It has been several years since we last visited Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. A prolonged drought in Florida has done a number of this refuge that sits side-by-side with America’s space program (if you look closely at the horizon on the photo below you can see the Vehicle Assembly Building, where they prepared the Apollo and Shuttle craft for launch).
Birds were sparse, and I don’t think we spotted a single alligator. Most of the wildlife was concentrated into the few standing ponds and most of those were not anywhere near the access trail. We triangulated one such area of bird activity to behind a clump of trees that had a very narrow opening we dubbed as “Door Number 2″.
Bad weather makes good photographs, and we took advantage of the twisted landscape of pitch-black dried and cracked mud against the rain clouds that were passing through.
Both photos were taken using a Canon 40D and a 24-70 f/2.8L lens. A Lightroom-applied graduated neutral density filter of about 1 stop was applied to the sky.