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Monday, June 25, 2018

June 25, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, WW Ranch Road

I am a baby Loggerhead Shrike
Hollering at my mom to give me some food.
Right now I peck at inedible things  -
My grasp on hunting is still misconstrued.

(Make sure you check out the article linked below to read about this fascinating behavior displayed by newly-fledged Loggerhead Shrikes.)

Sources: Cornell Lab - Loggerhead Shrike

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, June 24, 2018

June 24, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Broadway

I am known as a Paper Wasp
Specifically, a Polistes major.
I got my name because I use
Wood pulp to make my nest of paper.

(Thanks to Terry Prouty from Antman's Hill for confirming my species ID.)

Sources: Social Wasps of Florida

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, June 23, 2018

June 23, 2018

Location: Maitland, Maitland Middle School

I am the 600th Bald Eagle since 1979
In Florida to rehabbed and released.
Were it not for the Audubon Birds of Prey Center,
I most likely would now be deceased.

(This bird was on the losing end of a territorial dispute and was rescued and rehabilitated at the Audubon Birds of Prey Center.  I was honored to attend his release this week. Click the link below to donate and help out these amazing people and the incredible work that they do.)

Sources: Audubon Birds of Prey Center

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, June 22, 2018

June 22, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, 14th Ave

This is known as a rainbow
Some people take it as a omen or sign
But science tells us what it really means:
Water is being refracted and reflected by light.

But it actually goes so much farther than that,
The angle of the light is also key.
That's not to say rainbows aren't pretty
But science makes them more interesting!

Sources: The Physics Classroom - Rainbow Formation


Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, June 21, 2018

June 21, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Riverwalk

This is a dead Blue Land Crab
We know he was on land when he died
The small snails on him are Hairy Wheel Snails,
They are pulmonate and need air to survive.

"Pulmonate" means that the snails have lungs
And don't live in the water.
There's also a live Mangrove Crab on
The other crab's back - he's a squatter.

(Make sure you click to enlarge this picture, there is a lot going on here. When I took this picture, I thought it was just a picture of a crab. When I downloaded it to my Mac, I realized that there was so much more going on, but I wasn't sure what exactly was happening. Extremely very special thanks to the amazing Heather Stapleton for explaining this picture to me.)

Sources: Interview, Heather Stapleton

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June 20, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Riverwalk

I am known as a Blue Land Crab
I generally live within 3 miles of the sea.
Most crabs molt twenty times in their life -
I'm overachiever, for me, it's sixty!

Sources: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory - Cardisoma guanhumi

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June 19, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Broadway (on my front windshield)

I am a Plectrodera scalator
Commonly known as a Cottonwood Borer Beetle
I eat Cottonwood trees from the inside out,
And eventually, to the tree, I am lethal.

(Special thanks to Michael C. Thomas, Ph.D., Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Division of Plant Industry/Entomology, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for his help positively identifying this critter. I was confused because although it is quite distinct, they are usually only seen further north in Florida. As David just returned from there, I am guessing that he accidentally brought home a hitchhiker.)

Sources: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Plectrodera scalator (Fabricius)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson