Mangroves – Liquid Forests

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Have you visited any unusual forests lately?  The Mangrove Forests of Florida’s Indian River Lagoon are impressive for many reasons and especially for their environmental significance.  Mangroves thrive in the shallow waters of this waterway.  These salt-tolerant plants with very unusual roots provide unique habitat for many creatures above and below the water line.  Birds, butterflies and insects flourish in the canopy – while fish, snakes, crabs and other wildlife occupy the lower branches, ground and water. 

Mangroves provide some of the most important nursery areas for young fish to safely develop into larger fish that can venture from this sanctuary.  Just imagine being a fish and having this wonderland to swim in – it is the perfect place to be with other fish, hunt for food or take refuge if a bigger fish has lunch on its mind.  

The high tides and low tides reveal a very different perspective of life in the mangrove forests – from roots submerged in liquid, to roots embedded in sand flats.  Check the tides to plan your visit.  Kayaking is a relaxing and enjoyable way to experience the mangrove forests  but many areas are easily accessible by foot….so enjoy.

Note: The new 2014 Indian River Lagoon Calendar is out, free and available at many of the public libraries in Brevard and Martin County.  This educational calendar is filled with vibrant photos of life with our lagoon. 

Native Wildflowers – Gotta Have Em’

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This pollen-covered bee was joined by a variety of bees, butterflies and damselflies that were diving into Florida wildflowers on this day in late December.  They looked like children in a playground enjoying a sunny day as they buzzed from flower to flower drinking nectar and collecting pollen.  The most visited plants were the Shepherd’s Needle wildflowers that look like daisies with white petals.  It is interesting to note that many people consider this plant to be a weed but this native flower is a favorite in the world of insects that are beneficial to our community.                               

There are many native wildflowers to choose from if you would like to attract pollinators that will help to keep your garden healthy and beautiful. To learn more, visit the Florida Native Plant Society at www.fnps.org

Viva Florida 500 Exhibit

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Join us as we celebrate the life and history of our beautiful sunshine state, Florida – land of flowers!  More than 200 artist creations are included in this exquisite exhibit.    The Arts Council of Martin County and the Elliott Museum on Hutchinson Island in Stuart, Florida are the hosts for this mind-expanding event from September 20 – October 26, 2013.

You can experience some of my original photography at the Elliott Museum during this exhibit.  Does it get any better than this?  The crystal blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, a tropical island and fine art in one gorgeous location.  Yes…this is paradise!  For more information, please visit http://elliottmuseumfl.org/.

 

Eastern Screech Owl Baby

 

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You are invited to experience some of my nature photography that is currently on exhibit at Sugar Sand Park in Boca Raton, FL. This exhibit runs through September 30, 2013. Enjoy the unique artwork of more than twenty artists and photographers.  A great way to get inspired!