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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

July 17, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Blue Cypress Conservation Area

Adult Osprey can have a wingspan
Of five to five and half feet.
So their nests have to be quite large -
And can be up to ten feet deep.

(Consider how big this nest must be to accommodate the mom, dad and two babies. At this point, the babies have a wingspan almost the same as their mom and dads.)

Sources: Osprey Watch - Osprey Basics

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, July 16, 2018

July 16, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, Blue Cypress Conservation Area

We are a grown up and two juvenile Osprey
Telling us apart is not too difficult -
The juveniles both have speckled feathers,
The one saying "Behave yourselves!" is the adult.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, July 15, 2018

July 15, 2018


Location:
Sebastian, Riverwalk

"So Dee," everybody says to me,
"You must be a super fine birder by now."
I hang my head down, and with an embarrassed frown,
I say, "Look at my Great-horned Owl."

(I saw this on the Riverwalk. I dropped everything, whipped out the camera and took about 80 pictures. I didn't realize till I got home and downloaded the pictures that it was in fact,  not a Great Horned Owl.)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, July 14, 2018

July 14, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

I am known as a Queen Butterfly
I like to eat milkweed and milkweed vines.
They make me taste bad, and I become an emetic
Which in the future might make predators think twice.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Queen (Danaus gilippus)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, July 13, 2018

July 13, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

I am Great Southern White butterfly
The tips of my antennae are neon aqua blue.
I live in penninsular Florida
In open fields, salt marshes, and coastal dunes.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Great Southern White (Ascia monuste)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, July 12, 2018

July 12, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

This is Twinleaf Nightshade
It's in the Solanaceae family.
It is edible by Frugivorous birds,
But it is NOT recommended for humans to eat.

Sources: UF|IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants - Solanum Species

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

July 11, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

I am a Common Buckeye butterfly
I'm in the Brush-footed butterfly family.
My relatives include Monarchs and Viceroys,
We all have short front legs that are hairy.

Sources: Insect Identification for the Casual Observer - Common Buckeye Butterfly (Junonia coenia)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

July 10, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

I am a Florida Red-bellied Cooter
There are many threats to my existence.
Pollution, loss of habitat, the pet trade,
And fire ants who invade my residence.

Sources: The Red List - Pseudemys nelsoni (Florida Red-bellied Cooter, Florida Redbelly Turtle)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, July 9, 2018

July 9, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

These are known as Red Mangroves
The way they reproduce is very cool.
They don't have seeds, the long green things
Are baby plants called propagules.

Sources: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory - Rhizophora mangle

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, July 8, 2018

July 8, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

This is a Red Mangrove
It's flower is yellowish and the leaves big and shiny.
Red Mangroves live closest to the water
And deal well when the water is briny.

Sources: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory - Red Mangrove

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, July 7, 2018

July 7, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

This is a Black Mangrove
The flowers are are white and it has pointed leaves.
Black Mangroves live close to the water
With their pneumatophores surrounding the tree.

Sources: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory - Black Mangrove

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, July 6, 2018

July 6, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

This is a White Mangrove
The leaves are notched at the tip but mostly round.
Of the 3 mangrove species in Florida
These live on the highest ground.

Sources: Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory - White Mangrove

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, July 5, 2018

July 5, 2018

Location: Location

I am a Leucauge argyra
In Florida I'm quite common.
I build my nest in yards and Mangroves
And just wait for the bugs to drop in.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 4, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

I am a White Peacock butterfly
With wings closed, my pattern's less identifiable.
In breeding time I'll fight other bugs
In my territory - hey, that's justifiable!

Sources: Animal Diversity Web - Anartia jatrophae

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

July 3, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

I am a White Peacock butterfly
My forewing has one black spot, my hindwing has two.
When I'm a caterpillar I like to eat Water hyssop.
Shepard's Needle is my favorite adult food.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - White Peacock

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, July 2, 2018

July 2, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

This is a salt-tolerant perennial
Commonly known as Frogfruit
It is a low growing ground cover
That can be used as a turf substitute.

Sources: Florida Native Plant Society - Phyla nodiflora

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July 1, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Lagoon Greenway

I'm an adult American Bird Grasshopper,
I go though six instars in my life.
During my third, fourth and fifth I damage
Crops with my voracious appetite.

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - American Grasshopper

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson