Friday, April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

This plant is Southern Sandbur
It is a native grass that grows in pastures
It's been known to invade poorly managed fields
Much to the chagrin of cows and their ranchers.

Location: Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

Sources: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag373

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

This plant is known as Sea Ox-Eye
It is known to be salt tolerant
It propagates easily when the flowerhead turns brown
But before that, it's bright yellow and prominent.

Location: Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

April 14, 2021

I am a Great Southern White butterfly
It's harder to tell that with my wings closed
My colors change with the wet and dry seasons
Which is a moot point if this is how I'm posed.

Location: Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

Sources: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Ascia-monuste

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

This plant is known as Plantago virginica
Commonly known as Dwarf or Pale-Seed Plantain
It's a moderate allergen and there's debate
Whether it rhymes with mountain or pain.

Location: Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

Sources: https://www.pollenlibrary.com/Specie/Plantago+virginica/

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

This plant is known as Pink Wood Sorrel,
It's an exotic ornamental
Its leaves look similar to shamrocks
And it's hard to control, at the risk of sounding judgmental.

Location: Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

Sources: https://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/oxalis-debilis/

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021 - Ask David a Birding Question #1 - Why do some Bald Eagle nests fail?


I am pleased to announce a new feature on Dee at 8 a.m. I will be releasing videos featuring David where he answers your birding questions. If you would like to ask a question either post a comment here or send mail to Dee directly. We look forward to your questions. Here is our first installment, "Why do some Bald Eagle nests fail?" Enjoy!

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

April 11, 2021

This is known as Natal Plum
It has dark leaves and it's fruit tastes like cranberries
In South Africa, it's called "Large Num-num"
And in other places, the name can vary.

Location: Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carissa_macrocarpa

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 10, 2021

April 10, 2021

I am a  Tropical Checkered-Skipper,
On my upper wing there's a white hourglass
Beside, a white spot, amongst other dots
A Common Checkered-Skipper doesn't have this much class. 

Location: Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

Sources: https://alabama.butterflyatlas.usf.edu/species/details/133/tropical-checkered-skipper

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

This is Cutleaf Evening Primrose
It can grow to be 18 inches high
It flower has 4 heart-shaped petals
With 8 stamens and 1 pistil inside.

Location: Indian River Lagoon State Park

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

This is known as Marlberry
It is an evergreen shrub
It blooms and fruits throughout the year
And birds think the berries are good "grub".

Location: Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

Sources: https://flawildflowers.org/flower-friday-ardisia-escallonioides/

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

April 7, 2021

This flower is called BlueJacket
Spiderwort is another of its names
The stamen usually has bluish filament hairs
If they're pink, radiation could be to blame!

Location: Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

Sources: https://flawildflowers.org/flower-friday-tradescantia/

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

April 6, 2021

This was once a Mangrove Tree Crab,
Alas, he is no more
He is now just a crab dinner
For ants upon the shore.   

Location: Indian River Lagoon Preserve State Park

Sources: http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2014/case_zac2/habitat.htm

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 5, 2021

April 5, 2021

I am a female Boat-tailed Grackle
I'm omnivorous and eat what I please
Including both land and aquatic insects
And occasionally grain and seeds.

Location: Fellsmere Grade Road, Headwaters Boat Ramp

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 4, 2021

April 4, 2021

I am a Cattle Egret
I'm in the same order as storks
I use my beak to catch insects disturbed by grazing cows
It's easier than using a fork.

Location: Fellsmere Grade Road, Headwaters Boat Ramp

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 3, 2021

April 3, 2021

This is Showy Rattlebox
It makes a rattling noise when its seeds are dried
It is also toxic to livestock,
Remove it from pastures so your ponies don't get sick or die. 

Location: Fellsmere Grade Road, Headwaters Boat Ramp

Sources: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/bakerco/2019/12/03/wild-weeds-showy-cotalaria/

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 2, 2021

April 2, 2021

I am known as a Belted Kingfisher, 
When I was young, I processed bones in my acidic tummy
By the time I fledged, this acid went away
And I started regurgitating just like my mummy.

Location: Fellsmere Grade Road, Headwaters Boat Ramp

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 1, 2021

April 1, 2021

I am a Great Horned Owl
Chillin' on my nest with my babies
Although I am beneficial to man
Occasionally my poop contains rabies.

(Special thanks to today's guest photographer and my sweetheart, David Simpson.)

Location: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Sources: https://meridian.allenpress.com/jwd/article-pdf/12/3/444/2227084/0090-3558-12_3_444.pdf

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