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Monday, December 31, 2018

December 31, 2018

Location: Vero Beach Wetlands

I am known as a Great Egret
My mate and I share feeding our young.
First we eat fish, crustaceans or reptiles,
Then we feed via regurgitation.

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Great Egret

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, December 30, 2018

December 30, 2018

Location: Vero Beach Wetlands

I'm known as a Snowy Egret
I can hybridize with other herons
Such as Tricolor, Little Blue and Cattle Egrets,
I can acquire my own harem.

Sources: Cornell Lab - All About Birds - Snowy Egret

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, December 29, 2018

December 29, 2018

Location: Vero Beach Wetlands

I am a Great Blue Heron
I've got my mouth full of fish.
Of course the Great Egret and Wood Stork show up
It's everyone's favorite dish.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, December 28, 2018

December 28, 2018

Location: Cocoa, city park

I am an Eastern Grey Squirrel
I communicate vocally and by tail flicking.
I eat the nuts, flowers and buds of many species of trees,
And occasionally critters - hey I'm not real picky.

Sources: Animal Diversity Web - Eastern Grey Squirrel

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, December 27, 2018

December 27, 2018

Location: Cocoa, city landfill

I'm an immature American Bald Eagle
When I sit with the gulls they hardly know that I'm here.
But if I decide to take off flying,
The gulls will also take off in fear.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

December 26, 2018

Location: Cocoa, city landfill

Over here on the left I am a Laughing gull
The big guys with yellow legs are Ring-bills
Our beaks, legs and feathers are different,
But we both occasionally dine on coquille.

Sources: A Second Look At “Seagulls”: Tips For ID

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

December 25, 2018

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

Hi, my name is Rudolph
I'm shown here counting Manatees
It's very cold today so there's a lot here
They come into this spillway so they don't freeze.

Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, or whatever holidays you choose to celebrate. Best wishes for peace and joy in the new year!

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, December 24, 2018

December 24, 2018

Location: Cocoa, city park

I am a Florida Sandhill Crane
For a Sandhill, I'm medium sized.
How big I am varies based on where I live,
But my plumage is standardized.

Sources: Cornell Lab - All About Birds - Sandhill Crane

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, December 23, 2018

December 23, 2018

Location: Cocoa, Roadside

I am a Yellow-rumped Warbler
Like the Swallows, I eat Wax Myrtle berries
In the east I'm known as a Myrtle Warbler
But I like bugs too - my diet, it varies.

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Yellow-rumped Warbler

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, December 22, 2018

December 22, 2018

Location: Cocoa, roadside

I am a Brown Thrasher
I'm in the Mimidae family, like Mockingbirds.
I'm thought to sing over a thousand songs,
I'm glad I don't have to memorize words!

Sources: Cornell Lab - All About Birds - Brown Trasher

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, December 21, 2018

December 21, 2018

Location: Cocoa, private residence

I am known as a Canada Goose
I'm a large bird with a bad habit.
I can often be found grazing on lawns
Where I leave behind - don't step in it.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Canada Goose

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, December 20, 2018

December 20, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Kashi

This is Lyonia lucida
Shiny Lyonia is its common name.
It has a very large underground root mass,
Which helps it come back quickly after encountering flames.

Sources: The Virtual UCF Arboretum - Fetterbush (Lyonia lucida)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

December 19, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Kashi

This is Twinleaf Nightshade
It is an exotic, Category two.
It grows quite fast, better hope it don't last.
Cause it's leaves and berries can poison you.

Sources: Dave's Garden Twoleaf Nightshade,

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

December 18, 2018

Location: Sebastian, Kashi

This is known as Resurrection Fern
Right now it looks like it's died.
But with a little water it will bounce right back,
It isn't dead, it's just dry.

Sources: UF | IFAS Gardening Solutions - Resurrection Fern

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, December 17, 2018

December 17, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Beegum Point

We are a hive of Honeybees
We can be adversely affected by stress
Our stressors can be many things including
Pesticides, parasites and pests.

Sources: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - Honey Bee Protection in Florida

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, December 16, 2018

December 16, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Beegum Point

I am a Golden Orbweaver
My web doesn't look built, so much as hurled.
This is usually a sign that I'm sick or old
In any case, not long for this world.

Sources: Keith Van Hook, Florida Entomology Facebook page

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, December 15, 2018

December 15, 2018

Location: Vero Beach, Beegum Point

This is called a Snowberry
It has showy flowers and showier fruit
It's berries are eaten by many birds, and it's
The host plant for the endangered Miami Blue

Sources:
Florida Native Plant Society - Chiococca alba
Saving South Florida's Butterflies: Miami Blue Fund

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, December 14, 2018

December 14, 2018

Location: Concord, MA, Private residence

I am known as a Cooper's Hawk,
I'm easy to recognize cause my tail is long.
I wear a dark cap on the top of my head
And my wings are rounded and broad.

(Today's very special guest photographer is my big sistah Lynn Blanchard, who took this amazing shot from the house where she was working.)

Sources: Cornell Lab - All About Birds - Cooper's Hawk

Photo  © 2018 Lynn Blanchard
Text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, December 13, 2018

December 13, 2018

Location: Sebastian, North County Regional Park

I am a Cuban Treefrog
My skull is fused to the skin on my head.
I secrete toxic mucus from my skin
Which only increases my street cred,

Sources: Department of Wildlife Ecology and Environment

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

December 12, 2018

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

We are a massive flock of Tree Swallows,
Descending on Wax Myrtles, having quite a fête
When Dee said that we love the berries,
She didn't exaggerate!

Sources: Personal interview, David Simpson

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

December 11, 2018

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

These are the berries of a Wax Myrtle
Well, not so much "berries" as "wax-covered seeds"
But that doesn't matter to Tree Swallows,
This is something on which they love to feed.

Sources: Florida Native Plant Society - Wax Myrtle

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, December 10, 2018

December 10, 2018

Location: Fellsmere, My yard

I am a female Florida Box Turtle
You can tell because I have brown eyes.
If I was a boy, my eyes would be orange or red,
But we both like to eat crickets and flies.

Sources: Florida Box Turtles

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, December 9, 2018

December 9, 2018

Location: Viera Wetlands

I'm an immature Black-crowned Night Heron
During the day I can be hard to see.
I'm here in the upper right corner,
Camouflaged amongst branches and leaves.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Black-crowned Night Heron

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, December 8, 2018

December 8, 2018

Location: Viera Wetlands

I am a Tricolored Heron.
I tend to forage alone when I hunt.
I stalk, chase, or wait for small fish to come by. And if disturbed, I make a short, gutterral grunt.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Tricolor Heron
xeno-canto Sharing bird sounds from around the world - Tricolored Heron

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, December 7, 2018

December 7, 2018

Location: Viera Wetlands

I'm a female Common Yellowthroat
I hang out in thick vegetation looking for bugs.
Boys know I'm a girl cause I don't have a black mask,
So they don't attack me, they just come looking for love.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Common Yellowthroat

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, December 6, 2018

December 6, 2018

Location: Okeechobee, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

I am a Black-tailed Red Sheet Weaver Spider.
Early in the morning, in the grass covered with dew,
You'll see my intricate web before you see me,
And unfortunate bugs who couldn't break through.

Sources: iNaturalist - Black-tailed Red Sheet Weaver

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

December 5, 2018

Location: Okeechobee, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

This is a flower weevil
Of the Baridinae subfamily.
There are 4,300 flower weevil species,
But this looks like a Heracross to me.

Sources: iNaturalist - Flower Weevils
Bulbapedia - Heracross

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

December 4, 2018

Location: Okeechobee, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

I am a spider in the genus Mecaphesa
In this genus, there are 52 types.
Some, like me, have the common name "flower spider"
And are hairy with a few red stripes.

(Just to clarify, this is a flower spider, but there are a few spiders in the genus Mecaphesa who go by that common name, and I was not able to ID this positively further than that genus as they all appear very similar.)

Sources: Bugguide.net - Flower Crab Spiders

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, December 3, 2018

December 3, 2018

Location: Okeechobee, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

I am a Red-tailed Flesh Fly
I feed on carrion and animal waste.
Bugs in the Flesh Fly family are important to
Forensics, such as a murder case.

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Red-tailed Flesh Fly

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, December 2, 2018

December 2, 2018

Location: Okeechobee, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

I am Globular Drop snail.
I'm a terrestrial gastropod mollusk
I have an operculum which acts as door,
To keep moisture in, or when I'm just seeking solace.

Sources: iNaturalist - Globular Drop Snail

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson\\ls

Saturday, December 1, 2018

December 1, 2018

Location: Okeechobee, Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

We are Giant Milkweed Bug nymphs
Climbing Milkweed is our host plant.
Like Monarchs, we become toxic from eating it,
If predators taste us they go, "Eww, I just can't!"

Sources: Sephina gundlachii Guérin-Méneville,1857 

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson