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Ponce Lighthouse

Last Saturday all visitors to Merritt Island NWR were directed by Kennedy Space Center Security that we must exit to the North instead of crossing the Draw Bridge directly into Titusville. Turns out The Titusville Max Brewer Bridge is broken. Not only broken, but frozen into a ‘Boat Traffic only’ position. If you are planning a trip to the refuge the only access is from the north on SR 3. This detour from Titusville, will add approximately 70 miles to your trip (round trip). What a pain. The bridge is so old a new part has to be fabricated and no one knows when the bridge will reopen. (Updated 03/10/2010 – The Bridge reopened today…)

Yesterday I decided to travel up the coast to New Smyrna Beach and more specifically, Smyrna Dunes Park. The photo above is the Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station taken from Smyrna Dunes Park.

Completed in 1887, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station was built when the area was known as Mosquito Inlet. After decades of restoration by the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, it stands today as one of the best preserved, most complete Light Stations in the nation. ( Enlarging the photo shows two people standing on the walkway at the top of the Lighthouse.)

Loggerhead Shrike

This bird allowed me to stand 8 feet away from him. I observed him for over 20 minutes from this distance. I was too close to focus my camera. To photograph him I had to back away. Only the Florida Scrub-Jays have allowed me to approach so close. Observing such a beautiful bird from 8′ away was thrilling.

Loggerhead Shrike

Willet

These photos were taken in Mead Garden, Winter Park, Florida on 02/26/2010.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - Mead Garden

Yellow-throated Warbler - Mead Garden

American Goldfinch having Lunch - Mead Garden

Click on Photos to Enlarge.

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