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Friday, November 16, 2018

November 16, 2018

Location: Mt Dora, Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area

I am either a female or immature Indigo Bunting
It would be easier if I were a bright blue breeding male.
But you can still tell I'm an Indigo by the shape of my beak,
And faintest hint of blue on my tail.

Sources: Cornell Lab - Indigo Bunting

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, November 15, 2018

November 15, 2018

Location: Mt Dora, Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area

I am a female Tramea carolina
Or, Carolina Saddlebag more commonly.
I have bright spots on my wings that look like saddlebags,
And am one of the few dragonflies that are migratory.

Sources: Field Guide to Migratory Dragonflies

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

November 14, 2018

Location: Mt Dora, Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area

I'm a Short-tailed Hawk from a long way away
You can see that my primaries are kinda snowy
The wing linings are dark, but my defining mark,
Is the fact that my tail is short, it's not showy.

Sources: Interview, David Simpson

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

November 13, 2018

Location: Mt Dora, Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area

I am an American Alligator
My nostrils face upwards on my snout.
This means I can swim while I'm mostly submerged
Thus hiding my disquieting pout.

Sources: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - American Alligator

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, November 12, 2018

November 12, 2018

Location: Mt Dora, Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area

I'm an American Bald Eagle,
Even though I'm very high up in the sky
You can easily ID me by my white tail and head
As I go soaring by.

Sources: Hawk Mountain Raptorpedia - Bald Eagle

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 11, 2018

Location: Leesburg, Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area

This is known as Hackberry
Sugarberry is another common name
The birds all think it's tiny, sweet fruit,
Tastes yummy either way.

Sources:  Florida Native Plant Society - Celtis laevigata

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, November 10, 2018

November 10, 2018

Location: Leesburg, Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area

I am a Danaus gilippus
Better known as the Queen Butterfly
I'm mostly chestnut-orange with black trim,
With spots on my wings and body that are white.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Queen Danaus gillippus

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, November 9, 2018

November 9, 2018

Location: Leesburg, Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area

I am a Anartia jatrophae
Better known as a White Peacock
I'm white and have eyespots like the bird,
So my name's not really a shock.

Sources: Floridata - White Peacock

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, November 8, 2018

November 8, 2018


Location: Sebastian, North Sebastian Conservation Area

I am a Florida Scrub Jay
It's unnatural for me to be this friendly.
I should be shy and fly away,
But someone has been feeding me.

Sources: When It's Ok (Or Not) To Feed Birds

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Wednesday, November 7, 2018

November 7, 2018

Location: Sebastian, North Sebastian Conservation Area

I'm a banded Florida Scrub Jay
You can see the green band above my foot.
This is how scientists track me
To make sure I've not gone kaput.

Sources: Florida Scrub Jay Banding


Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

November 6, 2018

Location: Sebastian, North Sebastian Conservation Area

This is Melaleuca quinquenervia,
Also called Paperbark or White Bottlebrush tree.
It's an invasive exotic that spreads rapidly,
Via its woody capsules that hold 2-300 seeds each.

Sources: Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition - Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) Blake

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, November 5, 2018

November 5, 2018

Location: Sebastian, North Sebastian Conservation Area

I am a Giant Swallowtail
I'm mostly black with diagonal yellow spotting.
As a caterpillar I like to eat citrus and hop tree,
And look remarkably like bird droppings.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Giant Swallowtail

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, November 4, 2018

November 4, 2018

Location: Viera, Hundred Acre Hollow

Special video edition! Monarchs and Milkweed!


Video © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, November 3, 2018

November 3, 2018

Location: Dade City, Withlacoochee River Park

I am a male Golden Silk Orbweaver,
I'm nondescript and really quite small.
I only measure about a quarter inch,
But my wife is three inches tall!

Sources: InsectIdentification - Golden Silk Orbweaver (Nephila clavipes)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, November 2, 2018

November 2, 2018

Location: Dade City, Withlacoochee River Park

I am a female Golden Silk Orbweaver,
I'm shown from the top in this shot.
I'm mostly harmless and beneficial,
Unlike my Brazilian counterpart.

Sources: InsectIdentification - Golden Silk Orbweaver (Nephila clavipes)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, November 1, 2018

November 1, 2018

Location: Dade City, Withlacoochee River Park

I am a female Golden Silk Orbweaver,
I only shave my first, second and fourth sets of legs.
I don't have any hair on the third set
I'm pretty no matter what anyone says.

(Note: Spiders don't really shave their legs, that's just a joke, but I thought it was really interesting that after all these years of looking at these girls I never noticed before that their third set of legs doesn't have any hair.)

Sources: Insect Identification - Golden Silk Orbweaver (Nephila clavipes)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson