Traveling to different parts of Florida for the 2013 season, insects had been sparse due to an unseasonably cool spring or just by chance. A chance decision had brought me to Scrub Brush Bird Trail in Titusville. Already on an afternoon excursion, I had concluded “Why not?” After reading the trail map, I had noticed the importance of brush fires for this habitat’s life cycle. Hopefully brush fires had reduced this area of some bugs. Exiting the information post, I had rotated directly into view of a Banana Spider. Another step, my head would had been caught in the center of the web. This monstrosity’s body had a length of two inches. Toss in the legs for another estimated two inches, it had a total of four inches of killing power. Circumventing the spider’s golden net, I had quickly moved onto the trail. Considering the proximity to all the open and stagnating water, I had been surprised no swarming vermin yet. The only activity I had seen so far, a small turtle crossing the path. About 10 minutes up the way, I had picked up a beetle. After toying around with the beetle for juvenile photo ops, I had released it unharmed. Right after, as if on cue by mother nature, horseflies had started attacking from multiple directions. After quickly crushing one attack, another pack of 3-4 flies had closed in. This had continued with couple more rounds forcing a walk into a jog. At the first major turn, half-way through trail, all I had seen going forward, overgrown scrubs. With brisk winds blowing now, I had decided to double back. The problem had been the pursuit of horseflies plus mosquitoes. Picking up the pace to a jog had been ineffective in alluding the horseflies. The jog had now turned into full out running. I had kept that speed until clearing the surrounding greenery. Once off the trail, I had hopped into my car, flipped the ignition and sped away. This adventure had affirmed the reputation of the voracious insects around Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. The irony for such a short trek, it had seemed like forever. One final note on the birding trail, never saw Scrub Brush Bird. Maybe something had not approved of those beetle photo ops.
Directions: Take I-95 South until exit 215. At exit 215 go East on Highway 50 until US1. Go left northbound on US1. At US1 and Max Brewer Memorial Parkway go right. At Max Brewer Memorial Parkway and Kennedy Parkway North go left. Go about 1 mile on your right, Scrub Brush Bird Trail.