Six-Years Ago (22-December-2011) — Florida

December Road Trip to Florida in 2011: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

On my second day I arrived too early, and the gate to Black Point wildlife drive was still closed. While waiting I got a silhouette image of a Great Blue Heron in flight at dawn. During the day I got a macro image (with a telephoto lens) of a Golden Silk Spider, then a Great Egret in flight. Just before leaving, I spotted a reclusive American Bittern. These birds are hard to spot, since they are so well camouflaged. Even better, this one just caught a fish that appears to be almost too large to swallow. The last time I saw an American Bittern was at the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado.

Great Blue Heron Silhouette at Dawn in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a D3s and 200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/4, 1/1250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Great Blue Heron Silhouette at Dawn in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a D3s and 200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 200, 400 mm, f/4, 1/1250 sec). (David J Mathre)
Golden Silk Spider. Viewed along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and  200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 500, 400 mm, f/4, 1/320 sec).. (David J Mathre)
Golden Silk Spider. Viewed along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Florida. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 200-400 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 500, 400 mm, f/4, 1/320 sec).. (David J Mathre)
Great Egret in Flight in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 500 mm, f/4, 1/2000 sec). (David J Mathre)
Great Egret in Flight in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 100, 500 mm, f/4, 1/2000 sec). (David J Mathre)
OK, I Caught This Fish -- Now How Do I Swallow It. A Reclusive American Bittern Caught Fishing along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR II lens (ISO 180, 500 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)
OK, I Caught This Fish — Now How Do I Swallow It. A Reclusive American Bittern Caught Fishing along Black Point Wildlife Drive in Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 500 mm f/4 VR II lens (ISO 180, 500 mm, f/4, 1/250 sec). (David J Mathre)

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests in photography include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, skyscapes, and seascapes. I have traveled to over 50 countries over the last 10 years, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on a home renovation project and expanding my wildflower garden/meadow.

Leave a Reply