Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

1987 Scrub Jay Way #32782, Titusville, FL

Landscape upon entering.

Merritt Island is one of the largest barrier Islands in the United States. It fronts on the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by what we will call intercoastal, which in this case is really just the Atlantic Ocean.

The next land mass due east, on the same latitude is Morocco. The Bahamas Islands are south of this latitude.

The Refuge shares Merritt Island with the Kennedy space Center, there is a small estuary separating the two, with the wildlife refuge making up I guess 35% of the land mass, maybe 40%. – The Refuge is 570 sq Km or 220 sq mi. The public can be excluded from access to the refuge, if necessary for NASA’s purposes, as is done in the days before a launch.

Typical wetland #1
Typical Wetland #2
Typical Wetland #3
Typical Wetland #4

There over 1000 species of plants, 117 species of fish, 68 amphibians and reptiles, 330 birds, and 31 mammal species, of which 21 species are listed as endangered by the state of Florida or by the US federal government.  There are manatees, sea turtles and other endangered species which seek refuge here. On the next trip, will certainly put aside time to see them. I did mention the Refuge is huge, you drive your car on a dirt two lane roads, there are some wide shoulders and small parking lots, where you can get up out of your car and wander. You then drive to the next spot that strikes your fancy.

Red Headed Woodpecker
Elusive Kingfisher
Spoonbill #4
Spoonbill #7
Spoonbill #9
Spoonbill #1
Spoonbill #2
Heron
Northern Shoveler
Common Gallinule
Giant Egret
Tern
Family of Wood Stocks
White Pelicans Squadron
White Pelican 31
White Pelicans #6
Ibis and Egret
Glossy Ibis
Married Egrets
Kestrel #1
Kestrel #2
Eagle #1
Eagle #2
And of course the Alligator

Exotic, invasive, and nuisance plant and animal species is one of the priority management issues for the Merritt Island NWR. Nuisance animal species have a negative impact on threatened and endangered species. Also, can upset the entire eco- system.

There is an honor system for park admittance, at the entrance to Black Point Wildlife Drive. Here you deposit money in an envelope. The drive is a one-way seven-mile dirt road allowing wildlife viewing of the refuge.

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 alajuela@msn.com if you have any questions or would like usage rights to any of the photographs on this site.

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