Author Archives: Megan

Call for Guides to Lead Historical, Ecological, and Cultural Tours

Contemno, et orno: mente, manu - “I divide and order with mind and hand”Dragonfly Expeditions is putting out its yearly call for guides and speakers.  Due to the growth of our company, we are continuously adding knowledgeable guides to our core staff to interpret the history, ecology and culture of South Florida.  We are looking for articulate leaders who are passionate, excellent interpreters, have a flexible work schedule and are willing to learn.

Dragonfly Expeditions has been on the forefront of sustainable tourism in South Florida since 1992.  Our day journeys are designed to create a sense-of-place for our visitors while focusing attention on many of Florida’s most unique and endangered places. Continue reading

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Sailing to Andros

This past March, just on the front side of the insanely-busy portion of our corporate tour season, I was presented with an opportunity to help out a friend and her adorable family and to disconnect from the stress of phone calls, texts, and emails. She was looking for someone to help them sail their CSY 44′ sailboat from Islamorada in the Florida Keys to Fresh Creek on Andros Island in the Bahamas. The biggest challenge facing us was not only to cross the Gulf Stream – but to do it with two children under two years old on board!  My official title was “First Mate/Nanny.” The family was familiar with the environment because they live on the boat, but it would be the first time crossing the Gulf Stream for the kids and for me. Especially during the winter months, strong northern winds can make it difficult to cross the south-to-north-flowing Gulf Stream. Continue reading

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Annie’s Organic Buying Club

With the beginning of each new year, we often set our minds on how to make this year better than the last. Maybe we promise ourselves to exercise more, spend more time with our family, give up a bad habit or create a new and healthier habit.  This post presents a surefire way to satisfy a number of these resolutions!  Some of you may wonder what this has to do with the tours we provide…nothing!  But it is a perfect example of the sustainability we strive for in our day-to-day lives. Read on to find out how you can turn your 2013 resolution into a reality. Continue reading

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Dragonfly Expeditions’ Munyon And Peanut Island Kayak Adventure

We are often lucky to experience amazing ecological occurrences on our tours. This video was taken on a 3 hour kayaking excursion to Peanut Island in Palm Beach and illustrates just such an occurrence. Watch the video all the way to the end for a surprise!

Over the years there have been numerous theories concerning the leaping of mullet. The three most accepted theories are: predator avoidance, aerial respiration and… because they want to!

Click the image to see the video

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Call for Guides to Lead Historical, Ecological, and Cultural Tours

Dragonfly Expeditions is putting out its yearly call for guides and speakers.  Due to the growth of our company, we are continuously adding knowledgeable guides to our core staff to interpret and discuss the history, ecology and culture of South Florida.  We are looking for articulate leaders who are passionate, excellent interpreters, have a flexible work schedule and are willing to learn.

The company has been on the forefront of sustainable tourism in South Florida since 1992. Our day journeys are designed to create a sense-of-place for our guests while focusing attention on many of Florida’s most unique and endangered places.

If you are interested in applying, or if you know anybody that would fit this description, please use the contact information below.

Location of job: Positions in Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Naples, Fort Myers, Florida Keys, Tampa and Orlando

Qualifications: Strong background in Florida ecology and/or history, minimum of 21 years old, positive, outgoing personality, mature attitude, desire to work with groups, exceptional people and leadership skills, as well as absolute professionalism.

Recommended, but not required: Master Naturalist Program graduate; Lifeguard training and first aid; wilderness medicine qualifications (WFA, WFR)

Available: Year round, but all tours are by appointment only, so applicants need to have a flexible schedule

Submit cover letter and resume to: Megan Fries – Director of Operations

Email: mfries@dragonflyexpeditions.com

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Thoughts on Developing a Tour: The Hawks Cay Kayak Adventure

Developing tour routes and gathering the stories that bring an experience to life is one of my favorite tasks at Dragonfly Expeditions.  This is particularly true for the Hawks Cay Kayak Adventure, especially since it involved several days of kayaking in the Florida Keys!  I have to admit that I tend to favor our water-based tours anyway, but the waters and story around Duck Key quickly proved to be tour-worthy.

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The Wilds of Costa Rica

I have always had an adventurous spirit.  Until recently my adventures have all been relatively close to home.  In January I was fortunate enough to visit the camp of Ecoburica and experience a true adventure in every sense of the word.  From Miami, 2 flights, a 1.5 hr boat ride, and a 30 minute hike along a black sand beach took Willie and me into the remote campsite near Punta Burica, the southernmost Pacific tip of Costa Rica.  Along the way we passed through the large city of San Jose, the small fishing village of Golfito, and several even smaller Continue reading

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Meet the Team : Guide Bob

Bob NesmithBob Nesmith is a long-time friend and guide of Dragonfly Expeditions.  I remember first meeting Bob when I was an intern for the company and recall his contagious passion for the world around him.  He is the type of person who immediately captures and holds your attention, awakening a child-like sense of discovery in even the most reserved individuals.  He instills camaraderie among people upon first meeting and has a never-ending willingness to share his knowledge.

Bob admits, “I’ve seldom met a tangential thought I did not chase–at least a little way–down its rabbit hole”.  He has held positions as a carpenter, handyman, interpreter, father, Realtor, window treatment designer, insurance agent and multi-business owner along with his position at Dragonfly Expeditions as a naturalist guide and occasional salesperson.  In his free time he enjoys yoga, biking, dancing, reading, volunteering and exploring, which as for so many of us, helps to blur the line between work and hobby.  In addition to spending numerous hours in the swamp with Charles leading supporters of The Nature Conservancy of Florida, he volunteers for The Naples Botanical Gardens, Naples Zoo and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

There is rarely a time that I talk to Bob that he doesn’t share tidbits of his current read, a story about one of his most recent adventures, or how proud he is of his daughter.  There are several stories of hikes in the swamp that I remember with such vivid narrative I almost believe they are my own memories!

His wanderlust has taken him from where he grew up in “The Grand Strand” of the South Carolina Low Country to California, Texas, Kentucky, New York, England and the Florida Keys to where he now resides in Southwest Florida.  His current home in Naples is fitting given his draw “to the alchemy one experiences where land and water naturally mingle; estuaries, swamps, springs, rivers and beaches.”  I have seen first-hand the science experiment he tends to in his living room: a large aquarium where he cares for and observes a variety of marine plants and animals he gathers on early morning walks on the beach.

Working with Dragonfly Expeditions was a natural step for Bob given his love for leading wet hikes and strong environmental ethics.  He enjoys walking the walk rather than just talking the talk and we at Dragonfly Expeditions are proud to be standing along beside him!

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Full Moon Cemetery Tour – Open to the Public on October 22nd, 2010

In the spirit of the season and as a once-a-year opportunity, Dragonfly Expeditions is making its “Ghosts and Gravestones” walking tour available for individuals to sign up. This offer is intended for any local who has always wanted to join us on this unique stroll, or anybody wanting to entertain friends or family from out of town. If you are a travel reseller, we are happy to have any of your guests come as well.  So, join us on Friday, October 22nd, 2010 at 7:00 pm at the historic Miami City Cemetery.  Available spaces are limited, so sign up now!

Shipwreck

This evening tour by lantern explores the ornate and mournful Miami City Cemetery – a restored landmark that is a solemn reminder of Miami’s dramatic history in the radically transforming area around the Performing Arts Center. We will be visiting the gravesites of long-deceased pioneers and settlers – their true stories will unravel what made Miami great. If the grounds could talk, there would be tales of dark Santeria and voodoo rituals among the memorials of Miami’s oldest families. Learn of how they lived and died when Miami was just a sleepy little village.  A place not to be missed!

We are offering this tour on October 22nd only – for the great price of $49 per person!

As a special promotion if you bring two paying participants your tour will be free!

Make your reservation by emailing Megan Fries at mfries@dragonflyexpeditions.com or calling 305-774-9019. The tour must be reserved by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express accepted).

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“Miami Magic City Tour” Featured in Business Traveller Magazine

Over the summer Dragonfly Expeditions hosted several familiarization tours for the media.  One of these was an introduction to Miami offered in conjunction with our partner the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was recently written about and published by our friends across the pond at Business Traveller magazine.  The group, accompanied by Megan Fries and Cristina Mestres of Dragonfly Expeditions, had an excellent day exploring Miami via the “Miami Magic City – Bus and Walking Tour” – Dragonfly Expeditions’ overall city tour which uncovers some of the hidden treasures that Miami’s neighborhoods have to offer.  The following article was released in the September 2010 issue of the magazine.

Click the image below to read the article in its entirety:

Meet in Miami - Business Traveler 8-2010 Continue reading

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Call to Action: Restoring Vizcaya Mangrove Estuaries

Vizcaya CleanupDragonfly Expeditions searches for the best candidates to act as guides.  We are proud to have among our leaders: published environmental and historical authors, renowned photographers, archaeologists, professors, journalists, biologists, ecologists, entomologists, botanists and historians.  A general theme within our family is volunteer work and activism.  In the past, volunteer groups gathered and hauled 2 dump truck loads of trash out of the Burns Lake area in the Everglades and volunteered annually at Clyde Butcher’s Labor Day Muckabouts to support the Big Cypress Preserve. Over the last three years, our guides and staff have been extensively involved in clearing invasive exotic vegetation and foreign debris and replacing them with mangroves and buttonwoods in the gardens of the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

One of Dragonfly Expeditions’ tours Continue reading

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Austrian Daily Newspaper Features Dragonfly Expeditions

Dragonfly Expeditions was recently honored by Salzburger Nachrichten, an Austrian daily newspaper, in regards to one of our most popular tours, the Cuban Heritage Tour.  In May, Charles and Uwe provided the experience for a group of media representatives hosted in Miami by Thomas Cook and Condor Airlines. The following article appeared in the June 19th, 2010 publication.

Click the image below to read the article in its entirety:

Salzburger Nachrichten Image Continue reading

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Dragonfly Expeditions Authors Sustainable Travel Article

In the summer of 2008 Charles and Uwe were honored to write an article about Dragonfly Expeditions and the subject of ecotourism for Natural Living Magazine.  This article takes our mission and philosophy one step further along with some excellent visuals of our tours…

Click the image below to read the article in its entirety:

Read the Article in Natural Living(If you can not view the .pdf, you may need to Download Adobe Reader)

If you wish to find out more about our tours or helping out on volunteer opportunities please check out our Facebook page, tweets or contact us!

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50 Great American Adventures

One of Dragonfly Expeditions’ journeys was featured in the April 2005 issue of Travel + Leisure as one of the 50 Great American Adventures.

Travel + Leisure 50 Great American Adventures

We continue to provide custom photography trips in the Everglades along with a variety of other ecological, historical, and cultural expeditions throughout South Florida and the Caribbean.

Call or email us today to create your own custom photography tour.

Phone- 305-774-9019
Email- info@dragonflyexpeditions.com

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Meet the Team : Guide Ann

Ann Wiley PictureBorn to leaders in conservation and education, Ann Wiley grew up in Seattle in the great Evergreen State of Washington.  The abundance of outside activities offered by this area directed her interest to nature and the appreciation of it.  With time this grew and blossomed into what we at Dragonfly Expeditions appreciate as a truly dedicated and compassionate conservationist, guide, and friend.

Before attending college, Ann spent a year in Vail, Colorado where she worked and skied every day.  She graduated with a degree in Business Economics from the University of Arizona in Tucson where she also fell in love with the desert and biking.

Next, Ann moved on to Back Bay, Boston Massachusetts where she worked for two years as the House Manager for Hippocrates Health Institute under the directorship of Dr. Ann Wigmore.  This extraordinary opportunity allowed Ann to participate not only in cutting edge nutritional practices based on a vegan, raw food diet, but also to witness how the body will heal itself when given proper nutrition and allowed to cleanse and detoxify. While living in Boston Ann made good use of her weekends Continue reading

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Dragonfly Expeditions’ Vision and Mission

If you were to ask someone who knows our company what Dragonfly Expeditions does, you could get a variety of answers:  To our clients we are known to reliably deliver uncommon adventures.  To our long time vendors we may be seen as a friend or client that generously supports their business without ever requesting to compromise their quality of service.  To our not for profit partners we may be seen as a company that donates time and money to ensure South Florida stays, or is restored back to a beautifully unique place. And to all our friends we may be fun-loving, supportive, and true to our word.

Ultimately, everybody above, and those of us who work for Dragonfly Expeditions are connected by an overarching theme – and we can say that from the beginning there has always been an unwritten sentiment that the company and its employees wholly believed in.  Over the last few years, Continue reading

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A Little Bit of Love for Dragonfly Expeditions

In January 2010, Dragonfly Expeditions entered into the “Love a Local Business” competition hosted by the Intuit corporation. Although, we did not win the small business grant, we did receive an enormous amount of support and comments about our company from clients, vendors, partners and friends.  Thank you to everyone who contributed.  Check out the 44 comments posted about Dragonfly Expeditions:

  • “They are always professional and prompt with service. There services are very unique.”

    (Yvonne)

  • “These guys represent what is best about Florida by connecting its wonderfully entertaining past to what we all hope will be its exciting future!”

    (Rick-createabilities)

  • Continue reading

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