Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hanging Out In Central Florida

We arrived at the Thousand Trails in Clermont, Florida about eight miles from Walt Disney World.  We have never seen such an enormous rv park, 850 rv sites.

The first week we were there we went over to Tampa to the giant rv show.  It was the biggest we had ever attended.  There were lots of vendors in the vending hall and even more rvs that could be walked through.  

The first weekend we drove to Titusville to go through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  We were also motivated to go there as Jim has just turned 62 and was able to pick up his National Parks Senior Pass.  We were so excited since we love to stay at the Corps of Engineers parks and now we can stay at most of them for half price.  

Merritt Island NWR is an overlay of NASA's  John F. Kennedy Space Center showing that nature and technology can coexist.

We started our explorations along the boardwalk outside the visitor's center.

We were kind of fascinated seeing pink lichens, it was not a color we were used to seeing.

After walking the boardwalk, we got into the car and drove over to Black Point Wildlife Drive.  It was a sunny day so the water was a beautiful deep blue and the birds reflected in the water.

We saw many birds on the drive.  I think this is a Pied-Billed Grebe,

a Great Blue Heron all fluffed up

a White Ibis,

a Snowy Egret,

a Great Egret,

and a new bird for us, a pair of Wood Storks wading through the water.

Here's a closer look at the Wood Stork.

We continued on the drive and towards the end, the guide book we had said to begin looking for alligators.  We found one! It was sitting on a little island in the middle of the stream.

Here's a closer look.

We drove a little further and saw another one out in the afternoon sun.

After taking the Black Point Wildlife Drive, we wanted to visit the Canaveral National Seashore just next door.

It was our first look at the Atlantic Ocean in a long time.

Turning the other way you can see how close the Space Center is.

I zoomed in close to what looks like a launching pad.

We also have wildlife at the Thousand Trails Orlando RV Resort.  There is a little pond in the middle of the resort where we spied a Sandhill Crane sitting on a nest.

We looked over to the right and saw the mate.  While we watched them for awhile, the mate went over to the nest and they switched places.

We then watched it turning the egg before it sat down.  It's amazing how close nature can adapt to living so closely to humans.


  1. Jealous of all your birding! Looks like a wonderful place to be spending time. Did you get any of the ice?

    1. We had ice on the windshield one morning, but the temps went up quickly once the sun was out. We did have a couple of drizzly days in the 40's last week.

    2. AND you saw alligators and wood storks!! My my.