Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Florida Wildlife Calendar: July

Florida Nature Facts: Updated Daily

Featured Gallery of the Month: Swallowtails!

Latest Photos, Videos and Recordings

Frequently Asked Questions

Florida Wildlife Calendar: July

  • Shorebird migration starts in mid-July, peaking in August.
  • Swallow-tailed kites begin gathering as do purple martins and tree swallows in preparation for migrating south for the winter.
  • Look out for nesting shorebirds, and keep your vehicles and dogs from disturbing them.
  • Look for magnificent frigate birds flying overhead in South Florida.

  • Baby raccoons, foxes, armadillos, opossums, and bobcats leave dens and begin following parents.
  • Deer mating season in the Everglades.
  • Buck deer in new velvet may occasionally be spotted.
  • Second litters of gray squirrels are being born.
  • Black Bear breeding season starts.

  • Later this month, young alligators will begin to hatch.
  • In South Florida, young American crocodiles are hatching.
  • Listen for Eastern narrowmouth toads (“waaa”, like a baying sheep) after heavy rains.
  • Lights out! Sea turtles emerge from their nests and head for the ocean. Females may become confused by lights on the beach.
  • Leatherback, loggerhead, and green sea turtles continue to crawl ashore to lay eggs.

  • Sea oats flower along the Atlantic.
  • Scrub morning glory and butterfly weed begin to bloom.

  • Wild coco orchids begin to bloom in Southern Florida in swamps and pine scrubs.
  • Tall twayblade orchids start their summer blooming period in the Fakahatchee Strand and Big Cypress National Preserve.
  • The world-famous ghost orchid can now be found in bloom in the darkest parts of the Fakahatchee Strand.
  • Most species of fringed and crested orchids are in bloom in North Florida.

Latest Photos, Videos and Recordings

Green Iguana

Green Iguana

The green iguana, also known as the American iguana is a large attractive and often strikingly-colored lizard in the Iguanidae family that is native to the Caribbean Islands, Central America and most of the northern half of South America. Although they are are...

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Florida Nature Facts #161 – Florida Scrub Jay

Florida Nature Facts #161 – Florida Scrub Jay

The endangered and endemic Florida scrub jay is a cooperative breeder. When the offspring leave the nest, they stay with their parents and help them raise next year's brood instead of going off to raise young on their own. VISIT THE BIRDS GALLERY MORE FLORIDA NATURE...

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Florida Nature Facts #156 – Garter Snakes

Florida Nature Facts #156 – Garter Snakes

Most people know garter snakes as common and mostly harmless, but they are in fact mildly venomous. These beautiful snakes are what is known as rear-fanged, meaning they have enlarged back teeth connected to what is called the Duvernoy’s gland that they use to help...

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Florida Nature Facts #14 – Armadillos

Only the South American three-banded armadillos (Tolypeutes) rely heavily on their armor for protection. When threatened by a predator, Tolypeutes species frequently roll up into a ball. Other armadillo species cannot roll up because they have too many plates. The...

Florida Nature Facts #58 – Milkweed

Milkweed is named for its milky sap. Some species are toxic. Monarch butterflies lay eggs on milkweed. To limit the damage by caterpillars, milkweed uses hairs on the leaves, latex and toxins in the sap. MORE PHOTOS OF WILDFLOWERS MORE FLORIDA NATURE FACTS Florida...

Florida Nature Facts #145 – Drone Flies

While bees are the current darlings of the invertebrate world, drone flies deserve a lot of credit as well. Not only do these cousins to mosquitoes, houseflies and horseflies live in almost complete obscurity in the public eye, these bee-mimicking insects play an...

Florida Nature Facts #78 – American Alligator

American alligators have 78 to 82 teeth and may lose and replace 2,000 to 3,000 teeth in a lifetime. MORE PHOTOS OF ALLIGATORS MORE FLORIDA NATURE FACTS Florida Nature Facts is a series about interesting facts about the flora, fauna and places that make Florida so...

Florida Nature Facts #90 – Native Orchids

Our native orchids have a symbiotic relationship with certain fungi called a mycorrhizal association. The fungus provides nutrients to the orchid plant, and the orchid is a home to the fungus. Orchid seeds are so tiny they do not have enough food to nourish a...

Frequently Asked Questions

1 - Fine Art Prints, Canvases and Other Printing Options

I have an automated ordering system for fine art prints that not only makes ordering easier, but gives you more options. Choose luster (my personal favorite – it’s a cross between matte and glassy), old-fashioned glossy, classic black & white or even have your images printed on metallic paper or canvas. As always, all my printing is done on ultra-premium museum-quality, acid-free professional photography paper with commercial archival inks that won’t fade or “yellow” over time. I care enough about my work to have it only printed on the best materials possible.

Next to every image in our gallery there is an “Add To Cart” button that will give you all the options available for that image in a very user-friendly format, and will make ordering a breeze. There is even an option at checkout for custom cropping.

And as always, if you have specific questions that aren’t answered on this page, please contact me and I’ll be more than happy to talk to you over the phone or by email, or even walk you through the ordering process. When in doubt, contact me before ordering.

All final orders will be double-checked and verified personally by me to make sure every order looks absolutely perfect before going to print.

2 - Image Licensing and Stock Images

I am pleased to announce that every single image on this website is available for instant download to your computer – no waiting involved! An ever-increasing amount of our business these days has been electronic image sales for bloggers, web-designers, news media and those who want the image in electronic format only. Many of these are publishers, editors, and other media specialists who do not require the printed image for their work or project.

We have a system in place for instant downloading of high-resolution (.TIFF) images for both personal use and commercial use. Just choose the size you want and it’s yours instantly, and we’ve tried to make this new system easy and simple to use and understand. There are two types of downloads available for you to use immediately. Read more about uses and downloading options.

Commercial Royalty-Free:

This type of download is for use in business or enterprise. This can include editorial work, blogging, sales material, non-profit, pamphlets, brochures, inclusion in a website, or any other commercial application. If you are not sure, ask yourself, “Am I planning on making money with this image or using for a business-related project?” If this is the case, then this is the right type of license needed. This does not include printing images for resale, print publication, or digital resale. If you do need an extended license for commercial work that requires use in mass printing, television, film, or other related commercial uses, contact us at your earliest convenience so we can discuss and we’ll get you a fast and reasonable quote.

Personal Use:

This type of download is for an individual using the image for personal use only. This includes classroom usage, school projects, personal prints, screen savers, usage for painters and artists to create derivatives that aren’t commercial in nature, etc. Essentially for uses that you aren’t trying to make money from our work. If you have any questions or extra information regarding uses please contact us and we’ll get you pointed in the right direction.

3 - More Information about Customized Fine Art Prints and Special Orders

Ordering prints from our galleries just got even easier! Now we are offering not only prints, papers, metal prints, acrylic and metal wall displays but a whole new range of customized frames, mats, and other accessories! Most prints are shipped within three business days and come with a no questions asked 30 day return policy. (I’ll discuss the details with you directly before you order – some of these materials may not be listed in the galleries, and I will take those orders personally – contact me for more information)

Through our partnership with Fine Art America we offer the most customizable and easy way of providing you with the very best professional prints for your office, home or gallery.

Custom frames and mattes – design it with amazing online tools! (Contact us so we can set it up personally with you)
Metal Prints (printed directly onto high quality aluminum)
Acrylic Prints (looks amazing with float mounts)
Stretched canvas prints
Museum wraps
Gallery wraps
Choose from over 230 high-end frames and 100 mats
Specialty fine art papers – including watercolor and luster!
Even greeting cards! Many more options, and we’re adding more every week!

4 - Usage Guidelines: Copyright Notice

We appreciate that you would like to use our photographs and/or images for your own projects. Please ask if you would like to use photographs for a blog or any other specific use. We offer exclusive rights to some of our photographs and it is important that you contact us, as this can then get us into legal troubles.

You may not copy images for paintings, drawings, or in any form or derivative without written permission. Your easiest option would be to purchase a “personal use” discounted download.

You may not sell or resell any photograph/image that Rich or Galina Leighton has taken or created. We have in our employ two competing copyright violation services searching out illegal usage of our work. Legal steps will be taken if misuse of our copyrighted material is detected.

If you want to use one of our images, you are required to purchase or license, which is easily and instantly available for every image through the shopping cart. Either contact us for your needs or use the automated pricing option for each image when viewing individual images (“Add to Cart” button). Every image you see in our online galleries is registered with the United States Copyright Office, and we do follow up on every single infringement case, all around the world. If you have any questions about any of this, please contact us.

You may not copy images for paintings, drawings, or in any form or derivative without permission.

We work really hard to create these images. Please respect our copyright. Thank you.


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