Because we were back in Titusville I got up early for sunrise and then drove to the refuge to see if there were any different birds from what I had seen before. I set my alarm clock for 6am (sunrise was 7:05) and much to my annoyance the alarm went off at 5:30 causing me to lose 30 mins of beauty sleep!! When I finally got up I looked at the clock and it said 6:00. Great timing, I thought. However, the clock was 45 mins slow making the correct time 6:45. I had only 20 mins to have my breakfast and drive to the site I had chosen for my sunrise photos. I carried my cereal with me to the car to eat at a stop light and made it to the photo site just 5 mins late. I was lucky because low level clouds actually obscured the sunrise until the sun got higher in the sky so if I had been on time I would not have seen much anyway.
|A mist over the refuge.|
|Another mist over the refuge.|
OK, I know you are probably sick of seeing manatees but they really are the most gentlest of creatures that I have ever seen. Six of then hang about in our marina and if anyone spills fresh water overboard they are there lapping it up. They came to a boat across from our slip and waited patiently for one to finish his turn at the boat before drinking themselves. I thought I might give you some interesting facts about manatees:
They have "marching molars" the same as sharks so new teeth continuously erupt throughout their lives. In other words, they are polyphyodontic.
They have very coarse hair the full length of their body and the whiskers around their mouth helps manatees hold food whilst eating.
The intestines of a manatee can measure up to 130 feet in length and it takes 7 days for the vegetation to pass through their digestive system. Because of this they produce large amounts of gas from the food they eat.
They have solid bones (no marrow) which helps them to submerge easily.
Cows are bigger than bulls.
|This manatee was lying on his back as if he was sunbathing.|
|This manatee is drinking the water that is dripping down the boat from the owner's air conditioner.|
|This is actually a closeup of two manatees sharing the water at the same time. You can see the open nostrils of one and the closed nostrils of the other. It looks as though they are lip locked!!|
|I'm not sure how many are in this photo.|
|There are 3 in this photo.|
|This poor guy must have brushed up against a boat that had recently been painted. I called him "Red"!!!! In this photo he looks as though he is washing his face.|
However, as you can see, my bobcat was a raccoon.
|An ibis in the very early morning mist.|
|This baby alligator was cute. I forgot that Mum is usually around to protect her offspring so I hurried back up the bank side after taking my photo.|
|Snowy egret, black-necked stilt and ibis|
|White pelicans fishing as a team. They do not dive like the brown pelican. When one turns, they all do as if they are syncronized swimmers. Wing span up to 10 feet.|
|The photos above and below are of the reddish egret. He was quite a performer running all over to catch his fish.|
|I thought his neck looked weird on this photo.|
|Yippee, I can fly!!!!|
|If I approach the fish on my tippy toes, they might not hear me!!!|
|Momma mocking bird feeding her young.|
|I think the Momma nearly lost her beak in the chick's throat.|
|Momma, I need more, NOW!!!|
|It is a little hard to see but sitting in the shadow is a mourning dove. Every time the sun moved the shadow he would shuffle along the sand to stay in the shade - clever boy!!|
|And finally, 3 photos of sunset as seen at the marina in Titusville.|