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Smyrna Dunes Park

On Christmas Eve 2018, I got off work early and wanted to go somewhere new so I ended up at Smyrna Dunes Park.   The address for Smyrna Dunes Park is 2995 N. Peninsula Ave., New Smyrna Beach and it is open from sunrise to sunset.  The cost is $10 to enter the park or $20 for an annual pass which I recommend.  For more  information on the park visit the website at https://www.volusia.org/services/public-works/coastal-division/coastal-parks/smyrna-dunes-park.stml.

I got lucky, it was a really beautiful sunny day but not too hot or cold.  It wasn’t windy either so I go some wonderful shots of birds and their reflections.   Getting to the beach is a bit of a hike, you have to walk on a long, long boardwalk.   It does the give the park an isolated feel.   Across the Ponce de Leon Inlet you can see Light House Point Park, you see my post about it here https://lilsusieq.com/lighthouse-point-park/.

I made a short video of the park from the boardwalk.   Gives you bit of idea of how isolated it is and the long walk to get the beach.   The link to the video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njp0dh55O6k&feature=youtu.be.

First set of pictures are of the entrance to the park, some of the signs and the boardwalk.  From across the Ponce de Leon Inlet you can see Light House Point Park and the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse.   Smyrna Dunes Park is a dog park and I saw quite a few people walk their fur babies. 

 

Second set of photos are from the beach.  There people were fishing off the rocks.   The weather was really nice but it was to cold for swimming and I didn’t see anyone in the water.   I guess that could have been due the date, it was Christmas Eve.   There were lots of birds out and I got some great shots.  I love the photos of the birds with their reflections.  Some pelicans fishing for dinner and an osprey flying overhead.  The was a parasailing boat across the Ponce de Leon Inlet over at Light House Point Park.  I would really like to go parasailing, it looks life fun.

 

Finally, the last two photos are of the sunset.  I took these as I was walking back to the car.

 

Remember: Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave nothing but footprints

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Butterflies & Flowers

In 2018, I visited Lukas Nursery at 6 times to take pictures of the Butterflies & Flowers.  This post is a collection of some of the photos I took.   To learn more about Lukas Nursery visit https://lukasnursery.com/ or my other blog post at https://lilsusieq.com/lukas-nursery-butterfly-encounter/.

Butterflies are a lot of fun to photograph, the move fast but are so beautiful.  As I have gotten in to photography, I have been learning more about butterflies, flowers and insets.   I have grouped the butterflies by species but I still having trouble identifying them so I might gotten some wrong.

While researching the different types of butterflies I have learned quite about them.  They help pollinate some species of plants like bees.  They receive nourishment from not only flower nectar but also pollen, tree sap, rotten fruit among other sources.   Butterflies can be find all over the world except for Antarctica, I guess it is too cold for them.  There  with approximately 18,000 species of butterflies found world wide.    A butterflies life can be divided into four stages.  First, the adult butterfly lays eggs  which second hatches into caterpillars in the spring or summer.  Third, once the caterpillar is grown it develops into a chrysalis where a metamorphosis takes place changing it into a butterfly, the fourth and final stage.

The first set of photos are of monarch butterflies.  The monarch is a butterfly I seem to photograph the most.  I got some shots of two monarchs mating or maybe there are wrestling?

Second set of photos are of gulf fritillary.

Third set of photos are of queen, peacock and zebra butterflies.  The zebra longwing is the Florida State butterfly.

Fourth set of photos are of skipper butterflies.

Fifth set of photos are of swallowtail butterflies.

Sixth and last set of photos has some of the carpenter bees and flowers.

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Bio Lab Road

bio lab roadThe Bio Lab Road at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is one way 6-mile dirt road is located of off SR 3 (Kennedy Parkway) just north of the Scrub Ridge Trail.  There is a boat ramp at Bio Lab Road that provides assess to Mosquito Lagoon.  For more information visit the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Merritt_Island/visit/plan_your_visit.html.  The southern end dumps you out at Canaveral National Seashore near Playalinda Beach.

 

 

Bio lab is great for boating, fishing or suggest to view wildlife.  There is a fee to visit the Bio Lab and you can pay at the Merritt Islando Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center or pay at the kiosk.   I have visited Bio Lab road several times now, not for boating or fishing but to see wildlife.  I have seen lots of birds and alligators. Here are some of the pictures I have taken.

 

For my other post about Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge see https://lilsusieq.com/scrub-ridge-trail/ or https://lilsusieq.com/black-point-wildlife-drive/.

Remember: Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave nothing but footprints

 

 

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Scrub Ridge Trail

The Scrub Ridge Trail is a beautiful short hike and provides the opportunity to see a variety of  wildlife.  The trail is located at the Merritt Island Wildlife Refufe off of SR 3.  The Scrub Ridge Trail is a long looping trail that is the habit to Florida Scrub Jay – a bird found only in Florida.  The scrub jay is an endangered bird and should not be fed or bothered in anyway.  For more information visit the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge website at http://www.merrittislandwildlife.org/scrub-ridge-trail.asp.  

 

 

I spent an hours or so hiking the trail and hoping to to see a scrub jay and take some wonderful photos. The trail has water along one side and you can see all kinds of other birds as well.   I also saw pelicans, vultures, turtles, butterflies in addition to the scrub jay.  Here are a few pictures I took during my walk.

 

The Scrub Ridge Trail is located at Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge,  I usually hike it whenever I visit the The Black Point Wildlife Drive – blog post at https://lilsusieq.com/black-point-wildlife-drive/.

Remember: Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave nothing but footprints