Everglades Poster Celebrating Marjory Stoneman Douglas
The first-ever EVERGLADES DAY is this Sunday, April 7…. Fantastic! Many thanks to all of those who worked so hard to make this a legislative priority, highlighting and escalating issues surrounding the Everglades, as well as renewing the area’s restoration efforts. What a perfect time to visit and explore the ‘glades — and love this beautifully vital, rare, but endangered and always-threatened ecosystem. Check out the link below for events from Miami to Naples to West Palm Beach!
From the Everglades Foundation:
The first official Everglades Day will be celebrated on April 7, 2013. In addition to recognizing what an important resource this ecosystem is, not only to the state of Florida, but to America, the day will also honor Everglades activist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, as it is designated to be held on her birthday.
The Florida Legislature voted in favor of an Everglades Day on March 7, 2012. From a National Parks Conservation Association press release: “The state’s support for an official Everglades Day will ensure that the Everglades ecosystem remains a top priority for elected officials and all Floridians while honoring Douglas’s legacy for protecting the River of Grass. . . Each time we turn dirt on an Everglades restoration project, we are protecting our drinking water supply, creating jobs and fulfilling a promise to protect our national parks, wildlife, and family memories….”
Some of the sights from one of the event locations, Grassy Waters:
Love and respect this place. Please.
Everglades Vista Along the Hog Hammock Trail
In honor of National Wildlife Week, March 18-24, here’s a special and rare event from last week:
A Florida panther was recently released into the Picayune Strand State Forest — a rare event, in a bid to help save the species. The tagged female will hopefully become a safe and successful mommy!
She and her brother were raised from the age of five months at the White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, rescued after their mother was found dead.
Rescued Florida Panther at Flamingo Gardens: Sadly, this guy can’t be returned to the wild, because he underwent a painful de-clawing procedure at the hands of humans
From the article:
Florida panthers were among the first to go on the Endangered Species List back in 1973 when there were as few as 20 remaining individuals. Today they are still in great peril with as few as 100-160 in the wild, but biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) successfully released one female Florida panther into the Picayune Strand State Forest recently with the hope that she will become a successful mom.
So much luck to this girl (and to her soon-to-be-released brother!) – AND so many thanks for the continued rescue and conservation efforts the world over!
Another panther rescue: De-clawing exotic cats is still permitted, unbelievably. It causes extreme pain and lameness, and requires constant pain regulation. Horrific “legal” state minimum enclosure requirements for bears, big cats, and other wild animals (envision a tiny jail cell) are also allowed
From Audubon Florida:
The Sugar Industry has launched an effort to further weaken Everglades cleanup efforts, load more of the expenses on the taxpayers, and have the Legislature attempt to nullify an important part of Florida’s Constitution. Your voice is needed right now to protect the Everglades — send a letter using the form below.
The House State Affairs Committee will act TOMORROW, Thursday, March 7 on a yet-unnumbered bill the Sugar industry has drafted. This bad bill attempts to insulate Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) farmers from having to do anything more to pay for or clean up their own pollution by codifying in law a dubious claim that Best management Practices (BMPs) are effectively reducing phosphorus pollution.
If the bill passes, the Everglades loses and you lose. Take action right now by sending a letter using the form below….
Click the Audubon Florida link here, to access more info and sign your name against “Sugar’s poison pill.” Help protect this already severely threatened, valuable ecosystem — the only one of its kind on the planet!
Great Egret in Grassy Waters — historically a key component of the Everglades watershed
Cypress Swamp of the Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades
A snapshot of cypress trees lining a beautiful marsh along the Owahee Trail of Grassy Waters Preserve.
Now protected by various federal and state agencies, these amazing trees were completely logged out in the 1930s and ’40s in Florida — only a scant few original trees survived the logging operations of this time. Most seen today are 7th- or 8th-generation cypress. But if untouched, they could live to 500 years.
Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don’t want it. What appears bad manners, an ill temper or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone. —Miller Williams
One special hike along the Rookery Trail (within the SWA Trail network of Grassy Waters Preserve) brought an unbelievable number of alligator sightings — I lost track at 30 in the space of 2-3 hours. By far the most of any hike! One of the guys we stumbled upon was this handsome fella.
He’s not hissing, or being hostile — far from it, he was as mellow as could be. As with other cold-blooded reptiles, he was basking in the sun, regulating his body temperature. Occasionally alligators will keep their mouths open, akin to a dog panting…. It’s a cooling mechanism.
Cooling down on a warm day
Out of 20-50 eggs that are laid by the mother alligator, only a few will survive to adulthood — usually less than five. Many predators prey upon the juvenile alligators, include snapping turtles, snakes, raccoons, bobcats, raptors, wading birds, and even larger alligators. This guy (or girl?) is a survivor, having encountered a mishap resulting in a missing foot as a hatchling or young adult — the injury appears long, and well-healed. And he/she was doing just fine, enjoying the beautiful land and wetlands of this magnificent preserved Everglades watershed.
Relaxing in my wonderful Everglades