Disappearing Florida

Disappearing Florida – Sunrise or Sunset?

There’s something special about our island, Tierra Verde, on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Living here is like being on a perpetual vacation in one of Gaia’s most beautiful places. Centuries ago, when native Americans settled this part of the globe, and the seas were much lower (about 120 meters lower – see our blog Abrupt Change […]


Disappearing Florida – Squeeze on the Swamp

Deep in the bald cypress forest of the Corkscrew Swamp in South Florida is Lettuce Lake. Its surface is covered with a mat of soft green floating vegetation known as “water lettuce.” The water lettuce provides shelter for crayfish, small fish, small reptiles, and amphibians and provides food for turtles and a vast variety of […]


Disappearing Florida – The Invaders

One of the early blogs I posted on this site was posted after a Florida Naturalist field trip within the St. Martins’ Preserve. I had heard about “invasive species” of plants and animals, but what I heard went in one ear and out the other. After the November 2009 field trip, I wrote the blog, […]


Disappearing Florida – The Eagle Has Landed!

Not all of the environmental information coming from Florida is discouraging. We do have an ecological success story! Our National Emblem, the Bald Eagle. After almost 40 years of concerted conservation efforts, the Eagle Has Landed! The Bald Eagle is the only eagle that is unique to North America. About half of the Bald Eagles […]


Disappearing Florida – Salt of Our Earth

Florida’s beaches are fascinating. On its East Coast sandy beaches are shaped by the merciless pounding from the Atlantic’s waves. These beaches are “high energy” beaches. In contrast, on the West Coast from about Citrus County north, around the bend to Apalachicola Bay, the coastal wetlands are “low energy“ landforms, without the pounding waves and […]


Disappearing Florida – Birds of a Feather Disappear Together

There’s something special about wading birds, like the Herons and the Egrets (members of the same specie family). Elegant, graceful, poetic in flight. And then there’s their feathers. Ken Burns, in his National Park PBS series and DVD provides telling information about our fashionable ladies’ quest for Egret and Heron feathers for their bonnets around […]


Disappearing Florida – Sea Life, from Turtles to Coral Reefs

Sea Life and Coral[/caption] Florida has the richest concentration of reptiles, sea turtles and other amphibians of any state. Sea turtles can live to be a 100 years old. However, they have a weakness. They lay their eggs – 50-200 at a time – in nests dug among beach dunes, far inland from the waters […]


Disappearing Florida – Coastal Hammocks

Unlike most of the photos we’ve featured in our blog, the picture above has not been included for its beauty. The dead red cedars were once part of a thriving “island hammock” – a tree-filled bit of high ground protruding above the high-tide line on a coastal salt marsh; in this case, on the Withlacoochee […]


Disappearing Florida – the Florida Panther

In April 2010, we published a blog titled “Did the wrong Cat take over the swamp?“ Our story was about the destructive, encroaching pressures put on the Everglades by urban growth, resulting not only in the loss of some of Florida’s most pristine wilderness, but also of the habitat of the Florida Panther. We wrote: […]


Disappearing Florida – the Brown Pelican

Living on a Florida coastal island, as we do, it’s hard to image that the Brown Pelican is an endangered specie. These awkward looking waterbirds, with wing spans up to seven feet, yellow heads, brown bodies, and suitcase-like beaks were nearly wiped out in the early 1900s by Gulf fishermen who slaughtered them, claiming they […]