Category Archives: Florida Wildlife

Seen in the Slough

As soon as I  saw this baby raccoon I knew it would be a special day.

I took this picture at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve a few months ago, but this week it was awarded second place in the Friends of the Slough photo contest. Click read more for the story of how this little guy ended up strolling around the boardwalk.

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The Best of PhotosfromFlorida: Year 1

It was February 28 of last year when I registered the domain photosfromflorida.net. I still haven’t figured out exactly what this blog is yet, and I know that I don’t write nearly enough during the school year, but I’m excited to move forward.

Here’s some of my favorite pictures from the past year with a few behind-the-scenes stories.

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Think Pink: Florida Flamingo

An unexpected visitor drew big crowds to San Carlos Bay Preserve/Bunche Beach this week. Birders from around Florida flocked to Fort Myers to catch a glimpse of an American Flamingo in the wild.

(Click “continue reading” for more photos)

Flsmingo 1
An American Flamingo wades in choppy water off Bunche Beach with the Sanibel Island bridge in the background.

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Four Reasons to Love Southwest Florida in the Fall

Southwest Florida is the definition of tropical. It’s the ultimate vacation spot and the spot every couple looks for in a honeymoon. Summer is drenched-in-sweat hot, but for the other nine months of the year it is a paradise. Here’s what we’re looking forward to as fall comes, temperatures moderate, and snowbirds return to Southwest Florida.


A storm rolls in over the lighthouse on Sanibel.
A storm rolls in over the lighthouse on Sanibel.

1. Long Walks on the beach – Fall and winter are the perfect times to hit the beach in Southwest Florida. While spring and summer feature the bathwater-warm water that some may seek, cooler temperatures in the winter give you a chance to explore. Many beaches in the area – Barefoot Beach Preserve, Bowditch Point, and Lover’s Key come to mind – have nature trails. Some places offer kayak or stand-up paddle board rentals as well.


Courtesy Lee County
Courtesy Lee County

2. Farmer’s Markets  – Farmer’s markets disappear when the weather heats up. The largest in the area is Friday mornings at Lakes Park in Fort Myers. The newest will be Saturday mornings at Florida Southwestern University (Formerly Edison College). Many of the markets include crafts and art as well as fresh fruits and veggies.


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3. Migratory Birds Return – Winter in Florida attracts all types of snowbirds – the literal kind. Shallow wetlands come alive and teem with aquatic life, which brings in all kinds of herons, egrets, and other birds. Winter is a great time to catch a glimpse of many birds, like the white pelican at the J.N. Ding Darling preserve on Sanibel, you don’t get a chance to see during the rest of the year.


Courtesy Mann Center
Courtesy Mann Center

4. Shows at the Mann –  Traveling broadway shows make their homes at the Barbara B. Mann Center in Fort Myers throughout the fall and winter. The 2015-16 series kicks off with the “Sound of Music” in January and features “Kinky Boots” and “Matilda” as well as several other show. Find the complete schedule on the Mann’s website..

Florida, Know Your Birds: Snowy Egret

The snowy egret is ubiquitous to Southwest Florida, but this wasn’t always the case. Like many other egrets and herons, the snowy egret saw its numbers plummet in the late 1800s. Concerted efforts by conservationists helped bring back the small egret and its range is now expanding along the Eastern seaboard and the South.

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Go Take a Walk (It’s Good For You!)

I suppose that if you live in or love to visit Florida you know that there’s nothing as refreshing and reinvigorating as a nature walk. The sights, sounds, and smells wake up something in us that is deeply human.

Now, according to the Washington Post, there is scientific evidence these walks make you feel better. Essentially, walking in nature limits inward, negative thinking called “rumination” that can increase the risk of depression. Researchers backed up their claims with brain scans. The big takeaway from the research is to get outside.

Spending time outdoors, in nature, is good for you. The new study just adds — in a new way — to a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that.

– Chris Mooney, Washington Post

With that in mind, here’s a few nature walks to take in Southwest Florida.

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Florida, Know Your Birds: Black Skimmer

The black skimmer is one of the most recognizable Florida birds. With dark black wings and a bright orange beak its look is almost as unique as its foraging style.

Black skimmers aer nesting in Florida.
Black skimmers are nesting in Florida.

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Best of the Six Mile Cypress Slough

The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve in Fort Myers remains closed for renovations, but when it reopens it will remain one of the best places to find wildlife in Southwest Florida. What can you find there? Read on to find out.

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