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Monday, May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

This is Richardia grandiflora
Large flowering pusely, commonly.
It is less than half an inch across
I think it's named ironically.

(Thanks to David Simpson for the plant ID.)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 20, 2018

May 20, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, FL, my yard

I am a Tropical Orb Weaver,
Our color varies but I am mostly white
Except for the dark garters at the top of my legs
Which make me look like a woman of the night.

I am a nocturnal spider,
I like to live near oak trees.
I am completely harmless to human beings, 
But not to bugs, which I love to eat. 

(Special thanks to Justin Williams from Ant Man's Hill for the correct identification.)

Sources: Featured Creatures: Tropical Orb Weaver

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 19, 2018

May 19, 2018

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

I am known as a Raccoon,
I have a black bandit mask.
I've proven to be smart and innovative
In intelligence testing tasks.

(I've been writing my blog in advance this year, so I wrote this post about two weekends ago, I'd been saving the raccoon picture for what would have been my mom's 86th birthday. Mom loved her raccoons and had one for a pet when I a kid. I don't remember it, but I remember hearing the stories about how Charlie would sit at the dinner table and eat spaghetti with the family.  

Those of you who do not follow my personal Facebook page won't understand the irony of celebrating the raccoon's intelligence on my blog today, so let me explain: For the last week, I've been dealing with wildlife trappers, home owners insurance and roof repair contractors - because a raccoon has trashed my roof. I found an Opossum in my attic, but it turns out that they don't make holes, they only come in via holes other critters have made. We did catch and relocate the Opossum and one raccoon, but I am pretty positive our roof-wrecker is still at large. Someone emptied both traps of the marshmallow baits last night and did not trigger either of them. 

So my raccoon saga continues. We have a tarp on the roof at the moment, but I'm hesitant to get the roof actually repaired until we catch the culprit, for fear he will just come back again. I'm sure my mom would have loved this, and more to the point, I don't think she would understand at all why I am trying to have a sweet, adorable raccoon removed from my yard!)

Sources: Raccoons Pass Famous Intelligence Test-By Upending It

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 18, 2018

May 18, 2018

Location: Cape Canaveral, Jetty Park

I am an immature Laughing Gull
My wings are brown so you know I am not an adult.
If you are trying to learn about gulls
Sibley Guide to Birds is the book to consult.

(While I frequently cite Cornell Lab or Audubon as sources here online, it is Sibley that I use  in the field and always recommend to new birders.)

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Laughing Gull

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, May 17, 2018

May 17, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Riverwalk

I am an immature Loggerhead Shrike
I mostly look like my mom and dad.
Except that my chest is lightly barred,
And I'm more brownish - but just a tad.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Loggerhead Shrike

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May 16, 2018

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

This is Befaria racemosa
Also known as Tar flower or Flyweed.
Despite getting caught on its sticky flowers,
This plant attracts both flies bees.

Sources: Florida Native Plant Society - Befaria racemosa

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 15, 2018

Location: Cape Canaveral, Jetty Park

We're a mom and fledgling European Starling
We're invasive and considered as pests.
We are a threat to global biodiversity
You can help by making it harder for us to nest.

Sources: Cornell Lab Nestwatch - Managing House Sparrows and European Starlings

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson