Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1963 as an overlay of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center. Consisting of 140,000 acres, the Refuge provides a wide variety of habitats: coastal dunes, saltwater estuaries and marshes, freshwater impoundments, scrub, pine flatwoods, and hardwood hammocks provide habitat for more than 1,500 species of plants and animals.”

Gulp!? Do alligators eat frogs?

Looks like a great place to swim...wait,Polly...there might be alligators in there!

 

 

 

 

Don’t let the calm water fool you. The waters of Florida are home to American Alligators, which as you probably know, are bone-crushing carnivores. Warning signs are posted all over the place! Polly had to be extremely vigilant while we were visiting Florida….she would have been a tasty treat for an alligator!

Giant Fans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palmettos have fan-shaped leaves that have saw-like spines along the edges. The leaves are 1-3 feet wide and 3-6 feet tall and the plant produces black fruits that are eaten by many kinds of wildlife. Palmettos tend to grow in dense thickets and have a low profile against the ground.

Spanish Moss

A member of the bromeliad, or pineapple family, Spanish moss is categorized as an ‘air plant’, and it gets its nourishment from the air, sun, and rain. This gray-green plant is often found hanging in moss-like clumps from tree limbs, but can also be seen on wires and poles.

Shhhhh! Don't scare the bird away!

 

 

 

Merritt Island is home to more than 500 species of wildlife, more than 1,000 species of plants, and contains seven distinct types of habitats. It was so much fun driving through the area and watching for wildlife. We saw alligators, manatees, and many, many different kinds of birds. I have read that armadillos live there as well, but we weren’t lucky enough to see one.

Polly, Watch out!

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31 Responses to “Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge…Home of Alligators! (Polly #3)”

  1. Great information, and thanks for the heads up…I wouldn’t want to be food for alligators!

  2. Nobody wants to be food for an alligator! :)

  3. Hey looks cool. I wish I could be there!!!

  4. I like this post. I want to see an alligater!

  5. G.W.
    Merritt Island was a great place to visit, I think you would really like it, too! I sure hope I can go back someday…I want to see an armadillo!

  6. I like the picture of polly looking at wildlife. The picture of the alligator is nice, but also a little bit scary. Alligators can eat all types of frogs, even Polly! I think the bird is different, because it stands in the water. The moss on the tree looks so yucky because its just hanging there. I am surprised that it doesn’t need dirt, but it does need sun, rain, and air to survive. It’s weird that the Palmetto plant is six feet tall and three feet wide. Do you think its possible to fan yourself with a Palmetto plant? Polly is scared of the water because something might be in it…an alligator!

  7. Xavier and Lucas…
    Thanks for writing to me! I think you did a great job writing your comment. You two make a great team! Polly and I had a great time in Florida. She really loved seeing the alligators, but her favorite animal to see were the manatees. They are so gentle and sweet!

    Love,
    Mrs. Schneider & Polly #3

  8. hi! Those are really cool animals! I really want to go to that wildlife park.

  9. lms,
    Merritt Island is an amazing place and I would love to go back again some day! I enjoyed seeing all of wildlife. Unfortunately there were a lot of mosquitoes,too :(

  10. Do you travel with Polly?

  11. Dear Polly number 3,
    I enjoyed all of your pictures. They were really cool.

  12. Brenda and Jennifer
    December 9th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Dear Polly number 3,
    When did you go to Florda? Did you buy anything?

  13. Dear polly number 5 you are so amazing that is so cool that you visited the tallest building ever. p.s you are so so cool.

  14. Dear Polly, I think your visit was awesome! I love the intresting plants there. The alligators are cool. I have a question, did you get bit by a whole lot of misquitos?

  15. I think it is VERY VERY SCARY that I saw that huge alligator in the water and that manatees are so, so, so so amazing!

  16. That alligator was creepy to my sister Emma. It was awesome to me. That was leapfrog amazing.

  17. Were you scared out of your pants?

  18. Dear Polly #3,
    Did you enjoy your trip? It looked cool!

  19. Dear Polly #3,
    Also, which do you like better: manatees or alligators? I like manatees!:)

  20. The alligator looks so faboo! Also, that manatee is sweeeet!!!!!! I wish I had a Polly. I would make sure she does not get eaten by an alligator! p.s. Jacob is my cousin byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye !!!!!!!!

  21. Ha ha…you’re right, the alligators looked ‘faboo’ ! It was so exciting to see them and a little scary, too! Remember, they are wild creatures with a mouthful of sharp teeth! Thanks for showing Jacob Polly’s website!
    Love,
    Mrs. Schneider & Polly #3

  22. Haylee,
    I like both, but the manatees were definitely cuter! :)
    Love,
    Mrs. Schneider & Polly #3

  23. Dear Dulce,
    I don’t wear pants! (ha! ha!) If I’m totally honest….yes, I was a little scared!

    Love,
    Polly #3

  24. Trenton,
    Mosquitoes are a huge problem in Florida! Florida has lots of what mosquitoes love….stagnant water! While we were there, Mr. Schneider and I decided to take a walk on a trail that ran around a swamp….that was a big mistake! We lasted for about 10 minutes before we had to head back to the car. Thousands of mosquitoes swarmed us and started biting us. The back of Mr. Schneider’s shirt was completely covered with mosquitoes! We were especially vulnerable around our faces, necks, and bare legs…the bites hurt! We ran back to the car as fast as we could! It’s a shame that the mosquitoes ruined our walk, because the vegetation was very interesting and I would have loved to see more of it. Later in the day, we saw a man mowing grass along the edge of the road and he was wearing a a head-to-toe mosquito netting suit! What a smart man! :)

    Thanks for your great question!
    Love,
    Mrs. Schneider & Polly #3

  25. Dear polly 3

    Did you like your trip to Florida.I want to go there one day.And take a Polly to Florida too.

  26. I loved visiting Florida! It was hot, hot, hot!

  27. Dear Polly#3 i like your pictures!!

  28. Did you love it there?

  29. Why did you tell Polly to watch out for the alligator?

  30. Hi Kenvon~
    I’m so excited that you visited my website! I told Polly to watch out for alligators because she wanted to take a swim and I knew that there were alligators lurking everywhere! We had so much fun on our trip to Florida. Check out this page if you have a chance….Polly #3 Meets a Manatee
    Love,
    Mrs. Schneider & Polly #3

  31. I love you