Imagine Our Florida, Inc. 

 

Is on a Mission to Educate and Empower the people of Florida

to become a voice for our wildlife, advocate for environmental stewardship,

and coexist within our unique ecosystems.

Our purpose is to bring people together in a shared vision to preserve and protect Florida’s wildlife, habitat, and ecosystems. We plan to accomplish this via science-based education and the development of appreciation and respect for the natural world and our place within it.

Using our custom designed lesson plans,  IOF volunteers encourage critical thinking through exploration and discovery.  We make it a fun, hands-on experience while showing people of all ages how to put away their phones and connect with Florida’s wildlife and wild spaces. When folks understand the sentient beings with whom we share our state, they learn to respect rather than fear them. They begin to realize the importance of the land and water we share. Therefore, IOF offers opportunities for beach cleanups and teaches the importance of recycling. For those who want to advocate on behalf of  Florida’s wildlife or natural resources, IOF is prepared to instruct folks of all ages on how to be most effective.  In addition, IOF will soon launch groundbreaking research which will provide a better understanding of human-caused stress in Florida Black Bears and will potentially lead to the proposal of more responsible wildlife management practices.  There are over 21 million Floridians and 113 million annual visitors, all of whom can become voices for our voiceless wildlife. When each of us does our part, no matter how big or small, we can all begin to Imagine Our Florida where we peacefully coexist with our native wild friends.
Connect. Respect. Coexist.

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    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.

    Our purpose is to bring people together in a shared vision to preserve and protect Florida's wildlife, habitat and ecosystem. We plan to accomplish this via science- based education and the development of appreciation and respect for the natural world and our place within it.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    The moon lays down a path for hatchling sea turtles to find the ocean.

    Photo credit. Andy Waldo
    #ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #seaturtles #moon
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    --- Short-tailed Kingsnake ---

    Short-tailed kingsnakes, (lampropeltis extenuata), are as thin as a pencil and grow to an average length of 14 to 20 inches long. Their scales are smooth and gray in with a spotted pattern. They have dark spots down the middle of their backs as well as on their sides. The lighter color between the spots has an orange center.

    The Short-Tailed Kingsnake has a small oval-shaped head and round eyes. As the name implies, their tails are shorter than the tails of other snakes. This snake is nonvenomous and is not a threat to people. The Kingsnake consumes other snakes and lizards. They spend their lives below ground and are rarely seen. This snake is so rare that it is assumed eggs are laid below ground where it burrows. Reproduction has not been studied therefore, nothing is known about the number of eggs in Short-tailed kingsnake's clutch. They can be found in habitats of north-central Florida such as pine or coastal live oak hammocks and sand pine scrub.

    The Short-tailed Kingsnake is endemic to Florida. This snake is listed as threatened and protected by Florida state law. Their range is limited and conversion of habitat to citrus, mining, and development pose ongoing threats.

    Photo credit: Andy Waldo

    #ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #shortailedkingsnake #snake
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.Imagine Our Florida, Inc. shared a post.
    These are amazing. Have you ever seen one?Thank you Cuplet Fern Chapter!
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Florida Leafwing

    The Florida Leafwing (Anaea troglodyta floridalis), is native to Florida. It can be found in the pine rocklands of Florida. The Leafwing was once found throughout Miami -Dade, and Monroe counties. This imperiled butterfly is now found in only one place on Earth, the Everglades National Park. The causes of its decline are the destruction of pine rockland habitat, the introduction of exotic plants and insect species, fire suppression, the use of insecticides for mosquito control, and collecting.

    When in flight the Florida leafwing's upper side of its wings is red or bright orange. At rest, the lower side of the wings are visible and are brown or gray which makes the butterfly look like a dead leaf. The front wing is slightly hooked and the back wing has a pointed tail. Its dead leaf coloration is effective camouflage in its rockland habitat. A leafwing's wingspan is between 3 to 31/2 inches wide.

    Eggs are laid on the leaves of the host plant so caterpillars can eat the leaves. Young caterpillars will make a resting perch from a leaf vein. The older caterpillars live in a rolled-up leaf.

    Florida leafwing caterpillars feed only on pineland croton (Croton linearis), which is its larval host plant. This shrub grows in the understory of pine rockland habitat. Leafwings are dependent on the health of its host plant. The croton and other plants in the pine rockland are dependent on fire to maintain an open rockland where it reduces the competition and infestation of non-native species.

    The Florida Leafwing is federally endangered. Scientists at the Everglades National Park are working with conservation groups, to ensure that the endemic, Florida leafwing does not disappear into extinction.

    Photo credit: USFW

    #ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #FloridaLeafwing #Everglades
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    --- Orange Blossoms ---

    The Orange Blossom from the sweet orange tree, Citrus x sinensis, was made Florida's state flower in 1909. The sweet orange tree that bears this flower was introduced to Florida by the Spaniards in the 15th century. The orange tree is not endemic to Florida but has been naturalized.

    Orange Blossom flowers have waxy petals that are small and white. Each flower has 5 petals with 20 to 25 stamens in a compact spiral. In the spring flowers grow in clusters of 6 flowers per cluster. Each flower is a point of where an orange will grow in the spring. Orange Blossoms have a strong citrus scent and are an incredibly fragrant flower. The scent of the blossoms has been described as creamy, sweet and rich, with a hint of a tart, citrus essence.

    A full sunlight location and soil with a mixture of sand, clay, and organic matter is needed to produce these vibrant flowers. The orange tree begins to bloom at 2 to 5 years and blossoms can appear while there are oranges on the tree. The Orange Blossom is the only state flower used to make perfumes, colognes, toiletries herbal teas, and the ever-popular Orange Blossom Honey.

    Did you know?
    Throughout history, the Orange Blossom has come to symbolize good fortune and brides often include the fragrant blossoms in their bridal bouquets.

    Photo credit: Aymee Laurain

    #ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #stateflower #orangeblossom
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    --- Tuesday Trivia ---
    1. Name this flower.
    2. Tell us a fun fact about this blossom.
    Please, post your answers in the comments.

    Answer revealed at 6PM
    Be the first to know. Like us at https://www.facebook.com/imagineourflorida/

    Photo credit: Aymee Laurain

    #ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #stateflower #pollinators