Your moment of Everglades zen: Rare moments of all play and no work in Chokoloskee Bay

Once a year, our Friends of the Everglades staff takes a group trip to explore part of the greater Everglades ecosystem. It’s a stark contrast to our daily grind — when we can be found most often behind our computer screens, studying the details of environmental challenges, projects and policies. It’s in these moments, when we are immersed in the places we’re working so hard to protect, that we find inspiration to carry on fighting. Our recent trip to Everglades City and Chokoloskee was illuminating. We found a taste of authentic Old Florida during our stay at The Rod and Gun Club in Everglades City, a sleepy town that boasts [...]

2023-01-03T13:32:31-05:00January 3rd, 2023|All Posts, Everglades Zen|

75 Years of Everglades National Park

The river of grass stretches out over Miccosukee lands north of Tamiami Trail on Oct. 25, 2022. 75 Years of Everglades National Park "There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth, remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them: their vast glittering openness, wider than the enormous visible round of the horizon, the racing free saltness and sweetness of their massive winds, under the dazzling blue heights of space. They are unique also in the simplicity, the diversity, the related harmony of the forms of life they enclose. The miracle of the light pours over the green and brown expanse of [...]

Your moment of Everglades Zen: One day in Everglades National Park

The problems plaguing the Everglades are varied and plenty, and often we find ourselves hard at work behind our computer screens as we fight for the places we love. So when a couple of our staffers had a chance to spend a day on assignment in Everglades National Park, we were enchanted and inspired. A midday walk on the Anhinga Trail, accessed from the Ernest Coe Visitor Center in Homestead, brought us face-to-face (from a safe distance) with a mama alligator and her recently hatched brood. The tell-tale yellow stripes of the hatchlings provide temporary camouflage for blending in among the marsh grasses. From a perch above, the sharp eyes of a [...]

2022-11-01T12:01:26-04:00November 1st, 2022|Everglades National Park, Everglades Zen|

Your moment of Everglades zen: After the Storm

Many of us are still struggling to wrap our minds around the immense toll of Hurricane Ian. The powerful storm that ripped across Florida last week, bringing record winds and flooding, has left areas from southwest Florida to north Florida devastated and tens of thousands of people displaced or without power or water. The economic damage has been estimated over $100 billion, and we haven’t realized the full extent of the storm’s lasting environmental damage. Of course, the human toll will be the most catastrophic cost, with deaths attributed to the storm surpassing 100 as of Tuesday morning. Nature can be brutally destructive. But it is also resilient. The calm after a storm always clears a path for new [...]

2022-10-04T09:07:28-04:00October 4th, 2022|Everglades Zen|

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|

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