Everglades Biodiversity Program - Locating Nature One Photo at a Time

Black-Crowned Night Heron
Photo Courtesy of Barbara Livieri

Here's all the info for those of you interested in participating in the Everglades Biodiversity project that Robert Chaplin has been discussing for the past few months. Please download, fill out, and email to Robert. 

VIP Form  Volunteer Form   Timesheet.

The first form is the VIP Form, that form lets everyone know who you are. Be sure to read and sign at the bottom.

The second form is the Volunteer Agreement form, fill out and return.

And the third form is the timesheet. This you fill out as you go, to log in all of the hours you devote to the project.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email Robert Chaplin.

"Tropical" Gallery Show at the Capri March through June, 2018


Art Exhibition March through June Theme is Tropical

Greetings, this is Monica Martin from the Homestead Center for the Arts (HCA). Please see below for information about the upcoming art show at the Capri Restaurant.

Jimmy Accursio, owner of the Capri Restaurant, has a long standing, deep appreciation for the arts. His mother, Marlon Accursio, was a fine artist in her own right. We are very grateful to Mr. Accursio for being a patron of the arts and for supporting our cause here at the HCA.

Event Promotion: The gallery area in the restaurant plays host to an array of events and meetings throughout the year, thus exposing our artwork to a multitude of individuals. Mr. Accursio has agreed to help promote this exhibition to the public, both inside and outside the establishment, using print and web media in the weeks leading up to the event.

The theme for the March show is Tropical
(Looking ahead, the June, 2018 theme will be Artist choice).

Membership: Participant must be a Homestead Center for the Arts (HCA) member. Non-members may join via our website: www.homesteadcenterforthearts.com. There is a $20 annual membership fee. Please visit our website and see the benefits of being a member of HCA.

Artwork Medium: Acceptable artwork shall be:  original, 2 dimensional, and include drawings, paintings, photography, and digital art. Three dimensional art is prohibited due to spatial restrictions. Artwork must be properly framed or gallery wrapped and wired for hanging. Designated allowable sizes include the frame (minimum 10 x 20, maximum 40 x 40 with weight restrictions). Arrangement and hanging of artwork is the right and responsibility of the HCA show committee. The Capri will provide the necessary wall hooks.

PLEASE NOTE: The Capri is a family establishment. The management reserves the right to refuse acceptance of artwork due to subject matter.

Dates to Remember - Timeline
·Sun. February 17th, deadline to confirm you are entering the show (submit form via email).
·Sun. March 4th, 4pm - 6pm - Drop off art work at the Capri. (And pick up art pieces from the December show, if applicable.)
·Fri. March 16th, 6pm - 9pm - Meet the Artists Reception. Artists, guests, and the public are invited to attend the show.
·March 16th through early June - the Tropical exhibit will be on display at the Capri during regular restaurant hours.

Sold artwork is to be replaced with a new piece at the same time that the sold one is removed. Please email me the following information by Sunday, February 17th to confirm you are entering the show.

Here is a link to the form that you need to submit to the HCA via email by Feb. 17th

Contact Monica Martin hcamonijean@gmail.com, if you have any questions.


New and Improved Facebook Challenge!

"This month’s theme is Sunrise/Sunset!"
Final date to submit photos is January 31st at midnight.
Be sure to email them to info@sfnpcc.org.

All SFNPCC members are welcome and encouraged to compete in this fun Facebook contest.

A PDF list of themes is posted here for download. Photos for each theme are due at the end of that month. So for January, Sunrise/Sunset is the theme. You have until the end of the month to submit your (up to) 2 images. On the first of the next month, I'll post them to the Facebook page and ask for votes. The photos will be up for that entire month for voting.

The KICKER, all photos must have been taken in 2018! Yes, no looking back to old archives to submit something. If you don't have what we're looking for, you have to go and shoot it! That's why we have sunrise/sunset as the first one. Those are easy to get. We get 2 a day, every day. (Future month's are allowed to go as far back as Jan. 1st.)

At the next meeting, we’ll announce winner and we’ll start all over again. After the meeting, I’ll post the winner and all of the pictures on our website, and as the cover photo on our FB Page and Group.


1)   Photo(s) must have been taken by you, and with a camera, not a cell phone. We are a camera club after all. And all photos must be taken in 2018. I will check the EXIF info.

2)   Must fit that month's theme.

3)   Must be exported as a JPG and formatted to fit Facebook. 

4)   Must be emailed to info@sfnpcc.org by midnight of the last day of the month. Any photos received after midnight do not qualify.

5)   All images will be uploaded to a Facebook Photo Album on our South Florida National Parks Camera Club public Facebook Page the first of the next month. This is our general public page and we hope many will participate and ‘vote’ for their favorite images.

6) All entrants in the challenge MUST share the album on their own Facebook page at least once during the month, and encourage their friends to vote as well. (Please don’t announce which photos are your own to garner additional votes. We will be on the honor system and hope you all will follow it.)

7) Photo submittal for the Contest is open to SFNPCC members ONLY.

DOs and DON’Ts

· DON’T include a watermark or any personalization to your image. This is supposed to be an anonymous contest.

· DO share the “album” with your friends to view and vote for their favorite(s).

· DON’T submit an image if you don’t want it passed around in social media. FYI - whether or not it has a watermark on it, if people want an image, they can copy or do a screen shot (and crop out watermarks) and use it as their own. There’s not much we as a club or Facebook can do. So if you have an image you want to protect, best bet is to not share it on Social Media.


Landscape Gallery Show at the Capri Restaurant Dec. 2017 - early March 2018

Hello members,

Here's an opportunity to put your artwork on display. The Homestead Center for the Arts (HCA), and the Capri Restaurant, are pairing for the Exhibition: "Landscapes". Below is a message from the HCA.

Greetings, this is Monica from Homestead Center for the Arts. Below is information about the upcoming art show in December, at the Capri Restaurant, 935 Krome Avenue, Florida City, FL.

The Capri Restaurant owner, Jimmy Accursio, has a deep appreciation for the arts. His mother Marlon Accursio, was a fine artist. We are very grateful to Mr. Accursio for being a patron of the arts and for supporting our cause here at the Homestead Center for the Arts. The restaurant gallery plays host to an array of events and meetings throughout the year, thus exposing our artwork to a multitude of individuals.

Event Promotion Mr. Accursio has agreed to help promote this exhibition to the public both inside and outside the establishment using print and web media in the weeks leading up to the event.

This is not specifically just for SFNPCC members. This is open to all members of the HCA. To submit your artwork for showing, you must be a member of the HCA, or join to do so. You can check out their website and join the HCA by clicking here. 

This is a great opportunity as this "landscape" show will run from December up to the beginning of March.
Just to give you all a timeline:

11/19/17 deadline to turn in 'notice to submit' Copy of the FORM here.
12/3/17 (3-6pm) 'ready to hang' artwork dropped off at Capri
12/6/17 (6-9pm) "meet the artists" reception

We urge you all to join the HCA and participate in this great opportunity. If you are interested, please email us at info@sfnpcc.org with any questions. 

Barbara Livieri,
SFNPCC Secretary

Summer (or any season for that matter) in the Everglades - How To Survive

Hi everyone. This is not really a news story, but rather a public service announcement, or maybe just some helpful hints from a fellow photographer on shooting out in the Everglades. After Saturday's field trip to Mahogany Hammock to view the Perseid Meteor Shower, it surprised me how many people didn't realize just how brutal the mosquitoes can be out in the Everglades. I can't make it any more clear than this: It's mid-summer, in the hottest, most humid state, in the largest swamp in the world, there will be LOTS of mosquitoes, among other critters. When we warn people to bring all the mosquito protection you've got, we really mean it! The mosquitoes will swarm your head, your camera, around anything warm, and then they go for their dinner - your blood! Be sure you're protected next time.

Now, I'm not an Everglades expert like Robert, far from it, but I have spent my fair share of time out in the 'Glades, and I'll tell you what I like to bring with me for protection. You can pick and choose what works for you. If you have something you'd like to add to my list, let me know! I'll certainly add it. Now for the disclaimer...



1) Bug spray - a MUST have. Off, Cutter, which ever brand you like, I like one that has at least 20-25% Deet. You may choose one to fit your needs; with or without Deet. But bring a lot, a full can. Spray and reapply often. Even spray your clothes. They bite through clothes, even jeans!, trust me on that.
(As far as clothing, light colored clothes seem to be less attractive to the bugs. I've also found that a tighter weave makes it harder for them to bite through. Long sleeves and long pants, basically to have less exposure. I used to wear long sleeve t-shirts, but have since bought moisture-wicking cooling fishing style shirts in long sleeves and light colors. The jury is still out but I see these style shirts on many of us.)

2) Thermacell - another MUST if you want to survive mosquitoes any time in the Glades. It works wonders against mosquitoes and biting flies! Seriously, it does. Only time it won't be as effective is if it's windy or if you're moving around a lot. Stay in one spot and it works great. Get a group where everyone has one, it'll be even better! The Thermacell works by heating up a pad which emits a 'scent' that masks our own human scent to mosquitoes and other biting flies. Package says a 15' x 15' area. They are sold in many places, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, and even online at Amazon. Here's a link to the Thermacell on Amazon. For $25, you can't beat the protection. Find one, make sure you have replacement pads and fuel cells and don't leave home without it!

3) Bug Suits (jackets, pants, gloves, head wear). I own the Classic Double Guard Bug Tamer Plus Parka and gloves, and an "Outdoor Research" brand hat with head net. I have only worn the jacket once (it's quite warm, and I just bought it) but it worked wonders! I would for-sure wear it if I was say... walking through the Everglades, or in a cypress dome; or any time I'd be moving around a lot. This physically keeps the bugs off of your skin with a double layer of breathable nylon mesh. If you'd rather not use bug spray because of the chemicals, or would rather wear something more natural but not as effective as Deet sprays, get the jacket or even the entire outfit. Robert Chaplin sells them. Check out his website for them or do a google search for them online. This isn't a plug for Robert's items, I'm just telling you where you can find it. He may even have them in stock. I personally bought mine from the distributor as I didn't think Robert had my size. I bought mine from Shannon Outdoors Inc. I highly recommend having one along. It may be hot, but I'd rather be a little warm than be bitten by mosquitoes. I keep it in my vehicle, just in case the spray and Thermacells don't work.

4) Snake-proof Boots - Yes, snakes. The Everglades... heck, all of Florida is full of snakes. Four in particular that are lethal, venomous, and live in South Florida. The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake, Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin, and Eastern Coral Snake. Read more about them here. I did an extensive search online for snake boots last year. My biggest fear in the 'Glades is snakes. (I've done extensive research on those as well.) In particular, snake bites. Most bites tend to be on the fingers/hand/arms (due to people trying to pick them up or touch them) or feet/lower leg (by accidentally stepping on them). NEVER try to pick one up, not even if it's dead. Just stay away from them. If you see one, move away. The reason to wear snake proof boots, just in case we accidentally step on one. As we approach an unsuspecting snake, most will try to flee, unless we come upon them by surprise or corner them, and accidentally step on them. This is where the snake proof boots are a lifesaver, literally. Even if I NEVER see a snake in the wild, the price of these boots are worth it for nothing else than some peace of mind. The boots I bought are "Irish Setter Men's 2875 Vaprtrek Waterproof 17" Hunting Boot" sold at right around $200. These are not, by all means, the best nor the most expensive, not the least expensive, but what I have chosen for myself. I urge you all to do your own research and choose for yourself what is suitable.

5) Last one... A cooling towel. For times when its REALLY HOT, and you're out in the elements during the day (or even night), they REALLY come in handy. Heck, a hand towel from your kitchen or bathroom will do in a pinch. Anything that you can pour water on will cool you off.

**Update 6/28/18** ONE MORE


6) As I received my Amazon package today, I thought of another one. Camera rain gear or "rain sleeve". My first year with the club I got caught in a little rain and grabbed a Publix bag to cover the camera. After that day I went online and bought one of these. Mine is by Op/Tech USA brand (a package of 2 for about $10), but there are others even more expensive and more durable if you like. For me, these are perfect. I used one when we were in Jupiter and the camera got sprayed by a rogue wave. Camera was nice and dry. When done, just run under water and hang to dry. Fold back up and stick it in your camera bag. Takes up no room at all and can really make a difference if you're caught in the rain.


This list of items will NOT protect you from everything lurking around in the Everglades. Snake boots cannot fully protect you from a snake bite, but its better than bare skin. Bug jackets won't insure a bite free experience, but it will keep most from doing so.

For those of you who need to be told not to suck the big metal straw that sticks out from underneath your car, snakes can bite in other locations not covered by your boots. Its just highly unlikely. Always be aware and always be vigilant. Your bug suits will not protect you from snakes. Just thought I'd mention it.

Bring along with you what will make you most comfortable. If you have a weak bladder, bring a portable potty (yes, they make them) or a 5 gallon pail with a liner. Get hungry? Bring snacks. Be sure your electronics are fully charged. Phones will drain fast trying to find a signal where there is none. Be prepared for that. I keep a bag of "stuff" in the car at all times. Some zip lock baggies, baby wipes, paper towels, mitten warmers, spare cans of bug spray, spare plastic grocery bags, spare "anything you need in case you run out". But always, always, bring plenty of water, more than you think you'll need. Keep some in a cooler with ice to drink. Bring a few gallons to wash with if needed, to pour on your cooling towel. Whatever may arise. You just never know.

In closing, I hope this little list has opened your eyes to some of the things available that you may not have even known to think of. Some of these things aren't cheap. Photography isn't cheap. Just do your research, be respectful, and always be prepared. The Everglades isn't the Wonderful World of Disney, more like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (for you younger people, National Geographic). But if you're prepared, it can be a very enjoyable experience. Especially when with the SFNPCC.

Enjoy the Everglades!!

Barbara Livieri


Facebook Contest & Critique - July 2017 "Stars"

“This month’s theme is “Stars”.

Be creative, be spontaneous, stars can be the stars in the sky, can be stars on your child's homework, can be stars on a soldier's uniform, can be stars in the movies, can be stars anywhere. I want creative work. Let's have fun!!

Email your star photos to info@sfnpcc.org by Thursday, July 13th at midnight.

By July 14th, I’ll post an “album” on our public Facebook Page. I’ll ask people to vote for their favorites by “liking” their favorite images. Also, we’ll ask for constructive criticism in the comments. I'd like to emphasize the critique portion. Let us know what you like or don't like about everyone's images!

Contest ends midnight of August 1st, the Tuesday before the next meeting.

Then at the August meeting, we’ll announce winner and announce a new theme. 


1)   Photo(s) (limit 2 per person) must have been taken by you, and with a camera, not a cell phone. We are a camera club after all.

2)   Must fit the theme stated at that month’s meeting. (Doesn’t have to be taken that month. They can be older photos.)

3)   Must be sent as a JPG.

4)   Must be emailed to info@sfnpcc.org by midnight of the Thursday after the meeting. Any photos received after midnight do not qualify.

5)   All images will be uploaded to a Facebook Photo Album on our South Florida National Parks Camera Club public Facebook Page. This is our general public page and we hope many will participate and ‘vote’ for their favorite images. Encourage your friends and contacts to join the fun by “sharing the whole album”, not just YOUR images.

6) Don’t announce which photos are your own to garner additional votes. We will be on the honor system and hope you all will follow it. This is an anonymous competition after all.

7)   Photo submission for the Contest is open to SFNPCC members ONLY.

DOs and DON’Ts

· DON’T include a watermark or any personalization to your image. This is supposed to be an anonymous contest.

· DO share the “album” with your friends to view and vote for their favorite.

· DON’T submit an image if you don’t want it passed around in social media. 

· DO include your EXIF data (focal length, f-stop, ISO, shutter speed etc.) if you wish for critiquing purposes. Its not required, but will be helpful.

· DON’T get defensive if someone gives a critique that you don’t agree with. For one, it gives away the ownership of the image, prematurely. If something you did was deliberately against the established “rules” of photography for your reasons, take the criticism with a grain of salt. Start developing a thicker skin. Best thing to do is accept it and try to learn from it.


Extraordinary Photos by Charlie Causey on Display Through March

Everglades National Parks News Release

Release Date:   March 17, 2017

Homestead, Fla. -- Everglades National Park welcomes all to enjoy the beauty of the Everglades as captured by renowned local artist Charlie Causey in an exhibit of his photography at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center Gallery throughout the month of March.

A Florida Keys resident since 1980, this artist's photographic adventures with large wading birds -- a centerpiece of this exhibit -- began 7 years ago.  Many of the photos featured were taken in four specific locales in Everglades National Park:  Lake Ingraham, Snake Bight, Eco Pond and the Anhinga Trail.

“The best chance for an up close photo of a large water bird like the egret, heron, or anhinga," said Causey, "is at Anhinga Trail."  He also shares his technique for capturing a bird in flight in the park's Flamingo District and Florida Bay, "This usually requires being ready, with a fast camera, telephoto lens, and a bit of luck for a quick series of shots as the birds go whizzing by."  He adds, "Even when I see them coming, to get a keeper is the exception rather than the rule. About a third of the exhibit’s photos were taken with the camera attached to a tripod to ensure no blur in the photo and as much detail as possible."  The artist hopes that those visiting the exhibit will also be inspired to visit or revisit the nearby Anhinga Trail, just a short distance from the Visitor Center, and other featured sites as time permits.  

Out of his passion for the beauty and bounty of this region, Causey founded the Florida Keys Environmental Fund in 1988, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect area marine and terrestrial ecosystems. He still currently serves on the board of directors for a number of local, state, and national environmental organizations.  

WHAT: Photography Exhibit by Charlie Causey.   

WHEN: March 2017

WHERE:  Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center Gallery

PHOTO:  Charlie Causey at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center.  Photograph by Charlie Causey

The Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center is located at 40001 State Road 9336, approximately 10 miles southwest of Homestead. It features award-winning natural history displays, an 18-minute film about Everglades National Park, and related book sales. Center hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission to the visitor center is free.  For information and directions to the park please visit the park website at http://www.nps.gov/ever or call (305) 242-7700 during regular business hours, weekdays 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m..


 About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov or follow us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.