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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

March 13, 2009

Brighten Academy Day 3 - Merritt Island

What a beautiful barrier island. We saw a lot of it yesterday going back an forth between Cocoa Beach and the Space Center, but we got to see the National Wildlife Refuge today.

We started with a presentation on Manatees, Florida's protected "Sea Cows." They so ugly their cute and we got to see three of them at the Manatee lookout. We learned that the Manatee cannot exist in water colder than 68 degrees, they live an average of 14 years in the wild and they do not produce their first offspring until about age 5.

Then we stopped at a picnic area where we had lunch and spent the afternoon testing the water quality and temperature and then seining the Indian River Estuary for tiny fish, crabs, jelly fish and sea squirts among other strange plants and animals.

The kids had a great time with their nets in the brackish water and even more fun examining and playing with their sea life before returning all the creatures to their natural habitat.

I had no idea that Horse Shoe Crabs have not evolved in 200 million years and that they don't even mate until their 20 years old. No wonder their crabby!

So, tomorrow, we are off to Orlando to spend the day at sea world before heading back. I probably won't have an opportunity to upload tomorrow's photos until Sun night, since I plan to crawl in bed at 2 am when I get home Sunday morning and not get up until dinner time.

So I'll Catch you Later!


P.S. For all the dedicated parents at home reading this blog, you can order a picture CD of the posted photos at the spring fling. All profits will benefit Brighten Academy.


  1. Thanks so much! It was great to see what you guys have been doing this week.

    Tammy Dean

  2. Nianya - Your twittering and blog updates have kept me laughing the whole time my son has been gone. When he calls at night I've been able to ask intelligent questions about his day thanks to you! You are wonderful to keep us posted like this. We REALLY Appreciate it.

    Gina Renner (Jackson's Mom)

  3. Thank you soooo much for keeping us kept me laughing and at the same time have sympathy for the was nice to see my son in pictures while he was gone...
    Karen Winters (Brandons Mom)

  4. Manatees are such amazing creatures! Fantastic photos - looks like you're all having a great time.