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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October 31, 2017


Location: Fellsmere, Fellsmere Grade Recreation Area

This is the nest of a Barn Swallow.
It's shaped just like a cup.
The nest is lined with grass to make it comfy,
It's walls are pellets made with grass stems and mud.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Barn Swallows

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 30, 2017

October 30, 2017

Location: Sebastian Inlet State Park

This is the Madagascar Periwinkle,
It can self-pollinate or be pollinated by bugs.
It contains many toxic alkaloids,
Which are used in cancer-fighting drugs.

Sources: Encyclopedia of Life: Catharanthus roseus - Madagascar Periwinkle

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October 29, 2017

Location: Melbourne Beach, Sebastian Inlet State Park

I am a Reddish Egret,
But I am a white morph, I have no red at all.
You can tell I'm a Reddish Egret by my chunky beak,
And compared to a white-phase Little Blue I'm quite tall.

Note: Despite the lack of red, this is still a Reddish Egret. Little Blues go through a white phase when they are young, which they grow out of. Compare with a white morph, which is a lifetime coloring. 

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

October 28, 2017

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Wildlife Management Area

I'm a male Boat-tailed Grackle,
I'm resident to Florida all year round.
But in north-east Florida my eyes are yellow,
And in central-east Florida my eyes are brown,

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 27, 2017

October 27, 2017

Location: Titusville, Enchanted Forest

This is a tree known as Hercules Club,
Also known as the "Toothache Tree".
Sailors were known to take pieces of this bark with them,
To numb tooth aches encountered at sea.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 26, 2017

October 26, 2017

Location: Melbourne Beach, Sebastian Inlet state Park

We are Ruddy Turnstones,
We usually live up to our name.
But even with six of us trying real hard,
I don't think we'll turn this over. Dang!

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 25, 2017

Location: Vero Beach, Riverside Park

I am known as a Gray Kingbird,
My bill's larger than the Eastern Kingbird species.
In the Caribbean I've been known to eat hummingbirds,
But I usually eat fruit and bug-type beasties.

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Grey Kingbird

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October 24, 2017

Location: Vero Beach, Riverside Park

I'm a female Common Yellowthroat,
I don't wear a black mask like my mate.
He sings to me a witchety-witchety-witchety song,
And we eat bugs and caterpillars when we go out on dates.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Common Yellowthroat

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 23, 2017

October 23, 2017

Location: Vero Beach, Riverside Park

I am a female Redstart,
Not as bright as my mate, but we're still a pair.
I mostly dress in dull grey and white,
With flashes of yellow here and there.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 22, 2017

Location: Vero Beach, Riverside Park

I am a male Redstart,
Shown here from a frontal view.
I wear an orange shirt with a jaunty black vest,
And white panties in a complete fashion coup!

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 21, 2017

October 21, 2017

Location: Vero Beach, Riverside Park

I am a male Redstart,
Shown here from underneath.
I am black and white with orange accents,
A great bird for Halloween!

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 20, 2017

October 20, 2017

Location: Vero Beach, Riverside Park

I am a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher,
I dart around quickly while looking for bugs.
I have thin white rings around my eyes,
If my eyes were red, you'd think I was on drugs.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Blue-grey Gnatcatcher

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 19, 2017

October 19, 2017

Location: Vero Beach, 20th Street

I'm a male Black-throated Blue Warbler,
My throat is black and my back's mostly blue.
Although I don't look anything like my mate,
We both like to eat insects and fruits.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Black-throated Blue Warbler

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October 18, 2017

Location: Vero Beach, 20th Street

I'm a female Black-throated Blue Warbler,
My throat's not black, nor am I particularly blue.
In fact, I don't look anything at all like my mate,
My throat is a yellowish hue.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October 17, 2017

Location: Vero Beach, 20th Street

We are two Northern Mockingbirds
Having a chat upon some roof tiles.
When we're done we'll go imitate other birds.
We're not mean, that's just our style.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16, 2017

Location: Fort Pierce, D.J. Wilcox Preserve

I am a White Peacock butterfly,
Resting here amongst fallen autumn leaves.
I drink nectar, I'm not a detritivore,
Despite what this picture might make you believe.

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 15, 2017

Location: Vero Beach, Riverside Park

I am a Cape May Warbler,
In summer I eat Spruce Budworms for fun.
In the winter, I like to drink nectar
Using my curled, semi-tubular tongue.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Cape May Warbler

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 14, 2017

October 14, 2017

Location: D. J. Wilcox Preserve

I am a Mangrove Tree Crab,
Not many of my kind live to be adults.
My larvae get eaten by filter feeders,
Very few hatch as the end result.

Sources: Wild South Florida - Mangrove Tree Crab

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 13, 2017

October 13, 2017

Location: Fort Pierce, D.J. Wilcox Preserve

I'm known as a Mangrove Root Crab.
I like to eat decaying plant matter.
I impress girls with my big, strong claws,
And my gonopod tallywhacker.

Sources: The Online Guide to the Animals of Trinidad and Tobago - Goniopsis cruentata (Mangrove Root Crab)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017

Location: Fort Pierce, D.J. Wilcox Preserve

I'm known as a Marsh Rabbit,
I'm related to the Cottontail.
But I like to live in wetlands which makes my life
Imperiled by hurricanes and gales.

Sources: FWC Land Mammals - Marsh Rabbit

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October 11, 2017

Location: Titusville, Enchanted Forest

I'm a baby Southern Toad,
I'm so small, it's hard to see me.
I hatch in the muck, and blend in so well,
I'm a virtual Houdini!

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October 10, 2017

Location: Titusville, Enchanted Forest

I am a male Black Swallowtail Butterfly.
When I'm a caterpillar I eat celery and dill.
As a butterfly, I like nectar from flowers,
Including milkweed, red clover and thistle.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Black Swallowtail

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017

Location: Garden Key, Dry Tortugas

I am a female Magnificent Frigatebird,
Formerly known as a Man-O-War,
I feed my young for over a year,
While my mate breeds with someone else, that cur!

Sources: Cornell Lab - Magnificent Frigatebird

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 8, 2017

October 8, 2017

Location: Garden Key, Dry Totugas

I am an Antillean Nighthawk,
Similar to Common Nighthawk and Chuck-wills-widow.
But you will only find me in Florida in the summertime,
In the winter, it's not known where I go.

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Antillean Nighthawk

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October 7, 2017

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

I'm a Common Nighthawk
I'm known for my dramatic display flight.
Despite my name, I'm not a hawk,
And I'm crepuscular - I don't hang out at night.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Common Nighthawk

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 6, 2017

October 6, 2017

Location: Sebastian, private residence

I'm a female Northern Cardinal.
Take a close look at my crest -
You can see I have white tips up there,
Those are new feathers, my hairs not messed!

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 5, 2017

October 5, 2017

Location: Sebastian, private residence

I'm known as a Leatherleaf Slug,
I'm a snail without a shell.
I'm a hermaphrodite which means I can
Inseminate any slug, including myself!

Sources: UF/IFAS Featured Creatures - Terrestrial Slugs of Florida

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October 4, 2017

Location: Titusville, Enchanted Forest

Shown here is the beginning of detritus -
Which is organic matter that has decayed.
It is a vital link in the food chain -
To lower organisms it's veritable buffet!

Sources: Lake and Wetland Ecosystems - What is Detritus?

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October 3, 2017

Location: Titusville, Enchanted Forest

This is Dotted Horsemint,
It attracts bees and butterflies.
It can be used in place of Thyme or Oregano,
If you want to add a little spice.

Sources: Florida Native Plant Society - Dotted Horsemint (monarda punctata)

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017

Location: Vero, Riverside Park

I'm a Red-eyed Vireo,
In the summer, I sing incessantly.
I also snack on caterpillars,
Which I hunt for in tree canopies.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Red-eyed Vireo

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October 1, 2017

Location: Vero, Riverside Park

I'm a Yellow-throated Vireo,
My back's olive green and I have two white wing bars.
I have a yellow throat from which I get my name,
And I like to eat fruit, seeds, and arthropods.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Yellow Throated Vireo

Photo and text © 2017 Dee Fairbanks Simpson