Friday, May 14, 2021

May 14, 2021

This is known as a Longleaf Pine,
It has a long tap root below us
It produces big pine cones that you can throw
At irresponsible, terrible poets.

(Sorry I messed up posting a poem again today! Feel free to whip a pine cone at my head the next time you see me!)

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/st469

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021

I am a Carolina Burying Beetle
So called because I bury dead bugs
Right near where I lay my eggs
So they can be eaten by my daughters and sons.

Special thanks to guest photographer, Heather Stapleton.

Location: Vero Beach, private residence

Sources: https://www.reed.edu/biology/courses/BIO431S05_2017/papers/beetle_ecology.pdf

Photo © 2021 Heather Stapleton and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

May 12, 2021

I am a Northern Cloudywing
I'm sure you're familiar with the parts of mammalia
But I bet that you never gave thought to
A butterfly's genitalia.

(I never know what I am going to find when researching this blog. But I must admit that "150 year old drawings of a Cloudywings naughty bits" surprised me. Click the link below. To be honest, they kind of look like the first pattern I drew for the Pelican puppet I am making, and I cannot for the life of me figure out how these naughty bits would make a baby butterfly.)

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://butterfliesofamerica.com/thorybes_p_pylades_genitalia.htm

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021

I am a Gray Wall Jumping Spider
On a cement wall, I'm easily disguised
But I can see in color and easily find prey
With my extra large two front eyes.

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 10, 2021

May 10, 2021

This is a Ganoderma species
Growing where once a sweet gum grew
Twas struck by lightning, then too much wind
Now life begins anew

Very special thanks to today's guest poet and photographer, the amazing Heather Stapleton.

Location: Vero Beach, private residence

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

Photo and text © 2021 Heather Stapleton

Sunday, May 9, 2021

May 9, 2021


I am a baby Great Horned Owl
Shown here with my mum
Right now I'm insanely adorable
But an efficient predator is what I'll become

(Special thanks to today's special guest photographer, Susan Petracco.)

Location: undisclosed

Sources: http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/polkco/2019/11/06/commonly-confused-owls-in-florida/

Photo © 2021 Susan Petracco, text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 8, 2021

May 8, 2021

I am a Cape May Warbler
I have a tiger-striped breast
I like to eat insects and occasionally nectar
I live in the east but have been seen in the west. 

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

Sources: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cape_May_Warbler/maps-sightings

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 7, 2021

May 7, 2021

This is a type of Bracket Fungi
It is in the Ganoderma genus
The name comes from the Greek words meaning "shiny" and "skin"
Which doesn't seem accurate - but that's just between us.

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

Sources: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/48475-Ganoderma

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, May 6, 2021

May 6, 2021

I am a Gopher Tortoise
I think the photographer needs glasses.
She thought she was looking at me head on
But she can't tell tortoise heads from asses. 

(In my defense, today is my 57th birthday so I am really really old now. But I did not realize this was the back end of the Tortoise till I downloaded the picture and saw the poop!)

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

Sources: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/reptiles/gopher-tortoise/

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

May 5, 2021

The red stuff on this tree is Christmas Lichen Herpothallon rubrocinctum, scientifically
It's a subtropical lichen common in the south east
And it grows in shady swamps and forests on trees.

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

Sources: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/464189-Herpothallon-rubrocinctum

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

I am a Peninsular Cooter, 
I live in swamps and other fresh water
I am strictly an herbivore, I never eat fish
Plants are the only thing that I will slaughter*

*As described in the link below, humans are one of the Peninsular Cooter's predators. Fishermen are known to shoot Cooters on the mistaken belief that turtles kill and eat game fish. 

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 3, 2021

Dee at 8 a.m. Presents: Ask David Simpson a Birding Question: Episode 4: What is an Endemic Bird?


In our fourth episode of Ask David a Birding Question, we bring you: What is an endemic bird?

Enjoy! And, 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.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

May 3, 2021

I am known as a Prairie Warbler,
But I don't live up to my name
I don't live on the prairie, I prefer forests or scrubs, 
My population's in decline, what a shame!

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 2, 2021

May 2, 2021

I am an Eastern Cottontail,
As Rabbits go, I'm bigger than the Marsh
I would say my white fluffy tail makes me cuter
But the Marsh rabbit might think that sounds harsh.  

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

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

Photo and text © 2021 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 1, 2021

May 1, 2021

I am known as a Gopher Tortoise
Note that I am a Tortoise, although also a Turtle*.
Turtles can go in the water, I live exclusively on land
For me, swimming is an insurmountable hurdle!

* Please read the article linked below, but to quote it: 
All tortoises are in fact turtles—that is, they belong to the order Testudines or Chelonia, reptiles having bodies encased in a bony shell—but not all turtles are tortoises. [...] The most important thing to remember about tortoises is that they are exclusively land creatures

Location: Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay

Sources: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/fcaa6e