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Audubon of Florida

A growing number of people are demonstrating respect, love, and passion for conservation and the environment in general, something I firmly believe this most beautiful blue sphere of ours, and its lovely inhabitants, needs en masse. And there are organizations that pull together these wonderful passions, using them for the greater good. Audubon is “Florida’s oldest conservation organization, protecting birds and wildlife for more than a century”. Through Audubon of Florida and their Conservation Network — a powerful and knowledgeable grassroots network of citizen advocates — you can access up-to-date information on the state’s conservation issues, and receive calls-to-action during critical decision-making times. There’s an incredible amount of information and resources: free and timely e-newsletters and fact sheets (including the Everglades Conservation Network’s Restore, the Florida Conservation Network’s Advocate, the Climate Action Network’s Climate Solutions, the Center for Birds of Prey’s Raptor News and the Coastal Strand). Regular reports of Florida conservation issues are provided, as are ways to help.

Great Egret in Breeding Plumage, Florida Wetlands

Great Egret in Breeding Plumage in the Protected Wetlands

Continue to love, enjoy, and work to preserve this most amazing environment, ensuring that the devastatingly high habitat loss in the Everglades and in other endangered ecosystems throughout Florida is reversed. Not all have the planet’s protection in their best interests — money still rules, and development and sprawl are devastating. But with Audubon’s tools and resources, you can help conserve Florida’s environmental future: its water resources, land, and birds and other wildlife.

National Audubon Society Logo — The Great Egret in Flight (Courtesy of The National Audubon Society)

Visit Audubon of Florida, their news blog, and the organization’s plethora of information and educational resources. It doesn’t take much to be an advocate and supporter of this state’s incredible and unique ecosystems. Or, just run to one of Florida’s more than 2,000 natural spaces and national parks (two THOUSAND) — there are so many amazing places to love and support, and by simply visiting, enjoying their beauty, you’re helping to protect them.

And for the Facebook followers: Audubon Florida on Facebook

Protect my land…!

Baby Alligator in the Florida Wetlands

Baby Alligator in the Protected Wetlands

Or…where would you be able to see my beautiful mug?

Sunning Alligator in the Florida Everglades

Sunning Alligator in the Florida Everglades

57 Comments Post a comment
  1. jimbey #

    Great “call to action” – and super great gator shots! The camouflage of a baby gator can only be appreciated close up. They are hard to see even when you are right on top of them!
    That big ole gator sunning himself (herself?) on the bank plays a VERY important role in the life of the bird population. They patrol the moats that surround the tree islands used by the birds for nesting. River otters, raccoons and other predators will still try to cross onto the islands – but one look at that goofy, toothy grin tells you that there is some risk involved. One look at that fat ole belly also lets you know that the gator wins frequently.
    Without the gators standing guard, there would be far fewer bird families thriving in the swamp!

    December 14, 2012
    • Beauty indeed. In the eye of the beholder — and the be-knower. Knowledge is power.

      December 14, 2012
    • Thanks so much!!

      You nailed it, as always. 😉

      Those baby gators’ camouflage ALWAYS amazes me. Their stripes blend perfectly with the aquatic vegetation root systems. Try finding them in the water amid the roots — fail!

      And if we didn’t have our gators… WOW. People always think they eat all the birds. Nope. You explain it perfectly. We just need to protect more of these islands, eh? I loved this guy…. What was so interesting was that there were 3 together (odd!), and they had all just eaten. NOT to be bothered! No worries. 🙂 He was a big boy. Whoo.

      December 14, 2012
      • jimbey #

        Not to be bothered – but definitely not aggressive or ill-tempered. More like fat, dumb and happy. He actually looks a lot like the gator a saw guarding the rookery at SWA.
        Goofy factoid: more people are killed every year by deer attacks than by ALL alligator attacks since WWII (18 alligator attack deaths total, versus approx 20 fatal deer attacks per year). You’ve been warned: Beware of Bambi!

        As I typed this comment, news reports were starting to come in about the tragedy in Newtown, CT. No animal is a dangerous as the two-legged kind. sigh

        December 14, 2012
      • They demonize certain wildlife so easily… But look no further than the 2-legged variety if you want to do that.

        I had seen that stat about the gators and deer!! BEWARE OF BAMBI — so funny. 🙂

        And… You are completely dead-on. This guy IS at the rookery/SWA! I just said Everglades for brevity. He was in a group of three, which was unusual — but he was off a bit on his own. Quite the big boy. And VERY content.

        December 16, 2012
      • jimbey #

        Heh heh … I’d recognize that mug anywhere!

        As an aside, I took your Limpkin challenge yesterday, and bagged me a few good shots. Check out my profile for the two new Limpkin shots. Even better (and tying this into Audubon) – I took these shots in a major metro-park (John Prince); not a wilderness area. While there, I also visited with a dozen Wood Storks, two Black-Crowned Night Herons, a Green Heron, a plethora of Pelicans, a few Osprey and the usual gang of egrets and herons.
        That biodiversity was made possible because the county and the Audubon Society took the area around Square Lake and restored the wetlands habitat. Those few acres made all the difference – the south side of John Prince Park only trails Wakodahatchee and Green Cay for wading birds.

        December 16, 2012
      • I’ve heard about this venture… Many others have made the suggestion to visit, raving about the biodiversity.

        A big YAY to Audubon for creating this space in the middle of an urban environment for the native wildlife! Can you believe I have yet to visit? Sigh. When I return from the holidays… A MUST. It’s not far from my home, so I have absolutely no excuse. GREAT example that you provide…. PERFECTION!

        Going now to see your Limpkins!!!

        December 17, 2012
  2. Pam #

    Sunning gator is great!

    December 14, 2012
    • Isn’t he wonderful? He had just eaten…and was in no mood to be hassled with. Not that I would want to try. He was a big boy.

      December 14, 2012
  3. Great post! This reminds me that so many of my best spiritual experiences have come in the wilderness. Mine have come mostly in northern forests and mountain-tops, based on where I’ve been. Your blog gives me a beautiful taste of the Everglades! I have certainty that when I get to experience them in person, they’ll light up my soul and bring smiles to my face!

    December 14, 2012
    • So wonderful…. I’m thrilled that I’m able to bring this area’s beauty to life. It really does need as many voices as possible — to contend with the greedy developers and unknowing citizens, unaware of what surrounds them.

      I too have had my most magical moments in the wilderness. The purity of Nature, the beauty, the simplicity…. So many reminders of what we should strive for in our physical and spiritual lives. The flora and fauna are amazing examples of these reminders….

      December 14, 2012
      • Yes! Like the name of your site, serenity. Centering, wholesomeness, awareness, beauty, focus, protection, connectedness……

        December 15, 2012
  4. The light filter through the feathers and the gator from the front are wonderful shots.

    December 14, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I was lucky to catch the breeding egret in the setting sun — perfect timing. 🙂 And I fell in love with that toothy gator. He had obviously just eaten, and was in no mood to be bothered!

      December 14, 2012
  5. Love seeing the egret in breeding color and the baby is soooo cute! 🙂
    Nice toothy grin on the big boy too.
    Glad there is this protected area for the wildlife.

    December 14, 2012
    • I really need to catch up on my baby gator images… So many! Adorable babies, love them!

      Big boy had obviously just eaten, and was in no mood to be bothered. Handsome fella. 🙂

      December 14, 2012
  6. Beautiful Captures – love the last one – sorta like he is saying go ahead and make my day or take my picture:) Happy Friday!

    December 14, 2012
    • Hee, so true! When I saw him, I fell in love. He had obviously just eaten, and was sunning himself — was in NO mood to be bothered. That face! Love it!

      Happy Friday to you, too!! 🙂

      December 14, 2012
  7. Good reminder for us to support these organizations that are doing such great work! Thanks!

    December 14, 2012
    • As much as I’m out in these natural spaces…daily, weekly…I fail to regularly visit their wonderful resources! There’s so much to tap into.

      December 14, 2012
  8. I like the detail and the light in the egret image.

    December 14, 2012
    • Thanks — it was a perfect time, with the setting sun. Just right!

      December 14, 2012
  9. How close were you to the gator? I got 100 feet to a crocodile in Africa and our tour guide told me that was getting close!! Lovely pictures though 🙂

    December 14, 2012
    • Heh, close! Thanks so much. I don’t know about crocs… But our alligators, at least outside of breeding and nesting seasons, are NOT aggressive. Despite what people will have you believe. If they’re surprised or threatened, they’ll act like wildlife and defend themselves, yes. But normally, they’re quite docile around humans — as you see here. Very content, sunning himself — obviously having just eaten. 🙂

      December 16, 2012
  10. OH that last gator is totally looking at you saying…Heeeyyyy What you doin?

    December 14, 2012
    • Hahahaha! He’s saying, Whasssup, sassy? Got some chicken? No? Then stop bothering me.

      December 16, 2012
  11. I’m with you! Audubon is a wonderful organization. My daughter told me just last week that one of her best childhood memories was Audubon camp in So.Dartmouth MA. It took place at a saltmarsh and in her words it was, “the best thing you ever did for us, Ma!” (all 3 kids went when we owned our summer house there)
    Lots of fun days were spent Audubon Parks wherever we lived. 🙂

    December 14, 2012
    • That’s so wonderful… I wish I was exposed to something like that (I was raised overseas, so we had our own Nature-exposure — quite immediate-like, hahah!). I hope the funds keep flowing, to allow such programs. We need to continue to instill this love and respect of the Natural Kingdom in children.

      December 16, 2012
  12. Amazing light on the egret! And that gator was smiling for the camera!

    December 15, 2012
    • I was so lucky with the timing of that breeding egret, and all his lovely plumage — perfect setting sun! And I love that gator. Not to be bothered by my presence — and he was a BIG boy! 🙂

      December 16, 2012
  13. marialla #

    Great shot of alligator sunning – looks like you got right up close and personal!! Thank you – always enjoy your blog!!!

    December 15, 2012
    • Thanks so much! I love that big boy…. He was so content, right after a meal and enjoying the sun! 🙂

      December 16, 2012
      • marialla #

        mmmmm -and what did he eat???

        December 18, 2012
      • Whooo-boy!!! A birdie that wasn’t paying attention?!?!?

        December 19, 2012
  14. Thank you for a really nice post! We all need to shout this message from all corners of our world or else it’s doomed for our grandchildren. I love being “out there” as much as possible and it’s easy to take our beautiful planet for granted. It’s definitely very personal when you’re at the edge of a swamp at that magic time when the sky begins to lighten just before the sun rises and you experience Nature starting a New Day.

    December 15, 2012
    • This area is just brilliant at that time of the day, and at dusk… The colors! Without the efforts or organizations like these (and so many others), we would have little hope in the face of the wayward development that Florida confronts and must get a handle on, immediately. All one has to do is visit these totally unique, endangered places, see the beautiful animals, and understand why they must not disappear…

      December 16, 2012
  15. Thank you for a really good post and a message which we should all be shouting from all corners of our world. I know I take it all for granted, but through efforts such as yours perhaps we can learn to pause once in awhile to appreciate Nature’s beauty all around us and become a bit more determined to do our part to save it for our grandchildren.

    –Wally

    December 15, 2012
    • You’re so kind, thanks very much! You do the same with your beautiful blog and images — showing the area’s beauty, its most wondrous inhabitants… Bit by bit, this is how we can help, I believe.

      December 16, 2012
  16. Thank you for highlighting your local Audubon Chapter. While many people believe that Audubon is only concerned with birds, I know that isn’t the case. I too am a huge fan of my local chapter – Audubon of Portland. Here, they lead the conservation community fighting for wildlife and habitat in our metropolitan area and beyond. They’re willing to take a stand where others aren’t, they have an amazing dedicated and hard-working staff, and I know without them the livability of Portland would decline.

    December 15, 2012
    • Thanks so much — there are many resources they provide to assist the local population, I honestly had no idea. And while there are many groups doing their best to work against the wayward surge of development that must be stopped — or at least reined in — in our area, Audubon is very organized. I hope that much can be done in the near future to protect MORE land for these birds and other wildlife.

      December 16, 2012
      • I agree, and will add, that it’s important to save those places for the sake of our well-being too. I know you get that, just had to put it into writing. There are so many reasons to value wildlife and quality habitat, but not so many groups that understand those reasons, including knowing that development isn’t always in our best interest. My local Audubon seems to get that, sounds like yours does too. Thanks again for posting and raising awareness of their work.

        December 16, 2012
      • Oh, MOST definitely. Most absolutely. Without these places, well… To say that we’d be lost as a species, is putting it mildly. There are so many facets to saving the land and the critters.

        December 17, 2012
  17. Audubon is a marvelous organization. One of its great strengths is the local structure that allows different groups to address different needs.

    Until December 31, the National Audubon Society will match every dollar donated on that level, one-to-one. So, if you give $10, it will mean a $20 donation. It’s a wonderful way to help, for only the cost of two lattes. 😉 (Or one, if Starbuck’s keeps raising their prices!)

    December 16, 2012
    • Very NICE! I had no idea… I’m going there now.

      Although, my funds may be a tad short this holiday — recently single, and last night a starving black kitten crossed my path. What’s a girl to do…? Honestly.

      December 17, 2012
  18. I have made a friend of our state’s DEC as I have had questions over the years and a couple of reports to made when wildlife has been killed or something else to do with the environment… important post..Michelle

    December 16, 2012
    • So very wonderful… If more people did the same. But I have hope — I think more are!! Awareness, respect, and general caring must be growing.

      December 17, 2012
  19. Thank you so much for visiting our blog and allowing us, in turn, to discover yours. Such amazing bird and wildlife photography – you can certainly be proud of your work. We will definitely be back for more.

    Marks and Joey

    December 17, 2012
    • You’re so very kind, many thanks! I was so happy to have discovered your beautiful work (via another Florida hiker and photog) — just lovely.

      December 18, 2012
  20. Hi just began reading your blog and love the content and photos! I saw your link on Florida Adventurer and you replied to one of my guest posts. But I love these alligator photos, so beautiful! Many people fear them and rightfully so but I embrace all of Florida’s nature and animal life.

    December 18, 2012
    • Thanks so very much for your kind words!

      I adore gators…. And while they are magnificent creatures, definitely to be respected — they are NOT the monsters many try to make them out to be. They are actually quite mellow. As an avid hiker, of the hundreds (thousands?) I’ve seen, none have been aggressive. One just has to be aware of the nesting and breeding behaviors and seasons, because they ARE wildlife.

      December 19, 2012
  21. these are excellent photos of some favorite local friends of mine; always good when they are spoken of in the positive sense; love your blog FeyGirl

    December 18, 2012
    • Thank you so very much for your kind words! So happy to support those who do so much good — and the critters, of course. 🙂

      December 19, 2012
  22. you made them look cute ☺

    December 18, 2012
    • I really think they’re lovely… I always call them sweethearts when I’m out and about. 🙂

      December 19, 2012
  23. Kudos to people who act as earth stewards. Love your photos too because that’s another way of waking people up to walk more lightly on the earth.

    December 19, 2012
    • So well put… And how BEAUTIFULLY said! I need to keep some of these statements (with attributes of course) — this in particular — because it poetically sums up why I began this wonderful venture in the first place. Copy, paste…somewhere!! 🙂

      December 20, 2012

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