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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|

Your moment of Everglades zen: A Poem for the Everglades

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. Photographer and friend of the Everglades Bob Branham captures a breathtaking Northern Everglades sunrise at the Dinner Island Wildlife Management Area in Hendry County, 29 miles southwest of Clewiston, FL. "The Everglades" A poem by Campbell McGrath about Everglades National Park Green and blue and white, it is a flag for Florida stitched by hungry ibises. It is a paradise of flocks, a cornucopia of wind and grass and dark, slow waters. Turtles bask in the last tatters of afternoon, frogs perfect their symphony at dusk— in its solitude we remember ourselves, dimly, [...]

2021-11-01T16:38:19-04:00November 2nd, 2021|Everglades Zen|

Your moment of Everglades zen: Rev. Houston Cypress and “What Endures”

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. https://youtu.be/Adgge_pFuuo “Speaking to the world, and listening deeply for her reply.” We were so moved by this short video written and produced by Reverend Houston R. Cypress. In it he expresses a generational relationship to the greater Everglades that is so clearly palpable, the viewer is transported to a place of deep connection — by the views, the sounds, and smells — fostered and shared with us by the enduring culture of the Miccosukee Tribe. “We all grow so elegantly when spoken to so gently,” Rev. Cypress says, reminding us of the fragile yet [...]

2021-10-04T17:04:51-04:00October 5th, 2021|All Posts, Everglades Zen|

Your moment of Everglades Zen: The Night Sky in the Everglades

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. https://youtu.be/1zeof1-Fe3I The Night Sky in the Everglades Watch the video above and then see if you can come up with a single good reason that a place capable of this level of majesty isn't worth saving. Photographer Anthony Sleiman shared this compilation of time-lapse images of the night sky above different trails in Everglades National Park with us, and the end result is nothing short of breathtaking. When we asked him what motivated his work, he had this to say: "To me, the Everglades is a place full of magic, a place where time [...]

2021-09-23T13:47:33-04:00September 7th, 2021|All Posts, Everglades Zen|

Your moment of Everglades Zen: Successful restoration looks like this

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. Take a look at the 11-second video above. Posted to Twitter by Shannon Estenoz, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Park, it offers a glimpse of the completed restoration of the Kissimmee River from a channelized canal back to historic, winding oxbows. Twenty-two years after construction began, the project represents progress our founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, would be proud of. She spoke vehemently about the disastrous impacts that removing the serpentine curves of the Everglades’ headwaters would have on the entire flowing ecosystem from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes to [...]

2021-08-03T15:44:10-04:00August 3rd, 2021|All Posts, Everglades Restoration, Everglades Zen|