Editors note: complete opening day schedule follows

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Journey into the Everglades with the Florida Museum of Natural History’s newest “double feature” exhibit – “ForEverglades: Photos by Clyde Butcher & Jeff Ripple” and “Alien Attack: Target Everglades” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with special opening day activities.

Renowned photographer Clyde Butcher will share his experiences capturing the subtle beauty of the Everglades during a special presentation from 1 to 2 p.m.

Produced by the Florida Museum, the exhibit allows visitors to discover the majesty of one of Florida’s most unique natural features and learn about the dangers invasive species bring to the Everglades.

“ForEverglades: Photos by Clyde Butcher and Jeff Ripple” showcases these accomplished photographers’ work to convey the hidden beauty of the Florida Everglades. Both Butcher and Ripple approached this project as artists, rather than scientists, venturing deep into the swamp in search of perfect locations and light. The photos, accompanied by the photographers’ thoughts, are a celebration of this mysterious land.

“These two distinguished photographers are passionate about Everglades conservation and have devoted much of their careers to documenting the ‘Glades in hopes of inspiring us all to support this natural gem,” said Florida Museum exhibits director Darcie MacMahon. “In addition to their stunning photos, we’ll also showcase some original film footage of Butcher and Ripple at work during their search for the elusive ghost orchid.”

After seeing the beauty of the Everglades, visitors can explore the scientific side of this natural wonder and learn about the critical issues it faces from invasive species.

“Alien Attack: Target Everglades” offers a top 10 countdown of the most dangerous plants and animals and their threat to the area’s fragile ecosystems. “Alien Attack” includes several live examples of these dangerous species and makes recommendations on what can be done to help prevent such problems in our own backyards.

“We’re looking forward to having live plants and animals in the exhibit gallery, and there are definitely some surprises in the list – things that on first glance you would never guess could pose a serious problem,” MacMahon said.

The Florida Museum will host opening programs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 7, including crafts and activities focused on plants and animals who call the Everglades home.

The exhibit and opening day activities are free. For more information, call (352) 273-2064 or see www.flmnh.ufl.edu/everglades.

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A Foe Among Friends: the Cuban tree frog (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Explore the differences among some native Florida tree frogs and the invasive Cuban tree frog. Listen to each frog call and guess who’s who. Take home a Florida frogs coloring guide.

River of Grass – more than just a marsh! (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Learn about the Florida Everglades’ many habitats and what makes them special. Then, help some south Florida plants and animals find their perfect home.

Panther Paws – tracking Florida’s greatest cat (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
Learn the track of this illusive and fascinating cat by making prints on paper. Compare it to tracks of other mammals found in the Everglades.

ForEverglades: An inside look (1 – 2 p.m.)
Join renowned photographer Clyde Butcher as he shares his experiences capturing the subtle beauty of the Everglades.

Side by Side: native and invasive species of the Everglades (12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.)
Welcome Jason Debottis as he introduces some exciting Everglades animals to the public during this live animal presentation. View examples of native and non-native species. Learn what makes an animal ‘invasive’ and how it becomes a problem.

The following organizations are scheduled to participate with activities and more information about the Everglades:

  • The Wildlife Society, Project WILD!; Ashley Williams
  • Save the Manatee Club; Ann Hemme
  • Alachua County Library District; Diane Colson or Kate Neff
  • IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants; Rob Horsburgh

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Source: Darcie MacMahon, 352-273-2053, dmacmahon@flmnh.ufl.edu
Writer: Morgan Lamborn
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu