Natural Wonders: The Photography of Mac Stone

With a scientist’s expertise and an artist’s eye, Stone captures the vast beauty of the Everglades.

Even before picking up a camera at 14 years old, acclaimed wildlife photographer Mac Stone could see the fruits of conservation during his childhood in Gainesville, Florida.

“Within a five-minute bike ride, there was a slew of beautiful wilderness areas that people long before me had the forethought to protect,” Stone says. “I’ve lived in a lot of places and I keep coming back to Florida because it’s so different than anywhere else. The amount of wildlife and accessible wilderness is striking.”

Mac Stone (Photo by Carlton Ward)

Stone’s love for the diverse ecosystems of the Sunshine State has fueled a lifelong desire to share its beauty with others. In 2014, the University Press of Florida published Everglades: America’s Wetland, a book of more than 240 photos, many captured during Stone’s time as a National Audubon Society biologist. He hopes that his remarkable portfolio—featuring the breathtaking landscapes of Florida swamps and portraits of the creatures that inhabit them—will inspire viewers to join conservation efforts.

“When I give talks, I want to impassion and embolden people to care about this landscape, which has been a victim of a lot of bad PR over the years,” Stone says. “Sometimes we have to be reminded of why we love something and what makes it unique and worth saving.”

Stone will present his photos and speak about Everglades conservation at The Everglades Foundation’s “Everglades 101” briefing on March 29 at 5:30 p.m. at Silverspot Cinema in Naples.

In Flight: A swooping bald eagle startles roseate spoonbills and snowy egrets in Everglades National Park’s Eco Pond.

In a Rush: Stone captured this shot of spikerush in a restored wetland area in Lake Okeechobee as a tribute to the delicate habitats that keep the ecosystem balanced.

Out of the Blue: This red mangrove growing in the tidal flats of Florida Bay will eventually form an island and will become a habitat to native species.

Rare Blooms: This clamshell orchid, found in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, is one of the many unique, seasonal blooms that grow in the Everglades.

Firmly Rooted: The low waters of the dry season reveal the magnificent root systems of ancient pond apple trees in Big Cypress National Preserve.

The Hunt: On Lake Okeechobee, an endangered male Everglades snail kite swoops a mere foot from Stone’s lens to capture an apple snail, its sole source of food.

Beneath the Stars: Venus and the Milky Way dominate the skies above a mangrove and dwarf cypress in Everglades National Park.

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