Resting on my laurels

Well, it’s safe to say that I’m not reporting from a National Wildlife Refuge right now, despite the anniversary – it’s cold and not worth a special trip at all. I’ll make up for it some time this summer.

But for the sake of it, we’ll have a couple of photos from wildlife refuges, or actually just one refuge, which is Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, immediately adjacent to Cape Canaveral. Right now I’m trying to tally in my head how many refuges I’ve been to, and I think it’s eight – not anywhere near enough.

You might recognize this photo:

tricolored heron Egretta tricolor fishing in shallows showing feet and reflection
This appears in the header of the home page, but deserves a closer look. I’m fairly certain it was taken not long after I’d decided on the domain name, and when I saw both the heron’s reflection and its feet showing through, I knew it was an appropriate illustration of the theme. It never made it onto any of the business card designs (I have over a dozen,) because there’s not enough blank space around it, and it would thus be cluttered with the lettering. By the way, this is a tri-colored heron (Egretta tricolor,) which I don’t think I’ve ever seen around here, just coastally – maybe once or twice out at the Outer Banks, a few times in South Carolina, and otherwise in Georgia and Florida. They tend to like wetlands rather than beaches, and that describes Merritt Island distinctly. You can see here how shallow the water is, as it remains throughout most of the refuge, and if there were just one that I had to recommend to photographers (don’t you like how we set these nonexistent game-show challenges to ourselves?) it would be Merritt Island, with JN ‘Ding’ Darling on Sanibel Island not far behind.

And the other:

flock of roseate spoonbills Platalea ajaja in Merritt Island NWR, Florida
On this date two years ago, I featured a pair of roseate spoonbills (Platalea ajaja) and said it was possibly the only time that I’d photographed them to date, which only shows that I should have looked into the database or at least made a quick pass through the slide cabinet, because I’ve photographed them on half a dozen different occasions, this being one of them – I’d even prepared this one for inclusion in a potential package to a client (the package sold, but without the spoonbills, though I think they took the tri-colored heron above.)

Despite not remembering that I had these, I thought the lighting seemed familiar, and I confirmed that they were in sequence with other images known to have been from a particular trip to Merritt Island, but those slides have no date stamp. I’m thinking probably 2002 or 2003, when I met another photographer there and the only time I’ve visited in overcast conditions. Or so I claim now – we’ll see what comes up in two years.

Anyway, here’s hoping that you had your chance to visit a refuge, or celebrate in some (more) appropriate way.

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