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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