About the EvergladesForever Project
“Congratulations Malee Earle – selected from thousands” Award Winner by the Museum of Discovery and Science. The Museum’s Everglades Forever Celebration photo contest winners have been selected by nature photographer Clyde Butcher. Everglades Forever is a project to introduce visitors to the greater Everglades from Everglades National Park to Big Cypress Preserve to the headwaters in the Kissimmee Basin in new, meaningful ways that will increase their engagement with this unique eco-system and encourage appreciation and conservation. The Everglades Forever Celebration is made possible by the American Express Charitable Fund. This photo was taken at the Fakahatchee Preserve. Winding through the Florida Everglades is a narrow thread of forested swamp approximately 20 miles long and 3 to 5 miles wide called the Fakahatchee Strand. It is the main drainage slough of the southwestern Big Cypress Swamp. This vast wilderness is a mosaic of royal palm stands, cypress domes, and grassy prairies dotted with wild bromeliads, native ferns, and orchids. The park’s wildlife includes a number of threatened and endangered species. The Florida panther, wood stork, Florida black bear, mangrove fox squirrel, and Everglades mink have all been seen within the preserve.
A Line about Malee
carved by the African Savannah
raised in the quiet coastal plains of South America
embraced by Middle Eastern traditions
and influenced by European culture. “These are the things that bend me to their will.”
Traveling to some of the most remote corners in the cradle of modern religion, Malee finds shelter in small villages and tiny tented camps of the Middle East– “My saviors of the ancient world”.
Driven by a desire to explore the wilderness, Malee moves back to Africa, where the Savannah and its indigenous people “awakened the dormant talent within me”. Here she begins to practice her art and photography in a new medium capturing the raw beauty of African nature.
Malee now lives in the Fort Lauderdale area where she was introduced to the river of grass. “The Everglades”
Origins of the Everglades
The Everglades Region encompasses a huge area, from Lake Okeechobee South to the Bay of Florida, and spreading East to the Atlantic coastal fringe, and West to the edge of the Big Cypress swamp.
Prior to the mid twentieth century, water from a chain of lakes (just South of present Orlando) made its way into what is now called Lake Okeechobee. All this water was supplied by rain as there is no snow melt or underground sources. From there it seeped through the natural walls of the Lake, East until it met the coastal rocklands of Palm Beach, and West until it met the slightly elevated ground of the Big Cypress, and South in a widening arc until it widened out to both coasts South of Miami and exited at the Bay of Florida.