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Thursday, May 30, 2019

May 31, 2019

Location: Sebastian Inlet State Park, Campground

This is Florida Privet
Bees love it's tiny flower
Birds love to eat it's berries
It also makes a great hedge or bower.

Sources: University of Florida IFAS Extension - Forestiera segregata: Florida Privet

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

May 30, 2019

Location: Sebastian Inlet State Park, Campground

I am known as a Mangrove Skipper
I'm iridescent black and blue
When I'm a caterpillar I eat Rhizophora mangle1
When I'm an adult I eat Mangrove nectar too.

1.Rhizophora mangle is the scientific name for American Mangrove.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Mangrove Skipper

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

May 29, 2019

Location: Sebastian Inlet State Park, Campground

I am a Gulf Fritillary butterfly
I can produce multiple generations each year.
I lay my tiny yellow eggs on a host plant
Such as the Purple Passionflower shown here.

Sources: UF|IFAS Featured Creatures - Gulf Fritillary butterfly

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

May 28, 2019

Location: Sebastian Inlet State Park, Campground

I'm a female Cape May warbler
I winter in the West Indies
I summer in boreal forests
Where I raise about six babies.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Cape May Warbler

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 27, 2019

May 27, 2019

Location: Sebastian Inlet State Park, Campground

I am a male Northern Cardinal
Me and my mate both sing.
This is fairly unusual in songbirds.
And we both beat up cars in the spring.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Northern Cardinal

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 26, 2019

May 26, 2019

Location: Sebastian Inlet State Park, Campground

I am a male American Redstart
I look a bit different when I moon.
I am included in a large Harlem art project
That includes Balloons for the Common Loon.

Note: I never know what I am going to find when researching my blog. This is one of my favorite articles that I've ever stumbled across. It is a great project, and I hope it gains traction in other places as well. 

Sources: Murals in Harlem show birds like you’ve never seen them before

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 25, 2019

May 25, 2019

Location: Sebastian Inlet State Park, Campground

I am a male American Redstart
I'm not good at monogamy
I sometimes have one wife that is on a nest
And 1/4 mile away - another family!

Sources: Cornell Labs All About Birds - American Redstart

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 24, 2019

May 24, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Broadway

This is Resurrection Fern
Today it looks pretty and alive
But it will temporarily look dead
If the weather gets too dry.

Sources: UF | IFAS Gardening Solutions - Resurrection Fern

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, May 23, 2019

May 23, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Broadway

This is a Golden Polypody
It is a fern that is epiphytic.
It can grow on a palm, or upon a rock,
Or in soil that is neutral to acidic.

Sources: Natives for Your Neighborhood - Golden Polypody

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

May 22, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, New York Ave

We are known as Red Imported Fire Ants
We cause damage both painful and ecological
We are known to ruin soybean crops and attack
Ground dwelling birds with a vengeance pathological.

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Red Imported Fire Ants

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

May 21, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

I am a male Sachem butterfly
If I were female I'd have a white spot on my wing.
I spend my day perched down low on the ground
Looking for a female who's up for a fling.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Sachem Atalopedes campestris (Boisduval, 1852) 

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019

Location: Viera, Viera Wetlands

We are about a dozen baby Alligators
Well disguised by our baby stripes
You have to look really hard to see us
Don't take a swim or you'll be very surprised!

Sources: Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute - American Alligator

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 19, 2019

May 19, 2019

Location: Viera, Viera Wetlands

I am an adult Great Horned Owl
I'm an aggressive hunter and I'll persist.
My eyes don't move but I can swivel my head
Almost like the girl in The Exorcist.

Note: My mom loved owls, so this post is to honor her on what would have been her 87th birthday. This is a captive owl that is used for education, which we saw at the Viera Wetlands festival.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Great Horned Owl

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 18, 2019

May 18, 2019

Location: Viera, Viera Wetlands

We are baby Anhingas
Right now we are pink, white and tan
When we grow up, we will be black and sleek
For right now, at least, that's our plan.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Anhinga

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 17, 2019

May 17, 2019

Location: Viera, Viera Wetlands

We are baby Great Blue Herons
We still live with mom in the nest.
Although our feathers help us blend in well,
Right now, they still look like a mess!

Sources: Cornel Lab All About Birds - Great Blue Heron

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, May 16, 2019

May 16, 2019

Location: Viera, Viera Wetlands

I am known as a Harris's Hawk
I like high perches, like a balcony.
I am social and don't mind humans,
So I'm often used for falconry.

Note: This was a captive bird that was used in a falconry demonstration at the Viera Wetlands Festival.

Sources: Cornel Labs All About Birds - Harris's Hawk

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

May 15, 2019

Location: Fellmere, Rails to Trails

I am an Eastern Coachwhip
My head's black but my body is tan
If you look close you can see I'm eating a big rat
I bet you are wondering how I can!

There's a myth that says I dislocate my jaw
But that is not actually true -
I have ligaments and tendons to help me
Open wide when I need to chew.
And one last thing - though I'm non-venomous
If you try to catch me, I will bite you.

Sources: How Do Snakes Swallow Large Animals?

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

May 14, 2019

Location: Little League Park, Fellsmere

I am a baby Pilleated Woodpecker
I don't have a big crest yet like my mom and dad.
But you can already see my red mustache,
So you know I'm not a lass, I'm a lad.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Pileated Woodpecker

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 13, 2019

May 13, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

I am another Asian Lady Beetle
Don't confuse me with a Ladybug.
I have much more white on my face,
As well as a much larger radius.

Sources: Asian Lady Beetle vs. Ladybug

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 12, 2019

May 12, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

I am a Florida Ivory Millipede
I don't really have 1000 feet.
But I do have 4 feet on each body segment,
And detritus is what I like to eat.

Sources: UF | IFAS Blogs - Rise of the Millipedes

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 11, 2019

May 11, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

This is Canna flaccida
The yellow's not petals, they are stamens
This plant is also called Golden Canna
In terms of the laymen.

Sources: UF | IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants - Canna flaccida

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 10, 2019

May 10, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

I am a Twin-spot Skipper
I have two pairs of white spots on my wings
I am the only butterfly in the Oligoria genus
I like nectar from thistle, among other things.

Sources: Butterflies and Moths of North America - Twin-spot Skipper

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, May 9, 2019

May 9, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

I am an adult Asian Lady Beetle
Although I am great at my job
My drawback is in the winter
I show up at houses in a huge mob.

Note: If you are brave, read the linked article to see a few hundred thousand of these beetles hanging around together. I'm just glad it's not my house!

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

May 8, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

I am the larvae of an Asian Lady Beetle
Harmonia axyridis, scientifcally.
I was introduced to the US to control arthropod pests
I do my job quite effectively.

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

May 7, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

This is a species of sweat bee
In the Halictidae family.
I posted this picture for my honeybee
Today is our 14th anniversary

Sources: 2003 and now

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 6, 2019

May 6, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

This is Dee beside Cirsium nuttallii
It's a very large type of Thistle.
Although it is loved by pollinators
Touching its thorns will make humans bristle.

Sources: Native Florida Wildflowers - Nuttall's Thistle - Cirsium nuttallii

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 5, 2019

May 5, 2019

Location: Sebastian, Friendship Park

I am a Florida Scrub Jay
You can see on my ankles that I am banded.
That doesn't mean that I committed a crime
Scientists just want to know where I've landed.

Sources: What to Do if You Spot a Banded Bird

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 4, 2019

May 4, 2019

Location: Sebastian, Rails to Trails

I am a Great-crested Flycatcher
I have a yellow tummy and thick, dark beak.
I don't just eat flies, I also like fruit
And my call is a loud, abrupt "weeeeep"

Sources: Cornell Lab All About  Birds - Great-crested Flycatcher

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 3, 2019

May 3, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

We are known as Dung Beetles
We are in the Scarabaeinae family
We speed the decomposition of manure
And reduce pests like flies, all naturally.

Note: Make it a point to read the linked article below, it is super interesting!

Sources: The humble dung beetle is a great ally in the fight against climate change

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, May 2, 2019

May 2, 2019

Location: Vero Beach, Riverside Park

I'm known as a Green Heron
I'm one of the few birds known to use tools
I use fishing lures to attract dumb fish
Who didn't spend enough time in schools!

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Green Heron

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May 1, 2019

Location: Jensen Beach, Hawk's Bluff Trail

I am a Gulf Fritillary butterfly
I live in the southern US to south of the West Indies.
I was an egg, then a larva, then in a pupa,
Which I escaped by doing a strip-tease.

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Gulf fritillary butterfly

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson