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Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 30, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, my yard

This is a Serenoa repens,
Saw Palmetto is the common name.
It’s berries are eaten by birds and bears,
And by humans to treat enlarged prostate.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 29, 2017

April 29, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, my yard

This is a Bidens Alba,
A.K.A. “Beggar's Tick” or “that dang weed”
The butterflies really love it,
But it produces thousands of sharp, sticky seeds.

Sources:  FNPL Blog: Wednesday's Wildflower: Spanish Needle

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 28, 2017

April 28, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, my yard

I am a Mischocyttarus mexicanus cubicola,1
I'm a type of Paper Wasp
If I don't do my job and help my queen,
She'll go cannibal at her own larvae's cost.2

(Thanks so much to Lyle Buss from University of Florida  for the help with identification.)

Sources: (1) Lyle Buss, Insect Identification Lab, Entomology & Nematology Dept.,University of Florida 
(2) Wikipedia: Mischocyttarus mexicanus cubicola

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, my yard

This is a Gaillardia pulchella,
It is common throughout our state.
It flowers from April till June,
And bees help it pollinate.

Sources: University of Florida, IFAS Extension

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April 26, 2017


Location:  Fellsmere, St. Sebastian Preserve State Park, Trans-Central Florida Railway trail.

This is a Hypericum cistifolium,
Roundpod St. John's Wort is the common name.
It can be made into a medicinal tea,
Which is thought to keep depression at bay.

(Special thanks to Rochelle for my new Falcon Guides: Central Florida Wildflowers and to Jim for confirming my identification.)

Sources: Falcon Guides: Central Florida Wildflowers

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Stick Marsh

Grackle and a Blackbird
Sitting in a tree
F-E-E-D-I-N-G.
Maybe have a bug, maybe have a spider,
All taste yummy
When they're crawling round in side'ya.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Stick Marsh

I'm known as a Barn Swallow,
I've got a long forked tail,
I like to fly and catch bugs in mid air,
If I was younger, my colors would be more pale.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 22, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, my yard

This is a Tillandsia fasciculata
It is an air plant and doesn’t need soil,
Sadly, the Mexical Bromiliad Weevil
Has proven to be it’s foil.

Sources: Florida's Native Bromeliads

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 22, 2017

April 22, 2017


Location: Location

I'm a Northern Mockingbird
Sitting high on a brick chimney arch.
I sang a nice song to cheer on Dee
While she walked in today's science march!

(Technically, this wasn't taken at 8:00 a.m., but I wanted a picture from the march today.)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 21, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, my yard

This is a Coccoloba uvifera leaf,
Called "Sea Grape" more commonly.
It is useful as shade or to nosh on,
It's mostly pit, but you can eat the flesh of the berry.

Sources: Seagrape, IFAS Extension 

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April 20, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

We are known as Cattle Egrets,
But not because we "moo"
It's because hanging out in pastures
Is what we like to do.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Stick Marsh

I'm known as a Black-necked Stilt
I'm black and white with long, red legs.
I'm colloquially known as a Marsh Poodle,
Because "yip-yip-yip" is what I say.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April 18, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, my yard

I'm a female Cuban Anole
I'm an invasive exotic species.
Native Anoles are green and have stickier feet
Which they've evolved to get away from these beasties.

Source:  Native Lizard Hangs Tight with Rapid Evolution

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Stick Marsh

I am a Black-bellied Whistling Duck,
I've got a black belly, and creepy doll eyes.
I don't make much noise when I'm just hanging around,
But I make a whistling call in flight.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 16, 2017

April 16, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin WMA

I am a Black-crowned Night Heron.
I wear a black cap and have a short, heavy bill.
When I'm a nestling I'll puke if you startle me,
And I'll eat anywhere from a river to a  landfill.

Sources: (1) All About Birds, Black-crowned Night Heron

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 15, 2017

April 15, 2017


Location: Palm Bay, Turkey Creek Sanctuary

I'm known as a Ring-neck Snake,
Named for the peach colored necklace I wear.
I'm a little, tiny, worm-size snake,
You'd hardly know I'm here.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 14, 2017

April 14, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin WMA

I'm a Turkey Vulture.
I'm brown with primaries that are off-white.
Sometimes I spread my wings like an Anhinga
To rid myself of mites.

(I got some other pictures today too.)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 13, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Fellsmere Grade Recreation Area

This is a pair of Tree Swallows,
Arguing over a hole.
The girl's top is light black, the boy has blue-green on his back
And they are both stark white down below.

(Visit my other blog for more pictures of the tree swallows.)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

March 12, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I’m a Xylophanes tersa tersa caterpillar
Known as Tersa Sphinx more commonly.
When I grow up, I’ll be a large brown moth,
But for now I’ll eat plants like Wild Coffee.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America 

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 11, 2017


Location: Location

I'm a Northern Mockingbird,
But I can be found in many places.
During breeding season, I am territorial,
And get all up in other birds faces.

(Today is my 100th consecutive day blogging. Thanks so much to my subscribers and daily visitors. Please continue to share the link with any other nature lovers who might need little jingles to help remember their Florida critters!)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, my yard

I am Red-bellied Woodpecker,
Sitting way up high in a pine tree.
I know it's Slash Pine, the terminal bud's brown, not white,
And needles are grouped by two or three.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 9, 2017

April 9, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin WMA

I'm an immature Roseate Spoonbill,
Shown here with my mom.
My wings aren't quite as bright as hers yet,
But you can tell she's where I got my good looks from.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 8, 2017

April 8, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I am an immature male Red-winged Blackbird,
When I grow up I'll have red and yellow bars on my wings.
My sister looks nothing like me,
But we both eat spiders and crawly things.

Sources: All About Birds

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 7, 2017

March 7, 2017


Location:  Fellsmere, my house

I’m a male Painting Bunting,
I’m brightly colored though my wife is just green,
And I’d really look much more impressive
If Dee kept her windows clean.

(Although I did get out to walk today, I didn’t see many birds so I took this shot from my office window when I got home.)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 6, 2017

April 6, 2017


Location: Sebastian, North County Regional Park

I am a Brown Thrasher,
I've got heavy dark streaks on my chest.
My back's chestnut brown,
I stay close to the ground,
And will aggressively defend my nest.

(I got a lot of pretty decent shots of the Brown Thrasher today. Visit my other blog to see the rejects.)

Sources: All About Birds

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

March 5, 2017


Location: Sebastian, North County Regional Park

I'm a Great-crested Flycatcher,
I catch insects high in the tree canopy.
My crest isn't actually really that great,
But you can ID me by my yellow tummy.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April 4, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, my yard

On the left is a Chinese Violet,
On the right, Cairo Morning Glory.
They are both not native to Florida,
And both having interesting stories:

Chinese Violet, aka "Creeping Foxglove"
Is used by butterflies and honeybees;
And in some places such as Africa,
It is used in herbal remedies.1

Cairo Morning Glory is a mosquito larvicide2
And has many medicinal properties3
On the other hand, it's an invasive exotic,
Which is expected to worsen with global warming.4

(Thanks to Raleigh for helping me identify these plants!)

Sources:
  1. Wikipedia, Asystasya gangetica
  2. Mosquito larvicidal properties of essential oil of an indigenous plant, Ipomoea cairica Linn.
  3. Ipomoea cairica: a medicinal weed with promising health benefits 
  4. Elevated temperature may accelerate invasive expansion of the liana plant Ipomoea cairica
Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017


Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, red trail

I'm a Florida Scrub Jay with a job,
In my family group I'm the Sentry bird.
I sit up high and look for predators,
And when I see one, I spread the word.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 2, 2017

April 2, 2017


Location: Vero Beach, Round Island

This ia known as a Mangrove Crab,
Like all crabs, they have 8 legs.
They are omnivorous, but prefer to eat Mangrove leaves,
And females can hold 5,000-35,000 eggs.

Sources: Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April 1, 2017


Location: Palm Bay, Turkey Creek Sanctuary

I’m known as a Cooper’s Hawk,
I have rounded wings and my tail is long.
I’ve been told I have the “classic accipiter” shape,
If you call me Sharp Shinned then you would be wrong.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson