. Of course, you also have a share of raptors from Eagles, Hawks, Osprey, Cara Caras and Terns etc.

Eagle #1
Young Eagle Chicks
Cara Cara with Lunch
Osprey, with catch being chased and harassed by an Eagle and a Cara Cara

Loggerhead Shrike
Osprey #6
Ducks Asses
Osprey with Lunch
Spoonbill #2
Spoonbill #5
Green Heron
Blue Heron #7

Published by Philip Goldberg Photography

Every photographer has a mantra, and my mantra is: It's all in the printed photograph. With today's snap and up-load mentality, we have gotten further away from what photography is about and it's about the print. A good photograph should be a physical image that causes you to look a second or third time. It should also be an image that arrests your subconscious, touches your emotional center, fascinates your imagination and it should pull you up sharply. That is what is known as the decisive moment. My journey in photography began when images appeared in a tray and had to be fixed. The hours spent in the dark put you in a creative zone in which life did not impinge and the only life was the one that you breathed into the photograph under the concentrated light of an enlarger. In those days, my trusty Nikon F was not only my camera of choice; it was the only one I could afford. As a native of Detroit, my camera, car and curiosity were my holy trinity in my wanderlust for good photographs. Older and hopefully wiser, my photography is now digital. The Nikon now sits on the shelf, but next to it are my modern digital cameras: Canon, Leica, Mamiya, as well as tech and field cameras. However, I still compose the shot. There are many other photographers who believe in the craft of the printed image, which is the reason why, I have been commissioned several occasions to print for their exhibitions in China and Berlin. I trust that the photographs that you have viewed in my galleries embody my belief in photography. If you have seen a photograph that you would like to own or if you are a fellow photographer looking for a good printer then please contact me. I still believe that the printed image is the end game in photography. A good photograph, is about making decisions, planning and being prepared, because as the saying goes; 'fortune falls to them, who are prepared for chance'. Thanks for viewing. I can be contacted by email at if you have any questions or would like usage rights to any of the photographs on this site.

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