Monday, November 29, 2021

November 29, 2021

(Left) I am known as an Anhinga
(Right) And I am a Boat-tailed Grackle
We get along fine in the wild as friends
But you won't find us in a wedding chapel. 

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: https://kids.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frym.2019.00113

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, November 28, 2021

David Simpson and I are pleased to present to you episode 6 of Dee at 8 a.m. Ask David a Birding Question. Today's question comes from Joy Handley who wants to know: How can you tell terns apart? Thanks for the question!

If you have a question you want David to answer, please leave a comment here. And if you want to support my dream of giving up my day job and doing this full time, be sure to click the YouTube Like and Subscribe buttons!

https://youtu.be/xOgcxZsAyug

November 28, 2021

This is Macroptilium lathyroides
Also known as Phasey Bean
It's flowers are purple-ish red,
And it has compound leaves. 

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: https://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/macroptilium-lathyroides/
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compound%20leaf

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, November 27, 2021

November 27, 2021

I am known as a Cucumber Moth
In Africa and Asia, I'm considered a pest
I tend to eat fruit
There lies the dispute
I don't only eat, I infest!

Special thanks to guest photographer, David Simpson.

Location: Palm Bay, FL

Sources  https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/assets/factsheets/diaphania-indica-nitidalis-hyalinata.pdf

Photo © 2021 David Simpson and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, November 26, 2021

November 26, 2021

House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
I am a male breeding House Sparrow
I like to live where I have human neighbors
Because I'm so common, I'm easily studied
As evidenced by nearly 5000 published scientific papers.

Location: Cape Cod, MA

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

(Note: I'm feeling a little homesick, so I thought I'd dedicate this week to the last time I had a real vacation with my sibs when we went to Cape Cod in July of 2016. Enjoy the trip up north!)

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, November 25, 2021

November 25, 2021

Tree Swallow - Tachycineta bicolor
I am known as a Tree Swallow
I live up north when I'm breeding
But when the weather gets cold
I'm just not that bold
Come July or August - I'm leaving!

Location: Cape Cod, MA

Sources: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Tree_Swallow/maps-range

(Note: I'm feeling a little homesick, so I thought I'd dedicate this week to the last time I had a real vacation with my sibs when we went to Cape Cod in July of 2016. Enjoy the trip up north!)

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

November 24, 2021

I am a Black-capped Chickadee
I have a black hat and bib
My mate and I excavate a tree cavity
Each year to make our little nesting crib.

Location: Cape Cod, MA

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

(Note: I'm feeling a little homesick, so I thought I'd dedicate this week to the last time I had a real vacation with my sibs when we went to Cape Cod in July of 2016. Enjoy the trip up north!)

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

November 23, 2021

Fowler's Toad- Anaxyrus fowleri
I am an Anaxyrus fowleri
Commonly known as a Fowler's Toad
Don't look at this picture too closely
You will notice I just dropped a load.

(I swear I did not see the poop until I downloaded the picture, and it was in EVERY picture I took of him.)

Location: Cape Cod, MA

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

(Note: I'm feeling a little homesick, so I thought I'd dedicate this week to the last time I had a real vacation with my sibs when we went to Cape Cod in July of 2016. Enjoy the trip up north!)

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, November 22, 2021

November 22, 2021

Eastern Towhee - Pipilo erythrophthalmus
I am an Eastern Towhee
I'm black, white and reddish brown
I can be found in Florida throughout the year
And further north when I want to get down.

Location: Cape Cod, MA

Sources: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Towhee/maps-range

(Note: I'm feeling a little homesick, so I thought I'd dedicate this week to the last time I had a real vacation with my sibs when we went to Cape Cod in July of 2016. Enjoy the trip up north!)

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, November 21, 2021

November 21, 2021

Horned Lark - Eremophila alpestris - Side view
I am known as a Horned Lark
You know I'm male cause of my bold black mustache
I have tiny black feathers that stick up like horns
They make me look sexy and brash. 

Location: Cape Cod, MA

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

(Note: I'm feeling a little homesick, so I thought I'd dedicate this week to the last time I had a real vacation with my sibs when we went to Cape Cod in July of 2016. Enjoy the trip up north!)

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson
Horned Lark - Eremophila alpestris - looking directly into camera


Saturday, November 20, 2021

November 20, 2021

Eastern Amberwing - Perithemis tenera
I am an Eastern Amberwing dragonfly
I have red eyes and my wings are covered with veins
My stripes mimic wasps
To scare predators off
And I prefer sunny days to those when it rains.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.php?identification=Eastern-Amberwing

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, November 19, 2021

November 19, 2021


Southern Green-striped Grasshopper - Chortophaga australior
I am a Southern Green-striped Grasshopper
You can find me where soil is bare or disturbed
I can actually be either green or brown
Misnamed species like me leave Dee feeling perturbed.

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/IN010

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, November 18, 2021

November 18, 2021

Red-banded Hairstreak - Calycopis cecrops
I am a Red-banded Hairstreak
I have two tails that hang off my hindwings
I mostly have the lighter color shown here,
But might be darker if you see me in the spring.

(This photo was taken in the autumn. See the link below for a photo of the darker version.)

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/redbanded_hairstreak.htm

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

November 17, 2021


Black Swallowtail - Papilio polyxenes
I am a Black Swallowtail butterfly
I am indirectly associated with Socrates
We both consumed poison hemlock
I'm alive due to my different biology.

(To quote the UFL article below, "Black swallowtail caterpillars are able to detoxify the furanocoumarin chemicals (particularly the linear forms) in these and other toxic Apiaceae (Berenbaum 1981)." Read also the other linked articles for information on furanocoumarin and how it can affect humans.)

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/IN906

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

Citrine Forktail - Ischnura hastata
I am a male Citrine Forktail damselfly
ID'd by the 3 yellow segments at the end of my tail
Contrary to what Dee believed up until last year
Damselflies are not Dragonflies that are female.

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: http://www.americaninsects.net/d/ischnura-hastata.html

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, November 15, 2021

November 15, 2021

Atlantic Grasshopper - Paroxya atlantica
I am an Atlantic Grasshopper
You can tell cause my antennae are shorter
Than other grasshopper species
And my body is about the length of a quarter.

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://bugguide.net/node/view/5004

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, November 14, 2021

November 14, 2021

Carphephorus corymbosus - Coastalplain Chaffhead
This is Coastalplain Chaffhead
It attracts many butterflies and some bees
It's a short-lived perennial and prefers drier ground
And when in full bloom its flowers are showy.

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://www.fnps.org/plant/carphephorus-corymbosus

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, November 13, 2021

November 13, 2021

Fiery Skipper - Hylephila phyleus
I am an adult male Fiery Skipper
I am orange where my mate is brown
If I was female, I'd be slightly larger
And the orange and brown would be the other way round.

(See photos in the link below for nice comparison pictures of male vs. female.)

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/BFLY/fiery_skipper.htm

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, November 12, 2021

November 12, 2021

Ocola Skipper - Panoquina ocola
I am an Ocola Skipper
My fore wings are much longer than my hind
Sometimes I feed hanging upside down
When pollen is on my mind!

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://www.butterfliesandmoths/

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, November 11, 2021

November 11, 2021

Dark Ricefield Mosquito - Psorophora columbiae
I am a Dark Ricefield Mosquito
I started mating soon after I hatched.
Females of my species will bite all they mammals they can
Making them scratch scratch scratch, scratch. scratch.

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://wrbu.si.edu/vectorspecies/mosquitoes/columbiae

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021

Eastern Meadowlark - Sturnella magna
I am an Eastern Meadowlark
I look like Meadowlarks found in western states
Our geographies overlap, but we don't get along
And though possible, we very rarely mate.

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

November 9, 2021

Pineland Rayless Goldenrod - Bigelowia nudata
This is Pineland Rayless Goldenrod
A.K.A. Bigelowia nudata - a name quite distinct
The name "Bigelowia" is for botanist Jacob Bigelow
And nudata means "naked" just like you'd think!

(To quote "The Complete Guide to Wildflowers", "The name nudata means "naked," alluding to the rayless flowers.")

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Complete_Guide_to_Florida_Wildflowers/J-xEDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0
http://coastalplainplants.org/wiki/index.php/Bigelowia_nudata

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, November 8, 2021

November 8, 2021

I am known as Lilium catesbaei
My stage name when I sing is Pine Lily
My backup singers are the Purplettes
(Not their actual names, Dee is just silly.)

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://flawildflowers.org/flower-friday-lilium-catesbaei/

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, November 7, 2021

November 7, 2021

Wild Turkey - Meleagris gallopavo
I am a female Wild Turkey
I exercise and I'm on a very strict diet
I only have 3 weeks to get unappetizingly thin
Thanksgiving leaves me with a sense of disquiet

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, November 6, 2021

November 6, 2021

Linear-winged Grasshopper - Aptenopedes sphenarioides
I am a Linear-winged Grasshopper
I have big eyes and my face is slanted
I'm wingless and you can find me in the south-east US
In flatwoods where pines are planted.

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://bugguide.net/node/view/38513

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, November 5, 2021

November 5, 2021

Buteo lineatus - Red-shouldered Hawk
I am known as a Red-shouldered Hawk,
If I breed in Florida, I stay there. 
If I breed in Canada or the northeast US
I vacation in Mexico every year.   

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, November 4, 2021

November 4, 2021

Shortleaf Rose Gentian - Sabatia brevifolia
This is a Shortleaf Rose Gentian
In Florida, they can grow almost anywhere
They like moisture, but don't tolerate salt
So at the beach, you won't find many there.

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://www.fnps.org/plant/sabatia-brevifolia

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

November 3, 2021

Starbellied Orbweaver - Acanthepeira stellata in vertical web
I am a Starbellied Orbweaver
I build my vertical web in bright, sunny areas
I have eight legs like all spiders
If I wore shoes I would need two tiny farriers.

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://bugguide.net/node/view/2037

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

November 2, 2021

Peucetia viridans - Green Lynx Spider on purple flower
I am known as a Green Lynx Spider
I have quite a passion for bugs
I am beneficial because I eat many crop pests,
But pollinators also tease my taste buds.

Location: Kissimmee Prairie State Park

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/beneficial/green_lynx_spider.htm

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, November 1, 2021

November 1, 2021

Falco columbarius - Merlin on branch of pine tree
I am known as a Merlin
I'm famous for my hunting skills
Whether shore birds or a flock of song birds -
When I'm hungry, I'll go out and kill.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Merlin/id

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 31, 2021

October 31, 2021

Toxostoma rufum - Brown Thrasher in Scrub Oak
I am known as a Brown Thrasher
East and mid-western US is where I reside
I'm known as a "short distant migrant" but
I've also been seen in Europe (just twice.)

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 30, 2021

October 30, 2021

Marbled Grasshopper - Spharagemon marmorata Close up facing camera
I am a Marbled Grasshopper
Shown here from the front, top and both sides
When I fly, you can see my black and yellow tibiae
And when I sit, you can see beauty defined.

Location: WW Ranch Road, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Sebastian

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/ghopper/band.pdf

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Marbled Grasshopper - Spharagemon marmorata Left side view

Marbled Grasshopper - Spharagemon marmorata Right side view

Marbled Grasshopper - Spharagemon marmorata Top view


Friday, October 29, 2021

October 29, 2021

I am a Psorophora ciliata
In the south some folks call me "Gallinipper"
But most people call me a large mosquito
And fear the painful, itchy bites I deliver.

Location: WW Ranch Road, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Sebastian

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/AQUATIC/Ps_ciliata.htm

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 28, 2021

October 28, 2021

We are a colony of Paper Wasps
All of us have jobs in our hive
The queens lays eggs in each cell, and everything's swell
Till winter comes and only mated females survive.

Location: WW Ranch Road, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Sebastian

Sources: https://texasinsects.tamu.edu/paper-wasp/

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

October 27, 2021

I am a Delaware Skipper
You can find me from Southern Maine west to the Great Lakes 
You can find me in Montana and Mexico, 
And El Salvador and the US Gulf states. 

Location: WW Ranch Road, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Sebastian

Sources: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Anatrytone-logan

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

October 26, 2021

This is a Lance-leaved Coreopsis
In Florida, it's native and in demand
Pollinators love it and it's easy to grow
But it's an "alien invasive species" in Japan.

Location: WW Ranch Road, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Sebastian

Sources: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=cola5

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, October 25, 2021

October 25, 2021

We are Common Lovebugs
You find us smooshed on your windshield when you go to get groceries
The females are larger and heavier than males
Due to the size of their ovaries.

Location: WW Ranch Road, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Sebastian

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/lovebug.HTM

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 24, 2021

October 24, 2021

I am an exotic Asian Tiger Mosquito
I was introduced in Florida in 1997
I have a mean bite, avoiding dawn and twilight
Wearing long sleeves, and DEET are your best weapons.

Location: WW Ranch Road, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Sebastian

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/aquatic/asian_tiger.htm

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 23, 2021

October 23, 2021

I'm a female fly in the Genus Diachlorus
Probably a Yellow Fly of the Dismal Swamp
My color is right - and so is my bite -
I don't just nibble,  I CHOMP.

Location: WW Ranch Road, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Sebastian

Sources: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/IN/IN595/IN595-D0klzo8z99.pdf

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, October 22, 2021

October 22, 2021

I am a non-breeding European Starling
You can tell by the white speckles on my chest
And my beak is not yellow, I'm a drab fellow
But I'm not breeding now, so why look my best?

Location: WW Ranch Road, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Sebastian

Sources: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/European_Starling/overview#

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, October 21, 2021

October 21, 2021

This is the home of the Organ-pipe Mud-dauber Wasp
These wasps are generally docile unless you bother them
Mama wasps fill each tube with live paralyzed spiders
To provide a warm meal for their larvae, who gobble them. 

(Wasps can be pretty mean to spiders. Maybe I should have saved this one for Halloween!)

Location: My house, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.php?identification=Pipe-Organ-Mud-Dauber-Wasp

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

October 20, 2021

I am a Nason's Slug Moth
I live in the eastern United States
My wings have dark lines that don't ever meet
It's one of my identifying traits.

Location: My house, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Natada-nasoni

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

I am known as a Blue Dasher
I think because I dash all over the place
But I'd rather believe it's cause I'm dashing
Just look at my crazy-handsome face!

Location: WW Ranch Road, St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Sebastian 

Sources: https://bugguide.net/node/view/598

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson


Monday, October 18, 2021

October 18, 2021

This is a Fourvalve Mimosa
It's in the Pea family
Like yesterday's plant, they have thorns on their stems
And can stick you, quite handily.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.fnps.org/plant/mimosa-quadrivalvis

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, October 17, 2021

October 17, 2021

I think this is is Littleleaf Sensitive-Briar
You can see hooked briars on the stem
And it's leaves are sensitive to the touch
But I forgot to test by touching them.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=mimi22

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, October 16, 2021

October 16, 2021

This is a Western Honey Bee
Sitting on a Fourvalve Mimosa
In addition to bees, 
Butterflies will seize
Pollen from the plant like Hector Barbossa.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.fnps.org/plant/mimosa-strigillosa
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hector_Barbossa

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson