Your moment of Everglades Zen: Florida Bay Dreamin’

If Lake Okeechobee is the Everglades’ liquid heart, Florida Bay is its glittering jewel. Seen here from the air, through the eyes of our multimedia producer Leah Voss, light plays across the many vibrant hues of the Everglades’ southernmost watery reaches. It is a final destination. Water that drains south slowly through the Everglades eventually empties into Florida Bay, nearly all of which lies within the footprint of Everglades National Park. Florida Bay is an immensely important ecosystem, boasting up to 10% of the world’s seagrass and home to one of the greatest recreational fisheries in the world — an economic driver that equates to $439 million annually to the local economy [...]

2022-09-06T11:20:37-04:00September 6th, 2022|Everglades Zen, Florida Bay|

Your moment of Everglades Zen: An Ode to Mangroves

Few images feel more iconic to coastal Florida shorelines than the twisted, tumbling limbs of the mangrove. Beneath their clumping root systems, life thrives, providing physical protection for marine species that gather under, seek refuge and sustenance within, and cling to mangroves’ protruding appendages. Above the water, dense canopies provide shelter and important nesting habitat for coastal birds and mammals. The aerial root structures of mangroves have been credited with helping to reduce waves and absorb storm surge. A common sight along much of Florida’s coast, mangroves can be likened to anchors that help to stabilize coastline ecosystems and serve as a first line of defense against coastal flooding and erosion — [...]

2022-08-01T16:45:47-04:00August 2nd, 2022|Everglades Zen, Wildlife Habitat|

Your moment of Everglades Zen: Embracing the Heat at Jonathan Dickinson State Park

It’s no wonder that life under a hot, Florida sun comes to a lazy, alligator crawl in the heat of the summer. Let’s face it — as temperatures soar and humidity rises, getting outdoors in the middle of the day this time of year can feel downright brutal. But the summer season also boasts bluebird skies and lush, rain-fueled greenery that makes for some of the most beautiful days of the year. Our multimedia producer, Leah Voss, showed us just how rewarding a late afternoon hike at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Martin County can be, sharing scenic images of expansive foliage, fields of wildflowers, and buzzing animal life that is all well [...]

2022-07-05T12:49:27-04:00July 5th, 2022|All Posts, Everglades Zen, Wildlife Habitat|

Your moment of Everglades zen: Introducing our Multimedia Producer, Leah Voss

This month, we welcomed Leah Voss to the Friends of the Everglades team. In the newly created position of Multimedia Producer, Leah will help us bring Everglades issues to life through imagery and videography. Her background as a talented photojournalist and her passion for Florida’s unique environment are palpable in the work she produces, and we’re certain the stories she tells with images will bring a new strength to our mission to preserve, protect and restore the only Everglades in the world. Please join us in welcoming Leah to the team! We invite you to learn a little more about Leah, via her words and images Last week, [...]

2022-06-07T15:18:30-04:00June 6th, 2022|All Posts, Everglades Zen|

Your moment of Everglades zen: Evan Wexler brings Friends of the Everglades 2021 annual report to life

We know the bad-news reel gets old. It’s good to stop and remember what we’re working so hard to protect. Here’s your dose of Everglades zen. Each year, Friends of the Everglades puts together an annual report to document our accomplishments and support from the previous year. It’s an essential tool for conveying impact and helping supporters understand the value of their contributions. There is one piece of the project that is particularly fulfilling — choosing the images that help bring it to life. Because the Everglades is a remote and wild destination, it isn’t uncommon for supporters to admit to us that they haven’t actually spent a ton of time out there in this unique ecosystem. That’s where images come [...]

Your moment of Everglades zen: A rare encounter

                        Spotted in the Everglades: A critically endangered smalltooth sawfish A friend of the Everglades recently took a boat trip from Flamingo to the Shark River basin where he shared a chance encounter with an extremely special Everglades species. In the video below, you'll see the protruding double dorsal fins and tail of a smalltooth sawfish as it patrols the shallow shoreline of Shark River. The species gets it name from its most distinct feature, detailed in the drawing above — a long, flat snout lined with teeth that looks like a saw and is known as a rostrum. These saws are extremely sensitive to currents given off by [...]

2022-04-12T09:50:59-04:00April 5th, 2022|All Posts, Everglades Zen, Wildlife Habitat|

Your moment of Everglades zen: Wild Observations with Deborah Mitchell

We know the bad-news reel gets old. It's good to stop and remember what we're working so hard to protect. Here's your dose of Everglades zen. Wild Observations This past weekend we walked with conservation artist Deborah Mitchell through six enchanting destination-exhibition sites hidden within the Everglades National Park trails. Deborah's art combines scientific research with artistic interpretation to map an ecological and cultural study of observations occurring in our wild places. Through her work, she aims to inspire restoration of ecosystems, combat climate change, address habitat loss and reduce invasive species. These photos capture a few of the moments we encountered with a small group of Marjory's Circle members — as we took part in a visual and sensory experience exploring [...]

Your moment of Everglades zen: Take the road less traveled

The road less traveled A friend of the Everglades, Dave Preston, shared images with us of a recent trip to Big Cypress National Preserve. Though not a part of Everglades National Park, the freshwater flowing through Big Cypress is essential to the health of the Everglades and many restoration efforts in South Florida intertwine the fates of the two ecosystems. When a plan arose in the 1960s to build an "Everglades jetport" on 39 square miles of wetlands in Eastern Big Cypress, Marjory Stoneman Douglas joined the resistance, founding Friends of the Everglades to galvanize support for preserving the swampy wilderness. We won that first fight — construction was halted after a single jetport runway was built — [...]

2022-02-07T15:03:26-05:00February 1st, 2022|Everglades Zen|

Your moment of Everglades Zen: Serenity Found

Weaving between the knees of a cypress grove, a male bobcat wades quietly through the water in a world that must feel like all his own. A friend of the Everglades gifted us this trail cam footage captured in the Everglades. Palmetto leaf reflections shimmer on the surface of the water as he peers back over his shoulder, taking in the stillness of his surroundings. As we’re sure many of you did, we took a moment this week to consider all that we accomplished in 2021 and our targets for the year ahead. The first week of the year invites resolutions, planning, mapping, charting and charging into the laundry list of goals and obstacles that each of us envisions tackling [...]

2022-01-03T15:57:28-05:00January 4th, 2022|Everglades Zen|

Your Everglades moment of zen: The secret life of alligators

"Snorkeling in the Florida Everglades" What would you do if on your next snorkeling adventure you ended up face-to-face with this prehistoric lizard? We’ll admit that this video might defy the average person’s idea of a “moment of zen.” It features a voiceover from a snorkeler calmly interacting with several of the Everglades’ most famous apex predators — from a safe distance — as he explores a maze of underwater tree root systems. Along the way he points out different species in surprisingly clear water, offering a truly unique perspective of the thriving and interconnected ecosystem that lives beyond the view of most Everglades sightseers. We’re perfectly happy to join you in viewing this particular moment of Everglades zen from [...]

2021-12-07T12:04:39-05:00December 7th, 2021|Everglades Zen|

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