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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July 31, 2019

Location: Melbourne, Hundred Acre Hollows

I'm known as a Marl Pennant,
I like brackish ponds and lakes
I'm commonly found in the southern US
Year round, when I'm in my range.

Sources: Odonata Central - Marl Pennant

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

July 30, 2019

Location: Melbourne, Hundred Acre Hollows

I'm a Mimus polyglottos
AKA Northern Mockingbird or just "Mocker"
My name literally means "many tongued mimic
On moonlit spring nights I am quite the smooth talker.

Sources: PBS Nature Works - Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, July 29, 2019

July 29, 2019

Location: Melbourne, Hundred Acre Hollows

I am an Ornate Bella Moth
I'm pinkish-orange and I am diurnal
This means you can find me during the day
Unlike most moths, who are nocturnal.

Sources: UF|IFAS Featured Creatures - Ornate bella moth

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, July 28, 2019

July 28, 2019

Location: Melbourne, Hundred Acre Hollows

This is a barn for a Mason Bee
One of the best pollinators around.
They don't sting and are sweet,
They nest in tubes or in reeds,
Their effect on flowers and fruits is profound.

Bonus: Check out this video I made to learn more about Mason Bees.  Please "like" the video and subscribe to my YouTube channel, and if you would like to see more videos, leave a comment and let me know what critter I should feature next!

Sources: Everything You Need to Know Before Keeping Mason Bees

Discover Life - Osmia chalybea

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, July 27, 2019

July 27, 2019

Location: Melbourne, Hundred Acre Hollows

This is Gaillardia pulchella
Commonly known as Indian Blanket.
It's good to leave spent flowerheads on the ground
To give Goldfinches a colorful banquet.

Sources: Missouri Botanical Garden - Gaillardia pulchella

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, July 26, 2019

July 26, 2019

Location: Melbourne, Hundred Acre Hollows

This is known as Partridge Pea
Also called the Sleeping Plant
Gamebirds like to eat its seedpods,
And its nectar is enjoyed by ants.

Sources: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Plant Database - Chamaecrista fasciculata

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, July 25, 2019

July 25, 2019

Location: Melbourne, Hundred Acre Hollows

This is Helianthus debilis debilis
Also called East Coast Dune Sunflower
It is attractive to butterflies and birds
But gets sunflower rust if there are too many rain showers.

Sources: UF|IFAS Gardening Solutions - Beach Sunflowers

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

July 24, 2019

Location: Melbourne, Hundred Acre Hollows

This is known as Dog Fennel
It is a perennial herb that is somewhat weedy.
It can be found in clearings and roadsides,
When crushed, its leaves can smell unpleasantly seedy.

Sources: Missouri Botanical Garden - Eupatorium capillifolium 'Elegant Feather'

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

July 23, 2019

Location: Melbourne, Hundred Acre Hollows

This is Galactia elliottii
Elliott's Milkpea, more commonly
It is an herb that produces legumes
And is in the pea family.

Sources: Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center Plant Database - Galactia elliottii

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, July 22, 2019

July 22, 2019

Location: Vero Beach, Veteran's Park

I'm a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck,
I nest late in the summer.
David says I have gaudy colors
Which makes me feel bad, what a bummer.

(Note: Had a great day at Hundred Acre Hollows but now I'm tired and punchy so I asked David to help me write my blog so I can go to bed. This is what we came up with ;-)

Sources: David. Blame David.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, July 21, 2019

July 21, 2019

Location: Sebastian, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

I am known as a Sandhill Crane
I forage prairies and grasslands for grains.
I don't hunt in open water the way herons do.
Nor do I scrunch my neck up, that would be a pain.

Sources: (1)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, July 20, 2019

July 20, 2019

Location: Sebastian, Rails to Trails

This is Fewflower Milkweed,
Butterflies love it but to other bugs it's toxic.
It is the host to Queens and Monarchs
It makes them healthier, not sick.

Sources: Florida Native Plant Society - Asclepias lanceolata

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, July 19, 2019

July 19, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, My house

I am a Cuban Brown Anole
I'm making native Green Anoles go extinct.
In some cases Green Anoles are higher and harder to see,
To that fact I am inextricably linked.

Sources: Anole Annals: Are Brown Anoles in Florida Really Driving Green Anoles to Extinction?

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, July 18, 2019

July 18, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, red trailhead

These holes were made by Antlions
Their larvae are called Doodlebugs
Antlions are beneficial to people and plants
But Ants tend to see them as thugs.

Sources: How Antlion Larvae Eat Without a Mouth

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

July 17, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Rails to Trails

I am a West Indian Bulimulus,
Bulimulus guadalupensis is my scientific name.
I am an exotic species in Florida
Puerto Rico is from whence I came.

Sources: UF|IFAS Featured Creatures - Tree snails of Florida

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

July 16, 2019

Location: Fellsmere, Broadway

I am a Southern Flatcoil
In Florida I'm the most common land snail.
The Rosy Wolfsnail's one of my predators,
I'm a meal on a very small scale.

Sources: Predator Of Polygyra cereolus (Mühlfeld, 1816) Southern Flatcoil

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, July 15, 2019

July 15, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

This flower's in the family Portulaca
It is an ornamental and non-native.
It looks nice and makes a good ground cover
But it can also become an invasive.

Sources: Gardening Know How - Portulaca Flower: Tips For Portulaca Care

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, July 14, 2019

July 14, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

I am a Galapagos Tortoise
I can weigh more than 500 pounds
I can live for well over 100 years
I spend my days eating and sleeping around.

(Note: This is a captive, resident tortoise at the Alligator Farm.)

Sources: National Geographic Photo Ark - Galápagos Tortoise

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, July 13, 2019

July 13, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

We are young Roseate Spoonbills
We live in Florida, South America and the Tropics.
Boys have slightly larger bills than girls,
But you'll only notice if you have really good optics.

Sources: NH PBS NatureWorks - Roseate Spoonbill - Platalea ajaja

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, July 12, 2019

July 12, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

I am a Hooded Vulture
Rapid population decline is my fate -
Due to habitat loss, hunting and electrocution,
And poison from things that I ate.

(Note: This is a captive, resident bird at the Alligator Farm.)

Sources: Birdlife International Data Zone - Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, July 11, 2019

July 11, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

I am a Cape Griffon Vulture
In Africa, one of the largest birds.
I'm also one of the most endangered,
For reasons like migration patterns of game herds.

In addition, I also get poisoned,
Accidentally on ranches and farms.
Because people poison the carcasses
Of their animals that predators harm.

(Note: This is a captive, resident bird at the Alligator Farm.)

Sources: PBS Nature: The Beauty of Ugly - Why is the Cape Griffon Vulture going extinct?

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

July 10, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park


This is known as a Bald Cypress tree
Many birds really like it's seeds.
The tree also attracts colonial wading birds,
Who make their nest in the branches and leaves.

Sources: Florida Native Plant Society

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

July 9, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

I'm a baby Wood Stork
Shown here with my mom
She feeds me and takes care of me
In the tree tops with great aplomb.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

I am a West African Crowned Crane
I'm 3 1/2 feet tall and weigh almost 8 pounds
Sometimes I dance cause I'm happy
And I roost in trees, not on the ground.

(Note: This is a captive, resident bird at the Alligator Farm.)

Sources: Cougar Mountain Zoo - West African Crowned Crane

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, July 7, 2019

July 7, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park


I'm an immature Tricolored Heron
I'm more reddish where my mom is blue-grey
Right now I eat what my mom feeds me,
When I'm grown I'll eat by dancing ballet.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Tricolored Heron

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, July 6, 2019

July 6, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

I am a breeding male Ruddy Duck,
When I'm not breeding my bill is black.
To attract a girl I whack my bill on my chest
I guess I'm a bit of a quack.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds  - Ruddy Duck

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, July 5, 2019

July 5, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

I'm known as a Green-winged Macaw
My feet are zygodactylous*
I can mimic sounds and can kind of speak,
But don't often have much to discuss.

That means two toes forward, 2 toes back

(Note: This is a captive, resident bird at the Alligator Farm.)

Sources: Maryland Zoo - Green-winged Macaw

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, July 4, 2019

July 4, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

I am known as a Hyacinth Macaw
I'm a long way from my home in Brazil
Dedicated researchers protecting me
Keep my population from going to nil.

(Note: This is a captive, resident bird at the Alligator Farm.)

Sources: The hyacinth macaw makes a comeback

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

July 3, 2018

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

I am a Snowy Egret
Dressed up in my breeding finery.
As soon as my kids all leave the nest,
I'm heading right off to a winery.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

July 2, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

I am an adult Snowy Egret,
Looking good as I preen
I'm in breeding plumage and the fluffiest
Mooner you've ever seen.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, July 1, 2019

July 1, 2019

Location: St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Park

We are immature Little Blue Herons
With immature Tri-color Herons in the mix
We are at the age where begging our moms for food
Is still how we get our kicks.

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson