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Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 22, 2018

Location: Cocoa Beach, Lori Wilson Park

This is known as Coral Bean
There's more to it than you might infer -
It's beans can poison rats or paralyze fish,
And it's flowers attract Hummingbirds.

Sources: University of Florida Extension - Erythrina herbacea

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 21, 2018

April 21, 2018

Location: Cocoa Beach, Lori Wilson Park

I am a Scincella lateralis,
Also known as a Ground Skink.
I am copper colored, with a dark side stripe,
I've tiny legs, but I'm fast and can be gone in a blink.

Sources: Savannah River Ecology Laboratory University of Georgia Herpetology Program - Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 20, 2018

April 20, 2018

Location: Cocoa Beach, Lori Wilson Park

I am a Northern Cardinal
I am monogamous, but serially,
That means I stay with my mate for a season,
Then we split - let's blame pruriency.

Special guest photographer: David Simpson

Sources: Animal Diversity Web - Northern Cardinal

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 19, 2018

April 19, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Broadway

I'm known as a Click Beetle
I have false eyes that are white and black.
I got my name because I make a clicking sound
When I turn over if I get stuck on my back.

Sources: Bugguude.net - Click Beetles

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

April 18. 2018

Location: Vero, Vero Beach Museum of Art

I'm a Curly-tailed Lizard
I escape predators in a tricky way
I curl my tail to make them think it's my head,
When they attack, my tail breaks off and I run away.

But don't worry about me, I'm not actually hurt,
Like many lizards I will
Grow back a new tail, and be perfectly fine
Because my tail is detachable.

Sources: Wild South Florida - Northern Curly-Tailed Lizard

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April 17, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area

We are Roseate Spoonbills,
We've formed our own rock band
This is the cover of our first album,
It's called "We Use Our Beak as a Hand"

We really do use our beak as a hand,
That is true of birds of all classes
But Dee gets lots of "likes" for  Spoons',
We think she is pandering to the masses...

 (Ok, this is probably my last Roseate picture till next breeding season. But honestly who doesn't love a Roseate Spoonbill picture? ) 

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 16, 2018

April 16, 2018

Location: Cocoa Beach, Lori Wilson Park

This is the fruit of a Fig tree,
Here's a tip: If you want to find birds,
Look for the stuff that they love to eat,
Like these berries, on which birds will gorge!

Sources: David Simpson, Birding with David Simpson

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 15, 2018

April 15, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area

Two Spoonbills and an Anhiga
Roosting in a tree.
Mom Spoonbill is feeding the baby
The Anhinga's just being neighborly.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 14, 2018

April 14, 2018

Location: St, Lucie, Savannas Preserve State Park

This is Pterocaulon pycnostachyum,
Commonly known as Blackroot.
It's roots are black, leaves long and thin,
And the flower - a white spike that droops.

Sources: Wild South Florida - Blackroot
The Guide to Florida Wildflowers by Walter Kingsley Taylor

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 13, 2018

April 13, 2018

Location: St, Lucie, Savannas Preserve State Park

This is Hypoxis juncea,
Known as Yellow-star Grass more commonly.
It has a small yellow flower and no leaves
And the top half of its stem is hairy.

Sources: The Guide to Florida Wildflowers, Walter Kingsley Taylor

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 12, 2018

April 12, 2018

Location: St, Lucie, Savannas Preserve State Park

This is the aftermath of a prescribed fire
That took place a few weeks ago.
After prescribed burns, it's common for ferns
To come back quickly and grow and grow!
               
(You might even say they grow... like wildfire!)

Sources: FFWCC - Prescribed Fire

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

April 11, 2018

Location: St, Lucie, Savannas Preserve State Park

This is Polygala Nana
Commonly called Bachelor Button or Candyroot.
It produces showy yellow flowers,
And is small but incredibly cute.

Sources: Ladybird Johnson Wildflorwer Center - Polygala Nana

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

April 10, 2018

Location: St, Lucie, Savannas Preserve State Park

This is Wild Pennyroyal
It is a type of mint.
It's scientific name, Pilblephis rigida
Translates to “Rigid hairy eyelid”

“Hairy eyelid” is a reference to
Tiny hairs on the eye-lid shaped leaves
The plant’s branches are known to be rigid
So the name's not quite as bizarre as it seems.

Sources: Wild South Florida - Wild Pennyroyal

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 9, 2018

April 9, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area

I am a Roseate Spoonbill.
You can tell I'm younger cause I'm very pale pink
As I get older my colors get bolder
My color is influenced by food such as shrimp.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Roseate Spoonbill 

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 8, 2018

April 8, 2018

Location: St, Lucie, Savannas Preserve State Park

This is a Aster Reticulatus
Whitetopped Aster more commonly.
It has heads of drooping white petals,
And can spread quickly and form colonies.

(Special thanks to David Simpson for the ID help.)

Sources: Coastal Plains Plants - Oclemena reticulata

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 7, 2018

April 7, 2018

Location: St, Lucie, Savannas Preserve State Park

This is a Emilia fosbergii
Commonly known as Florida Tasselflower.
It contains toxic alkaloids harmful to humans.
And is something you should not ever devour.

(Special thanks to David Simpson for theID help.)

Sources: Wild South Florida - Red Florida Tasselflower

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018

Location: Okeechobee, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

I'm a Dasychira meridionalis,
The caterpillar of the Southern Tussock Moth.
Unfortunately I have been parasitized
Most likely by a Braconid wasp.

(Very special thanks to Lyle Buss from the Insect Identification Lab, Entomology & Nematology Dept. University of Florida for his help with the ID of both the caterpillar and the parasite.)

Sources:


Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 5, 2018

April 5, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area

I am an adult Limpkin
Shown here dismounting the balance beam
I'm a beautiful, tall, and graceful bird,
Nadia Comăneci got nothing on me!

Sources: Nadia Comăneci - First Perfect 10

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

I am an Eastern Phoebe
You might confuse me with a Wood Pewee
But Pewees are darker and have longer wings,
And they don't wag their tails, unlike me.

Sources: National Geographic Animals - Eastern Phoebe

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Sebastian Inlet State Park

These are most likely Ligia pallasii
Known as Rock Louse more commonly.
It is in the order Isopoda,
Which can live in fresh water, on land, or the sea.

(Very special thanks to Nathan Burkett-Cadena, PhD Assistant Professor, University of Florida | IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory for his assistance with this ID. I took this picture last year and have been trying to ID since then.)

Sources: NOAA Ocean Explorer - What is an Isopod?

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area

I am a Banded Watersnake
I just ate something totally delish.
You can tell by the huge bulge in my belly,
It was probably a frog or a fish.

You can determine my identification
By the black lines on my chin
As well as the brown stripes on my side
But don't pick me up or you will get bit.
But I'm non-venomous and won't kill you,
I'll mostly try to get away from you lickety split.

Sources: Facts About Water Snakes

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 1, 2018

April 1, 2018

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

I'm a Black and White Warbler
You might think this picture is flipped, but it's not.
I like to climb around, upside down,
And pick bugs from their hiding spots.

Sources: Audubon Guide to Birds of North America - Black and White Warbler

Bonus Post: Rare Bird Alert!!! I saw what I thought at first was a Belted Kingfisher on my feeder. Then I realized that the color and size were totally wrong. I'm pretty sure that it's a type of Roller bird. Can anyone confirm the species?

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson