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.
    --- Orange Blossoms ---

    The Orange Blossom from the sweet orange tree, Citrus 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
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Here's another success story! The Eastern Indigo has returned to the longleaf pine forests.

    Indigos are the largest snakes in the United States and may reach 8 1/2 feet long! They are non-venomous and seldom bite humans. You will know them by their gloss, iridescent blue-black color.

    We thank our friends at the Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation for the work they do to breed and release these gorgeous snakes back into their homeland. With the restoration of longleaf pine, Eastern Indigos will be around for many more generations to admire.

    Connect. Respect. Coexist.

    #ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #Indigosnake #snake

    https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/florida/stories-in-florida/paradise-regained/?src=e.gp.local.July2019.Florida&fbclid=IwAR17vsEioEzN989M817W0GRioNPZQNpnKTRaOrp8cibiehjcVigjaEafFHI
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Thank you, Miss Teena, from Camp Doglando for inviting IOF to speak, After the slideshow presentation, we went to the hands-on display where Dan and Nancy answered the student's questions about black bears. Andy introduced the students to Slow Mama and answered even more fabulous questions. The best part is the students were interested in learning how they can advocate for Florida wildlife!
    Thank you all for making this possible. It is because of your generous donations that IOF can reach the generation who will make a difference. 🙂
    #Educate. #Empower #MakeaDifference #ImagineOurFlorida #IOF
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    You Shop - Amazon Donates!

    You can make a difference while you shop Amazon Prime Day deals on July 15 & 16. Simply shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/81-2830459 and AmazonSmile donates to Imagine Our Florida, Inc.

    Thank you for supporting IOF. Because of you, we are able to reach thousands of people each season throughout Florida with new and innovative programs.

    Slow Mama thanks you too!

    #ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #Slowmama #amazonsmile
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Imagine Our Florida, Inc.
    Schaus' Swallowtail

    The Schaus' swallowtail, Heraclides aristodemus ponceanus, is a large black and yellow butterfly endemic to Florida. This butterfly is found only in Florida and is restricted to intact tropical hardwood hammocks.

    The Schaus' swallowtail was listed as a federally threatened species on April 28, 1976. It was reclassified as a federal endangered species on August 31, 1984. Population estimates range from 800 to 1200 individuals. It remains the only federally listed butterfly in Florida.

    Once ranging from the Miami area south through the Florida Keys, the Shaus' swallowtail is currently restricted to only a few remnant tropical hardwood hammock sites on the south Florida mainland, northern Key Largo, and several small islands within Biscayne National Park. Adults fly slowly and leisurely and are very adept at flying through the dense hardwood hammock.

    Adults have a wingspan range of up to 2.3 inches with females being the largest. Males have yellow-tipped antennae. The upper surface of their wings is black with a row of yellow or white spots and a broad yellow or white band. The hindwing tails are outlined in yellow. The undersides of the wings are yellow with brown markings and a broad blue and rust-colored band.

    The Schaus' swallowtail produces one generation each year from April to July with the peak time occurring typically from mid-May to mid-June. Adult emergence and reproduction are correlated with the beginning of the Florida rainy season. However, the pupae may remain in diapause for more than one year if optimal weather conditions are not present. Females lay green eggs singly on new growth. The developing larvae then feed on the young growth.

    Listed as an endangered species, threats to the remaining population include the loss of genetic diversity due to inbreeding, climate-related impacts such as drought, habitat disturbance from fire, tropical storms or hurricanes, mosquito spraying, and loss of habitat. Hurricane Andrew left behind only 73 butterflies in 1992 after sweeping through the butterflies' home range. Because their habitat is limited, it is possible that a single hurricane can make the Schaus' Swallowtail extinct. However, the protected status and their rebounding numbers after Hurricane Andrew bring renewed hope that this gorgeous butterfly will survive and thrive in our beautiful state.

    Photo credit:entnemdept.ufl.edu

    #ImagineOurFlorida #IOF #butterfly #swallowtail