Tuesday, October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020


I am known as a Loggerhead Shrike,
I impale my prey but for different reasons:
If prey is toxic, I impale it to bake poison out,
I also impale to impress girls if it is breeding season.

Location: Fellsmere Stick Marsh

Sources: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Loggerhead_Shrike/lifehistory

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

I am a Spotted Sandpiper
When I was a chick I was precocial
I was able to walk when I was 4 hours old
By 18 days, I could fly and was fully mobile.

Location: Fellsmere Stick Marsh

Sources: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Actitis_macularius/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precociality

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

I am a Great Blue Heron
My legs are long and my body's big and round
You might think that I'm big and fat, 
But I only weight 5 to 6 pounds.

Like all birds, Great Blue Herons keep their weight down by having hollow bones.

Location: Fellsmere Stick Marsh

Sources: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Blue_Heron/overview

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 17, 2020

October 17, 2020

I am a female Boat-tailed Grackle
I like to eat stuff that I find in the water
Such as tadpoles, frogs, mussels and shrimp
But sometimes I also eat other birds sons and daughters

Location: Fellsmere Stick Marsh

Sources: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/boat-tailed-grackle

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

I am a Red-bellied Woodpecker
I was altricial when I was born
My mom and dad took care of me for about 10 weeks
Then made me leave the nest - that's just the norm. 

Location: Fellsmere Stick Marsh

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altriciality
https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Melanerpes_carolinus/

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 15, 2020

October 15, 2020

I'm known as a Limpkin, 
I can be found from Florida to Argentina
My body is large and brown with white spots
But my legs are long and lithe like a ballerina.

Location: Fellsmere, Stick Marsh

Sources: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Aramus_guarauna/

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

October 14, 2020

I am a male Carolina Wren, 
I am small and can be hard to see
Allegedly I sing a tea-kettle-tea-kettle song
But I sing a lot and my song varies frequently.

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

Sources: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Carolina_Wren/sounds

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

October 13, 2020

I am a Southern Two-striped Walkingstick, 
Sometimes I'm called "the devil's darning needle"
I discharge a secretion to defend myself
Against birds, mice, and beetles and people.

Caution: These bugs can and will aim for eyes, which although won't kill you, can hurt very badly.

Location: Fellsmere, my house

Sources: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/walkingstick.htm

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 12, 2020

October 12, 2020

I am a Black-velvet Leatherleaf slug, 
I am the color of soot
I am native to the Caribbean and south Florida
And my genitals are next to my foot.*

* Apologies to sensitive readers, but I had to include this fact - it just seems like such a wildly inconvenient place to keep ones genitals. And to be honest, I had no ideas slugs have feet. I still learn something new every day I write this blog. 

Location: Fellsmere, my house

Sources: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/gastro/slugs_of_florida.htm

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 11, 2020

October 11, 2020

This is Common Jewelweed
It's an annual that attracts pollinators like bees
The stem juice can be used to treat Athelete's Foot
But for humans, there is poison in the berries.

Location: Hiawassee, GA

Sources: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=IMCA

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 10, 2020

October 10, 2020

This is Clematis virginiana
Also known as Virgin's-Bower
It is toxic to cats, dogs and humans
There's poison in its leaves, sap and flowers.

Location: Hiawassee, GA

Sources: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/clematis-virginiana/

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 9, 2020

October 9, 2020

I am an Eastern Harvestman, 
Like a spider, I have 8 legs. 
Notice that I am missing a few of them - 
If I'm caught, I'll self- amputate to get away.

Location: Hiawassee, GA

Sources: https://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.asp?identification=Eastern-Harvestman

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 8, 2020

October 8, 2020

I am known as an American Toad
Snakes will try to eat me if they get the chance.
But my warty skin secretes poison, 
And if that fails, I pee my pants!*

To quote the article referenced below: "When these toads are faced with a predator that is immune to their poison they will sometimes urinate on themselves to become a less attractive meal."

Location: Hiawassee, GA

Sources: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Anaxyrus_americanus/

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

October 7, 2020

This is Sweet Everlasting, 
Also called Rabbit Tobacco
It blooms in the early autumn
And it flowers are white to pale yellow.

Location: Hiawassee, GA

Sources: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PSOBO

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

October 6, 2020

I am a baby White-tailed Deer, 
I'll lose my spots when I'm around 5 months old
The rest of my fur will turn more uniform brown
Except under my tail which will stay white and bold.

Location: Hiawassee, GA

Sources: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/mammals/land/deer/

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 5, 2020

October 5, 2020

These are Carolina Horsenettles,
They have a prickly stem
These plants are pretty but be careful
Or you will get stuck when you handle them.

Location: Hiawassee, GA

Sources: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=soca3

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 4, 2020

October 4, 2020

I am known as an Eastern Newt,
In the front I have 4, in back I have 5 toes
I'm found in ponds or shallow fresh water
Where I help to control mosquitos.

Location: Hiawassee, GA

Sources: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Notophthalmus_viridescens/

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 3, 2020

October 3, 2020

I am known as a Little Yellow butterfly
When I was a caterpillar I ate partridge pea
As an adult I prefer to drink nectar
From plants in the Aster family.

Location: Hiawassee, GA

Sources: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Pyrisitia-lisa

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 2, 2020

October 2, 2020

I am called a Common Buckeye,
Because my eyespots resemble the eye
Of a deer or a buck, and they bring me good luck
And can scare predators away when I fly. 

Location: Hiawassee, GA

Sources: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/common_buckeye.htm
https://pixels.com/featured/big-eye-deer-brian-wallace.html

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 1, 2020

October 1, 2020

I am a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 
My legs are short and my wings beat fast
But not fast enough to avoid predators - 
Including Loggerhead Shrikes and cats. 

Location: Hiawassee, GA

Sources: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Archilochus_colubris

Photo and text © 2020 Dee Fairbanks Simpson