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Saturday, December 7, 2019

December 7, 2019

Location: H L Bishop Park, Lake Placid

I am known as an Assembly Moth
Samea multiplicalis and I look much alike
Except I have a pale spot on my wing split by a black line
And on my fringe is a tiny dark spike.

Sources: Bugguide.net - Assembly Moth - Hodges#5150 (Samea ecclesialis)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, December 6, 2019

December 6, 2019

Location: Windy Point Boat Ramp Park, Lake Placid

I am a Long-tailed Skipper
They called me Bean Leafroller when I was young
As larva, I ate bean and soybeans leaves
If you saw rolled or chewed leaves, you know I was having some fun.

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Bean Leafroller

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, December 5, 2019

December 5, 2019

Location: Windy Point Boat Ramp Park, Lake Placid

I am a Leucauge argyra
Orchard Orbweaver is my common name
My genus name translates to "with a bright gleam"
And I won't hurt you, despite what anyone claims.

(Like all spiders, the Orchard Orbweaver has venom, but it is not medically significant to humans.)

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Orchard orbweavers 

Photo and text © 2019 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

December 4, 2019

Location: Windy Point Boat Ramp Park, Lake Placid

I am a Downy Woodpecker,
As woodpeckers go, I'm quite small
My voice is described by Cornell as
"...high-pitched.. with a descending whinny call"

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Downy Woodpecker 

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

December 3, 2019

Location: Windy Point Boat Ramp Park, Lake Placid

I am an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail,
When I was larvae, I looked like bird poo
I also had some eye spots back then
Then I metamorphosed,  and all that kid stuff - I outgrew.

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Tiger Swallowtail 

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, December 2, 2019

December 2, 2019


Location: Windy Point Boat Ramp Park, Lake Placid

I am an American Alligator,
On the top of my head are my ears.
They're behind a skin flap, so they don't get wet,
The better to hear you with, my dears!

(Note: The link below is highly technical but interesting reading. Another interesting thing - you can see me taking the picture in the reflection of his eye!)

Sources: Journal of Experimental Biology - Biophysics of directional hearing in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, December 1, 2019

December 1, 2019

 Location: Lake Okeechobee Park, Okeechobee

I am a Northern Harrier
My face is shaped much like an owls
It's common for me to have multiple mates
In more than one way, I am out on the prowl!

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Northern Harrier

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, November 30, 2019

November 30, 2019

 Location: Lake Okeechobee Park, Okeechobee

Pictured here on the top is Common Water Hyacinth,
Surrounded by Water Lettuce
They are both invasive exotic plants
That kill native aquatic plants, which upsets us.

Sources: Click the above links for more information on how these aquatic weeds are damaging to the ecosystem.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, November 29, 2019

November 29, 2019

Location: Lake Okeechobee Park, Okeechobee

This is Carica papaya
A plant with antibacterial properties
It has many other uses medicinally
Because it contains vitamins A, B and C.

Sources: Science Direct - A review on medicinal properties of Carica papaya Linn.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, November 28, 2019

November 28, 2019

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

We are a group of Wild Turkeys
You can find us near acorns, which we love to munch.
Please excuse us if we seem shy though,
And decline your invitation to lunch.

Sources: Audubon Guide to North American Birds - Wild Turkey

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

November 27, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, my house

I am a young Southern Black Racer
I'm still not solid white on my chin
I am older than when you saw me in August
And more black, and longer and thin.

Sources: Florida Museum - Coluber constrictor priapus

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

November 26, 2019

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

I am a Barred Yellow butterfly
My color changes with the seasons
I can be found throughout most of Florida
And in Central and South American regions

Sources: Keysmoths.com - Eurema daira, Barred Yellow

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, November 25, 2019

November 25, 2019

Location: Goodwin W.MA., Fellsmere

This is known as Moonflower
It's flower can be 6 inches across
It blooms late in the day,
Through the night it stays.
And it it pollinated by moths.

Sources: Florida Native Plan Society - Ipomoea alba

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, November 24, 2019

November 24, 2019

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

This is a Common Buckeye
Beautiful enough to inspire this writer
Today's post is dedicated to my readers who
Prefer pictures of butterflies much more than spiders.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Common Buckeye

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, November 23, 2019

November 23, 2019

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

These are Indigo Milk Cap mushrooms
They live sybiotically with oaks and pines
They produce a beautiful, dark blue milk
If they are pierced with the tip of a knife.

Sources: MushroomExpert.com - Lactarius indigo

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, November 22, 2019

November 22, 2019

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

This is Fuligo septica
Commonly known as Dog Vomit Slime Mold
In Denmark it's known as Troll Butter
I think it was named by a boy about 8 years old.

(Thanks to Anne and Sven for the Troll Butter tip!)

Sources: UF | IFAS Blogs - I Ain’t Afraid of No Slime Mold

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, November 21, 2019

November 21, 2019

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

I am a female Phidippus regius
I have 8 eyes spread out over three rows
The males of my species are black and white
But I'm pretty and wear colorful clothes.

(This spider is harmless to humans, unless you hurt it, in which case it will bite, which will be painful but not medically significant.)

Sources: University of Floria IFAS Extension, Regal Jumping Spider

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

November 20, 2019

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

I am a Golden Silk Spider
I eat flying insects when I get the chance
I'm yellow and orange and wear little leg warmers
Just like the girl in Flashdance.

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Golden Silk Spider

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

November 19, 2019

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

This is Leavenworth's Tickseed
It's a great plant for honey bees and native bees too
Birds, butterflies and even bunnies
All love and make use of its bloom.

Sources: Florida Wildflower Foundation - Flower Friday: Leavenworth’s tickseed

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, November 18, 2019

November 18, 2019

Location: Location

I am a Squirrel Tree Frog
My color can be anywhere from brown to green
My call sounds a little bit like a duck
And I'm usually easier heard than seen.

Sources: Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation UF Wildlife Johnson Lab - Florida's Frogs & Toads

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, November 17, 2019

November 17, 2019

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

This might be a Perforated Ruffle Lichen
It's hard to tell without a microscope
As well as some chemicals and a key
And someone to show you the ropes.

Sources: U.S. Forest Service - Lichen Collection and Identification

Photo and text © 2019 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, November 16, 2019

November 16, 2019

Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

I am a Two-lined Spittlebug
I really like to eat grass
I inject the grass with toxic saliva
Which can kill the grass in a very large patch.

Sources: University of Florida IFAS Extension - Management of Spittlebugs in Pasture

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, November 15, 2019

November 15, 2019


Location: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee

I believe this is an Arabesque Orbweaver
Based on the bright white dots on it's belly
Another clue is by the shape of the web
Which can also help with spider ID.

Sources: North American Insects & Spiders - Orb Weaver Spider – Neoscona arabesca

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, November 14, 2019

November 14, 2019

Location: Stone Street, Cocoa Village

I am a Cuban Brown Snail
In Florida in 1920 I was first released
I'm not well liked cause I eat ornamental plants
And my population has spread and increased.

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Zachrysia provisoria

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

November 13, 2019

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

I am an Eastern Meadowlark
I look a lot like my Western counterpart
My malar stripe's white, their color's less bright
That's what the main differences are.

(Note: We are talking visible differences here. Another very big differences is in their songs.)

Sources: Differences between Eastern Meadowlark, Sturnella magna, and Western Meadowlark, S. neglecta.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

November 12, 2019

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

I known as a Gopher Tortoise
You've caught me at a moment quite inopportune
I'm heading into my burrow, out of the sun
So please excuse my tortoise-shell moon.

Sources: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - Gopher Tortoise

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, November 11, 2019

November 11, 2019




Location: Lake Mirror, Lakeland

We are Common Gallinules
We used to be Moorhens but now we are not
Our beaks and voicesdiffer from them
So we now have got our own spot*

*On the taxonomical list of birds, as determined by the American Ornithological Union. None of this really has to do with the photos which demonstrate that Common Gallinule babies are so freaking adorable with their little candy corn faces!

Sources: Proposal (416) to South American Classification Committee - Split Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata) from Common Moorhen (G. chloropus)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, November 10, 2019

November 10, 2019

Location: Lake Mirror, Lakeland

This is the shell and operculum of
The exotic invasive Island Apple Snail,
It eats rooted aquatic vegetation
Causing destruction on a wide scale.

Sources: Featured Creatures - Apple Snails of Florida

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, November 9, 2019

November 9, 2019

Location: Lake Mirror, Lakeland

I am known as a Wood Stork
I would starve if I lived in a cabana
I only eat fish I catch at a specific depth -
I've even been known to eat some Piranha.

Sources: American Bird Conservancy - Wood Stork

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019


Location: Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland

I am a Florida Red-bellied Cooter
Notice the red highlights on my shell
I can be found throughout most of Florida
And southeastern Georgia as well.

Sources: Animal Diversity Web: Pseudemys nelsoni - Florida Redbelly Turtle

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson






Location: Lake Mirror, Lakeland

I am a Peninsular Cooter
Compare and contrast me with the Red-bellied
He has straight lines on the back of his head
Mine are more swirled, almost like an eddie.

Note: Another clue to Peninsular Cooter ID, as described in the link below, is location - they are not as widespread as the Red-bellied.

Sources: Animal Diversity Web - Pseudemys peninsularis - Peninsula Cooter


Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

Location: Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland

I am an American Alligator
I have around 80 teeth at a time
When one wears out, a new one grows
I can go through 2000 teeth in my life.

Sources: The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About the American Alligator

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

November 6, 2019

Location: Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland

I am a non-venomous Florida Watersnake,
I like to live in shallow fresh water
People confuse me with the venomous Cottonmouth snake
Which leads to my completely unwarranted slaughter.

(Note: A fantastic resource for learning about snake identification is the What kind of snake is this? Florida Facebook page.

Sources: Florida Museum - Nerodia fasciata pictiventris

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November 5, 2019

Location: Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland

I am a Great Blue Heron
Ardea herodias is my scientific name.
"Areda" means "heron" in Latin
"ErodiĆ³s" in Greek means the same.

Sources: Google Translate

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, November 4, 2019

November 4, 2019

Location: Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland

I am a White Peacock butterfly
I like sunny, open areas
Including orchards, and gardens and farmlands
Like many other agrarians.

Sources: Learn About Butterflies - White Peacock

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, November 3, 2019

November 3, 2019


Location: Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland

I am an adult male Eastern Pondhawk
I'm powder blue with big green eyes
If I were young or female I'd be totally green
We all eat bugs, from small to large sized.

Sources: Odonata Central - Eastern Pondhawk

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, November 2, 2019

November 2, 2019

Location: Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland

I am a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
I have at least 7 geographic variations
In Florida, I'm Polioptila caerulea,
In the west and in Texas I have other relations

Sources: National Geographic Photo Ark - Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Photo and text © 2019 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, November 1, 2019

November 1, 2019

Location: Long Creek Nature Preserve, Palm Coast

I am a fish in the genus Oreochromis
A Blue Tilapia, perhaps?
I'm likely not native to Florida which can
Make native fish populations collapse.

Sources: USGS NAS - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species - Oreochromis aureu

Photo and text © 2019 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 31, 2019

October 31, 2019

Location: Washington Oaks Gardens, Palm Coast

I am an Obscure Bird Grasshopper
I'm known to be a strong aviator
I also like to chew on Hibiscus
Which can make gardeners and home owners be haters.

Sources: University of Florida - Common Grasshoppers in Florida

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

October 30, 2019

Location: Washington Oaks Gardens, Palm Coast

We are Short-winged Green Grasshoppers
We live near ponds, lawns and roadsides
Females are solid green or brown
Males, brown with green on the top and the sides.

Sources: UFL Entomology Dept. - Synopsis of Florida Grasshopper Species

Photo and text © 2019 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

October 29, 2019

Location: Washington Oaks Gardens, Palm Coast

I am a Zebra Longwing
My wings are striped yellow and black
I live longer than most other butterflies and
I eat nectar and pollen when I want a snack.

Sources: U.S. Forest Service - Zebra Longwing Butterfly (Heliconius charitonia)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson