Monday, May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

This is Yaupon Holly
Later in the year it will have bright red berries
The flowers attract bees, and the fruit attracts birds
And its usage in landscaping varies.

Location: Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge

Sources: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/ST311

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 15, 2022

May 15, 2022

This plant is known as a Sea Grape
The dangly things are known as racemes
Eventually it will have white flowers then grapes
Which are the food of bird and squirrel dreams.

Location: Sebastian Inlet State Park

Sources: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/ST175

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, May 14, 2022

May 14, 2022

I am known as a Sanderling
I like to run up and down the beach
Unless there's a Peregrine Falcon around, 
Then I fly erratically to stay out of reach.

Location: Sebastian Inlet State Park

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 13, 2022

May 13, 2022

I am known as a Ruddy Turnstone
My legs and feathers contain shades of ochre
One thing I don't have is a horrible stench -
I am not a filthy, polluting, jerk smoker.

Location: Sebastian Inlet State Park

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Thursday, May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

I am a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
My tail's much longer than you would imagine
My back and head are grey, my tummy is white
And my flanks are pale shade of salmon.

Special thanks to guest photographer, David Simpson.

Location: Hazel Bazemore Park, Corpus Christi TX

Sources: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Scissor-tailed_Flycatcher/photo-gallery/302140191

Photo © 2022 David Simpson and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

I am a Collared Peccary
Also known as a Javelina
You might mistake me for a pig or a boar
But never for a ballerina.

Special thanks to guest photographer, David Simpson.

Location: Hazel Bazemore Park, Corpus Christi TX

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

Photo © 2022 David Simpson and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

I am known as a Green Jay
I'm the only green bird in this photo
I'm found in south Texas, but nowhere in Florida,
Not in the Keys, Tallahassee or Ft. Desoto. 

Special thanks to guest photographer, David Simpson who took this photo on a recent trip to Texas.

Location: Hazel Bazemore Park, Corpus Christi TX

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

Photo © 2022 David Simpson and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, May 9, 2022

May 9, 2022


I am known as an Io Moth
My spines serve multiple purposes
They repel some of my natural predators
And can painfully sting epidermises.

Very special thanks to today's guest photographer, Heather Elko.

Location: Private residence, Melbourne

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/io_moth.htm

Photo © 2022 Heather Elko, text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 8, 2022

May 8, 2022

We both belong to the family Thomisidae 
Also known as the Crab Spider family
Our 2 sets of front legs are bigger than the back
We don't hurt humans, but we eat bugs quite handily.

Location: My yard, Fellsmere

Sources: https://bugguide.net/node/view/1957

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Saturday, May 7, 2022

May 7, 2022

I am a Palmetto Skipper
As an adult I like flowers including Pickerelweed
As shown here, I'll also eat Thistle
Even one that's partially gone to seed.

Special thanks to guest photographer, Jessica Sodano.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Euphyes-arpa

Photo © 2022 Jessica Sodano and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, May 6, 2022

May 6, 2022

We are Ghost Bulimulus
Also called Bulimulus bonariensis and Land Snails
We are exotics from the West Indies
And most likely got here via the rails.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2021/05/05/edrr-invasive-species-of-the-month-bulimulus-sporadicus-obrigny-1835/

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson





Thursday, May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

This is an Ohio Spiderwort
Also known as Bluejacket
But it's purple and looks nothing like a spider
Botany? I don't think I can hack it. 

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

May 4, 2022

This was a male Sculptured Pine Borer,
You can tell he was male by the "V" notch on his tummy
They are large bugs and harmless to humans
Unfortunately, they find Pine trees quite yummy.

Location: Fellsmere Trailhead Preserve

Sources: https://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.php?identification=Sculptured-Pine-Borer-Beetle

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Tuesday, May 3, 2022

May 3, 2022


This is a tale of two Peregrine Falcons
Starting with a female who lost her mate
Fortunately, she has found a new friend
With whom she can copulate.

And if everything goes according to plan
They won't be alone anymore
They'll have no conflicts
And raise a few chicks
For the first time in Alabama since 1954!

Here's the full story from Greg Harber (edited for space): The story behind these falcons is that the female of this pair has been in Birmingham for several years now with her mate, who was found dead last May. When her mate died, we wondered what might become of her. I had read that the birds often remain faithful to their nest site should anything happen to the mate, so I had hopes she 
would stay and attract another mate. 

I observed her multiple times last summer and up until late fall, and then I didn't see her again until about three weeks ago.  A day or two later I caught a passing glimpse of what I suspected was another falcon, but it wasn't until I snapped these first three photos that I could say with certainty that it was indeed another Peregrine Falcon I had been seeing.  A friend who lives in North Alabama used to monitor peregrine nests on the west coast and she confirmed, based on the plumage characteristics, that the male is a bird that was hatched last year. 

Of keen interest to me and the other who have been following these birds is the fact that peregrines have not successfully nested in Alabama since 1954 (Paint Rock, in north Alabama). Thus, the hope that this will be the year!

(Thanks to very special guest photographer, Greg Harber! To see more of Greg's photos, visit his art shop at https://www.calvinwildphotography.com/?page_id=734)

Location: Birmingham, AL

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

Photo © 2022 Greg Harber and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson




Monday, May 2, 2022

May 2, 2022

This plant is known as Whitetop Sedge
Its bracts are white and green
It evolved colored bracts
Mainly to attract
Pollinators to small flowers that are hard to see.

Location: Fellsmere Trailhead Preserve

Sources: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=rhco7

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, May 1, 2022

May 1, 2022

I am known as a Mason Bee
I'm solitary and a good pollinator
Thistle is one of my favorite plants
And I'm a very good propagator. 

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

Sources: https://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Osmia+chalybea


Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 30, 2022

April 30, 2022

I am an American Bumble Bee
My population is being decreased
Due to being socially parasitized
And a virus from European bees. 

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

Sources: https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/american-bumble-bee.shtml

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

I am known as a Gray Hairstreak
My color is darker when my wings are open
When my wings are closed,
As you would suppose
They are grey with streaks that are mottled and broken.

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

Sources: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/wildflowers/butterfly/gray-hairstreak/

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 28, 2022

April 28, 2022

I am a Large Four-spotted Scoliid Wasp
I am a parasitoid of beetle babies
I sting and paralyze beetle larvae
Then my babies eat the larvae when they please.

Yes, this means that the beetle larvae is still alive, but can't move when the wasp larvae eat it. 

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

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/wasps/scoliid_wasps.htm

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Wednesday, April 27, 2022

April 27, 2022

I am a male Regal Jumping Spider
My mate is much larger than I
If you saw her, you'd be screamin'
But for really no reason
As for me? You would just pass me by.

Note: Regal Jumping Spiders are harmless to humans, but the females are pretty big and can look scary if you don't know that!

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

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/regal_jumping_spider.htm
https://deeateightam.blogspot.com/2019/11/november-21-2019.html


Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

April 26, 2022

I am known as a Flower Scarab
I'm dark with markings the color of cream
Some consider me a pest because I snack on
Corn, roses, and flowers from fruit bearing trees.

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

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/beetles/euphoria_sepulcralis.htm

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 25, 2022

April 25, 2022


I am a male Polites vibex
Commonly known as a Whirlabout
My girlfriend's dark brown, 
When we fly around town
You can tell us apart without a doubt. 

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

Sources: https://butterfliesofamerica.com/t/Polites_vibex_a.htm

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

I am known as a Twin-spot Skipper
Named for my two spots that are close together
Although in history I've been seen as far north as New York
I tend to prefer the US south's warmer weather.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Oligoria-maculata

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 23, 2022

April 23, 2022

I am a Brown-winged Striped Sweat Bee
I'm mostly green and black, but I've got brown wings
At the moment I am covered with pollen -
I don't really have white fuzzy rear limbs.

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

Sources: https://explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.882084/Agapostemon_splendens

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 22, 2022

April 22, 2022

I am a male Florida Leaf-footed Bug
You know I'm not a girl cause my back legs are thick
Girls legs are thinner and have a few spikes
I've one large spike and a painful prick!

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

Sources: https://bugguide.net/node/view/16073

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, April 21, 2022

April 21, 2022

We are known as Eastern Leaf-footed bugs
The blue spot on the smaller of us is an aberration
It is not age or sexual dimorphism
It might be paint or just a discoloration.

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

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/leaffooted_bug.htm

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Wednesday, April 20, 2022

April 20, 2022

This is Cirsium horridulum
Also known as "Purple" or "Bristle" Thistle
It attract tons of cool butterflies and insects
And has prickly leaves as sharp as a sickle.

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

Sources: https://www.regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/plantdetail.asp?tx=Cirshorr

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

April 19, 2022

This is known as Sand Blackberry
It's in the Rose family
The Genus Rubus includes wild and cultivated
Blackberries and raspberries. 

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

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, April 18, 2022

April 18, 2022

I am a Variable Lady Beetle
I'm not native to Florida but still a beauty to behold
I eat lots of insects that are pests such and work
As an excellent biological control.

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: https://wiki.nus.edu.sg/display/TAX/Coelophora+inaequalis+-+Variable+Ladybird

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 17, 2022

April 17, 2022

This is Lantana strigocamara
It is a hybrid invasive exotic
It's toxic to humans, pets and livestock
Feel free to kill it with a vengeance rhapsodic.

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: https://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/lantana-camara/

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 16, 2022

April 16, 2022

I am a type of Soldier Beetle
Specifically, I'm a Margined Leatherwing
I am a good pollinator and I eat garden pests
Such as Aphids, Grasshoppers and other things.

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasotaco/2015/03/02/manage-yard-pests-responsibly/

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 15, 2022

April 15, 2022

I am a Gulf Fritillary butterfly
I look quite different when my wings are open
I'll mate and have multiple broods in a year - 
At least that is what I am hoping!

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Thursday, April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

We are Blue Dasher dragonflies
(At the top) I'm an adult male
You can tell because of my big green eyes
Red eyes eyes mean I'm young or female.

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/59774-Pachydiplax-longipennis

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Wednesday, April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

I am a Scarlet Skimmer
I live in low-quality wetlands
I was introduced to Florida from Eurasia
And I'm cold blooded so I lack sweat glands.

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.scienceabc.com/nature/animals/do-animals-sweat.html
https://bugguide.net/node/view/18756

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

April 12, 2022

I am a female Four-spotted Pennant
If I were male, my spots would be more prominent
You can find me from Texas to New Jersey
And other places on the North American continent.

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: http://www.wildsouthflorida.com/four-spotted.pennant.dragonfly.html

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Monday, April 11, 2022

April 11, 2022

We are female Western Honey Bees,
Age-related polyethism's the way that we work
That a fancy way to say
Our job's determined by age
But we always work, unlike drones, lazy jerks!

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/IN1005

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, April 10, 2022

April 10, 2022

I am a Great Southern White butterfly
My Deely Boppers are turquoise
I never wear trousers
My farts smell like flowers
And never make an audible noise.

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/wildflowers/butterfly/great-southern-white/

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, April 9, 2022

April 9, 2022

This is American Black Elderberry
It is a highly poisonous aquatic plant
Although some similar-looking aquatic plants are edible,
Don't try it, you might not live to recant.

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: https://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/sambucus-nigra-subsp-canadensis/

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

We are both Eastern Pondhawk dragonflies
We can eat bugs that are bigger than us
We are also a predator of the Bollworm moth
Which, for the cotton industry, is a big plus.

Location: Goodwin Wildlife Management Area, Fellsmere

Sources: https://bugguide.net/node/view/577
https://www.jstor.org/stable/3492320

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson