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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

Monday, October 28, 2019

October 28, 2019

Location: Washington Oaks Gardens, Palm Coast

I am a Xylocopa micans
Also known as a Southern Carpenter Bee
Because I drill holes in unpainted wood
To make a nest for my family and me.
Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures - Large carpenter bees

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 27, 2019

October 27, 2019

Location: Washington Oaks Gardens, Palm Coast

This is African Asparagus
Also called Asparagus Fern
It's not really a fern, it's a lily
And its berries are well liked by birds.

Sources: UF | IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants - Asparagus aethiopicus

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Ocotber 26, 2019

Location: Washington Oaks Gardens, Palm Coast

I am known as a Polka-Dot Wasp Moth,
My caterpillar host plant is Oleander
You might confuse me with a butterfly or wasp
But I would consider that slander!

Sources: UF | IFAS Featured Creatures oleander caterpillar

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 25, 2019

October 25, 2019

Location: SUMICA, Polk County

This plant is Shining Sumac
Its bright red berries are eaten by Jays
If you appreciate learning about plants
Hug your favorite botanist today.

(Today's blog is dedicated to my favorite botanist and life long friend, Joy on her [mumble mumbleth] birthday.)

Sources: Florida NativePlant Society - Rhus copallinum winged sumac

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson


<<Joy and I doing the Timewarp many many MANY years ago.)

Thursday, October 24, 2019

October 24, 2019

Location: Titusville, Chain of Lakes Park

This is an invasive exotic
Known as Austrailian Pine
It grew excessively after being introduced
In 1924 as a windbreak tree line.

Sources: IFAS Invasives - Casuarina glauca Sieber ex Spreng

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

October 23, 2019

Location: Chain of Lakes Park, Titusville

This plant is Colocasia esculenta
Colloquially known as Elephant ears
It produces tubers which in South America
Are considered good eating, or so I hear.

Sources: UF | IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants - Colocasia esculenta

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

October 22, 2019

Location: Titusville, Chain of Lakes Park

This flower is known as Bluejacket
It makes a nice ground cover or food for bees
It is a short-lived perennial
And can spread via division or seeds.

Sources: Florida Native Plan Society - Tradescantia ohiensis

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 21, 2019

October 21, 2019

Location: Titusville, Chain of Lakes Park

The time has come, the Kingfisher said
To speak of many things.
Of Shrikes and birds and aeroplanes
And other stuff with wings...

Sources: The Poetry Foundation - The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 20, 2019

October 20, 2019

Location: Titusville, Chain of Lakes Park

I am known as a Limpkin
I've got a shell and I'm gonna pull
The snail out and I'll eat - oops I forgot -
The Heron told me not to talk with my mouth full.

Sources: Little Blue Heron

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 19, 2019

October 19, 2019

Location: Titusville, Chain of Lakes Park

I am known as an Anhinga
Anhinga anhinga is my scientific name
I'll repeat it over and over
I'm just like Puddin' n Tain

(Sometimes when a living thing is identified, if it is the first species in its genus, then it will be assigned the same genus and species name, hence the Anhinga's scientific name is Anhinga anhinga.)

Sources: Puddin' N Tain
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Animal Diversity Web - What is in a Scientific Name?

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 18, 2019

October 18, 2019

Location: Titusville, Chain of Lakes Park

This is Common Water Hyacinth
Its growth is out of control
It clogs up many of our waterways
And takes an enormous environmental toll.

Sources: UF | IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants - Eichhornia crassipes

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 17, 2019

October 17, 2019

Location: Sebastian, business on CR 512

I am a mature male Red Saddlebags
If I were female my abdomen would be yellow
I feed over meadows and roadways
I eat other bugs, but not strawberry Jell-o.

Sources: Odonata Central - Red Saddlebags

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

October 16, 2019

Location: Sebastian, St. Sebastian Buffer Preserve State Park

We are known as Cuban Treefrogs
Note how widely our colors vary
It might lead you to think we are different species, but
We're all the same and our numbers are scary!

(Click each photo to enlarge it and see how although their colors are quite different, their eyes, ears, and toe pads are all identical. Then click to read the article to see how much damage these invasive exotic frogs are causing.)

Sources: Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation UF Wildlife - Johnson Lab - Invasive Cuban Treefrogs in Florida

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

I am known as a Wharf Roach
I'm an isopod found by the sea
I live just above the high watermark
Crabs and shrimp are in my family.

(If you have ever wondered, Isopods get big. Really really BIG. Mae sure you watch the video.)

Sources: iNaturalist - Wharf Roach

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019

  Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

I am known as a Snowy Egret
My leg is currently broken
Although I still can hunt and fly,
My ultimate fate will remain unspoken

(This bird was still flying and catching fish, but he was clearly in pain, you could see him kind of wince when he landed. This picture was taken from pretty far away, the bird was on the rocks and able to fly so there wasn't anything we could do to help him. As described in the article linked below, if an injured bird can fly, making any attempt to catch it will most likely result in a lot of stress on the bird and likely its death.)

Sources: Best Friends - How to Help an Injured Wild Bird

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 13, 2019

October 13, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

I am known as a Sandwich Tern,
Look close to see my yellow-tipped bill
I also have a shaggy crest on my head
And I dive into water to eat my fill.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Sandwich Tern

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 12, 2019

October 12, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

I am known as a Common Tern,
I like to hover, then dive to catch fish
You can identify me by my forked tail,
Slender bill and black pointy wing tips.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds - Common Tern

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 11, 2019

October 11, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

I am a type of Ribbed Barnacle
I am related to lobsters and crabs
I secrete fast-drying cement and stick to
Anything that I can grab.

(Click to read the article below, Barnacles are quite interesting. I see them on manatees that have come from salt water into the brackish, but I never really stopped to think about what Barnacles are before.)

Sources: Florida Museum - Five Facts: Barnacles

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 10, 2019

October 10, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

I am known as a Laughing Gull
Today I'm looking a tad morose
I'm wearing my non-breeding plumage
Cause no one's clicked on my Tinder post.

(But seriously, check out the link below for a good comparison of the many different plumages of the Laughing Gull throughout it's life.)

Sources: eBird Laughing Gull Photos

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

October 9, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

I'm an Atlantic Sergeant Major
I have 5 black stripes - that  is true.
But I have never served in the army
In fact, I am still in school.

Sources: Florida Museum - Discover Fishes: Abudefduf saxatilis

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

October 8, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

I'm known as a Lightning Nerite
I live in the intertidal zone
That means at low tide I sit on rocks
At high tide, the water's my home.

Sources: Atlantic Seashore Field Guide: Florida to Canada - Nerita fulgurant

Capital Regional District - Intertidal Zone

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 7, 2019

October 7, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

I'm a Little Blue Heron
This fish sure looks delectable
I'd tell you more about it
But mom says, "Don't talk with your mouth full!"

Sources: Etiquette Scholar - Bad Table Manners

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 6, 2019

October 6, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

These are Double-crested Cormorants,
The one on top is slightly younger.
The other one has darker feathers on his head and neck
Than the cormorant he is presently under.

Sources: Wikipedia, Double Crested Cormorants

Photo and text © 2019 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 5, 2019

October 5, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

These are two Ruddy Turnstones
The top one is much younger
They flip the table over before they eat
If they were human, we would call them vulgar!

Sources: Ruddy Turnstone video by Mark Vance

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 4, 2019

October 4, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

We are Mangrove Tree Crabs
Our color varies widely
We are fast and if you try to catch us
We won't just sit by idly.

Sources: Wild South Florida - Mangrove Tree Crab

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 3, 2019

October 3, 2019

Location: Fort Pierce Inlet State Park

Here in front, I'm an adult Laughing Gull,
Behind me is a first year bird.
We like to eat insects, crustaceans, and...
Heck, we eat everything, even earth worms.

Winners of yesterday's contest were Cindy V. and Joy H., both of whom submitted the correct answer, Double Crested Cormorant at exactly 11:19. Cindy, drop me an email with your snail mail calendar and I'll get that right off to  you.

Sources: Cornell Lab All About Birds Laughing Gull

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

October 2, 2019

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

Can you guess who I am?
Here are a couple of clues:
I only live up to my name during breeding season
And the inside of my mouth is bright blue.

(The first reader who either replies here or sends me an email with the correct name of the bird will receive a free Dee at 8:00 a.m. 2020 Nature of Indian River Wall Calendar.)

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October 1, 2019

Location: Fort Pierce Inlet State Park

This is known as Rougeplant,
Birds and animals eat its seeds
Historically women made themselves pretty
Wearing rouge made from the berries.

(Note to readers who subscribe via email: As of today, you will start receiving the daily post at 8:00 a.m. on the day on which it is posted. If you missed the September 30th blog during this transition, you can read it by clicking this link.)

Sources: Florida Native Plant Society - Rivina humilis

Photo and text © 2018 Dee Fairbanks Simpson