MERRITT ISLAND WILDLIFE REFUGE 

If you are wondering what in the world there is to do in Merritt Island, Florida, rest assured that there's plenty!  One of our favorites is the wildlife refuge 30 miles  north of us.  Merritt Island is huge and home to everything from the Ron Jon Surf Shop to the Kennedy Space Center and Port Canaveral, now boasting the biggest cruise ship in the Mickey Mouse fleet.

If you were also wondering where all those ducks go to winter, here are some of the thousands in the refuge.  Not pictured are gazillions of coots.

Peacefully sharing a grassy hummock, these pintails and blue wing teal take in the sun. 

The male pintail is probably the most striking duck of his size.

 If anyone knows what kind of duck this is (with the white breast) please let me know!

Blue wing teal catch a nap. 

Napping seems to be a popular (in)activity in the refuge - gators warm their cold blood in the sun.

Semi-prepared for action. 

A rare Reddish Heron focuses on lunch. 

Bill waits for us to catch up with him at Canaveral Beach - a gorgeous, pristine stretch of sand and shell. 

Aeron Johnson and Carolyn Schaffer test the waters - they spent the week on the boat next to us courtesy of Capt. George.  They decided to do the fun, low-key stuff in lieu of the tourist traps and had a lot of fun.  Aeron kayaked with the manatees, while Carolyn and Bill turned into drowned rats at the Daytona 500! 

 
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