Thursday, January 26, 2023

January 26, 2023

I am am Eastern Meadowlark
I'm known to mate in a polygynous style
I have a territory that I defend for multiple mates
Using charm, jump flights, and my wile.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

January 25, 2023

I am a Savannah Sparrow
I've got a short tail and I've got pink beak
My head is comparatively smaller than my body
But sometimes I raise my crown feathers into a peak.

(Cornell doesn't explain why they raise their crown feathers, but sometimes I wear a high ponytail to make me look taller, so I am guessing that raising the crown feathers is done for the same reason.) 

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

I am probably a Tigrosa annexa
It's difficult to tell without a close shot of my eyes
But I'm definitely in the family of Wolf Spiders
Based on location and size.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://bugguide.net/node/view/747000

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, January 23, 2023

January 23, 2023

This was a Dorantes Longtail
Now the victim of a swinging screen door
Butterflies are generally quite fragile things
And would never make it in the Marine Corp.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Urbanus-dorantes

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Sunday, January 22, 2023

January 22, 2023

I am an Eastern Towhee
My mate and I are often victims of Cowbirds
They steal our eggs
And throw them away
And leave their eggs in our nest, those cowards!

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, January 21, 2023

January 21, 2023

I am a Salt Marsh moth caterpillar
In Canada, I can be a crop pest
I am named for the Salt-grass hay I eat in Boston
I more often eat veggies, but I like Pigweed the best.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/saltmarsh_caterpillar.htm

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson


Friday, January 20, 2023

January 20, 2023

I am a Troglodytes aedon
Known as a House Wren, more commonly
"Trōglē" comes the Greek word that means "hole"
I'm known to nest in woodpecker cavities.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Troglodytes_aedon/
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/troglodyte

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson




Thursday, January 19, 2023

January 19, 2023

I am a Pearl Crescent butterfly
Named for the pale crescent mark on my underwing wing margin
If you would like for me to come visit you,
Plant smooth-leaved true Asters in your garden.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Phyciodes-tharos

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

January 18, 2023

I am known as a Florida Manatee - 
A West Indian Manatee subspecies
In this photo, you see the remains of my back end -
I was hit by a boat and no one makes tail prostheses.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.fws.gov/species/manatee-trichechus-manatus

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

January 17, 2023

I am an American Robin
We migrate to Florida, but we don't all survive
There are hazards along the way, such as predators
And, as my friend found out, power lines.

(David and I found the above bird directly under some power lines. There was no sign of predation, so we surmised that it must have hit the powerline during a period of low visibility, maybe night or fog.)

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, January 16, 2023

January 16, 2023

I am a female Northern Plushback fly
You know I'm not male - my eyes don't meet in the middle
My eyes are separated with space in between
I look like a bee, but the similarities are just superficial.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/55264-Palpada-vinetorum

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Sunday, January 15, 2023

January 15, 2023

I am a Gray Catbird
My mate looks just like me
We are monomorphic
And practice monogamy.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, January 14, 2023

January 14, 2023

In this badly cropped photo guess who I am -
The black wingtips and tail should be a clue
Just remember that the Snowy Egret
Isn't the only one whose socks don't match his shoes!

(Answer tomorrow!)

Location: City of Cocoa

Photo and text © 2023 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Friday, January 13, 2023

January 13, 2023

We are six young Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks
Our beaks are not orange, nor are our legs pink
When we're grown up we will dress much flashier
And maybe become the ducky version of NSYNC.

Location: City of Cocoa

Sources: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-bellied_Whistling-Duck/id

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, January 12, 2023

January 12, 2023

I am known as a Red-shouldered Hawk,
Staring down from my perch, so high and mighty
Just make sure you don't stand under my nest when I have young -
They shoot poop over the edge and do not wear tighty-whities.          

Location: City of Cocoa

Sources: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-shouldered_Hawk/overview

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

January 11, 2023

I am an Eastern Phoebe
I'm monogamous and a creature of habit
I'll reuse a nest site every year
Which I always renovate, though nothing elaborate. 
A new coat of mud, leaves and grass right over the old
And we're ready to raise young and cohabit.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

January 10, 2023

I am a male Downy Woodpecker,
I have a small red patch on the back of my head
It's not too impressive
Or even vaguely suggestive
So I drum on trees to impress girls instead.

Location: City of Cocoa

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

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, January 9, 2023

January 9, 2023

I am a Cairina moschata var. domestica
In Spanish I'm known as "Creole" or sometimes "mute" Duck
Although I'm heavy, I produce a lean, tasty meat,
Wait, I take that back, my meat is EWWW! YUCK!

Location: City of Cocoa

Sources: http://www.zoologicodevallarta.com/FichaTaxonomica/PatoCriollo/PatoCriollo.php?Idioma=Ingles

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Sunday, January 8, 2023

January 8, 2023

I am a Common Gallinule
Due to wetland loss, my species is in decline
But at least when I eat, I'm omnivorous, 
So there are no issues with where I can dine. 

Location: Fox Trail Ranches

Sources: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/common-gallinule

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Saturday, January 7, 2023

January 7, 2023

I am a Tricolored Heron
I have a wingspan of about a yard
That is - the US measurement equal to 3 feet -
Not an acre, which would make flying hard.

Location: Cocoa Rico Ranchetts

Sources: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/birds/waterbirds/tricolored-heron/

Friday, January 6, 2023

January 6, 2023

I am known as a Northern Flicker,
I'm known to fight with Starlings for nesting sites
Sometimes I eat fruits and berries; other times
I go for ants and insects when I want a bite.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/northern-flicker

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Thursday, January 5, 2023

My New Book is Here!!

I am so happy to announce the availability (a week early!) of my latest self-published tome, Dee Fairbanks Simpson's Rhyming Guide to Water Birds. 94 (mostly fact-filled, a few goofy) full-color pages. $25.00 (+postage and tax) if you want them mailed, or I can deliver to Indian River/Brevard county. I will also have them at all events David Simpson and I will be participating in. 

Please send me an email if you would like to purchase one, include how you would like it delivered, and how you wish to pay. We can do cash or Paypal. 

Thanks so much! 


January 5, 2023

I am known as a Red House Spider
I'm mostly red-orange with bulbous tummy
I'm a good friend to have around the house
Cause to me house flies and ants taste yummy!

Location: My house, Fellsmere

Sources: https://spideridentifications.com/red-house.html

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

January 4, 2023

I am a Mabel Orchard Orbweaver
The mark on my tummy is not an hourglass
It looks like Spiderman's eyes
And does not imply
I'm a Black Widow so don't even ask.

Location: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park, Fellsmere

Sources: https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/MISC/SPIDERS/Leucauge-argyrobapta.html

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson



Tuesday, January 3, 2023

January 3, 2023

I am known as a Black Skimmer
In Florida, I'm on the State Threatened list
Habitat loss, increased predators, and humans
Are all things that might me to cease to exhist. 

Location: Jetty Park, Fort Pierce

Sources: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/birds/shorebirdsseabirds/black-skimmer/

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson

Monday, January 2, 2023

January 2, 2023

I am a Florida Pinesnake
I have a large rostral scale on my nose
Overall, my color ranges from light cream to tan
With darker markings towards my toes.

(Ok, snakes don't have toes, but "tail" doesn't rhyme with "nose".)

Location: Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Hobe Sound (Captive animal used for education)

Sources: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/UW296

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson





Sunday, January 1, 2023

January 1, 2023

I am a Snowy Egret
And covergirl of Dee's New book
It will be available for purchase on January 10
And is filled with birds, rhymes and  gobbledygook.

A few days ago, I decided that I would announce that I have self-published a second book on my 2000th blog post. Clearly, I am better at rhyming than math as I realized that my 2000th blog post was somewhere around 184 days ago. So instead, I figured I would announce it today - the 7th birthday of my daily blog.

I'm not going to lie - apart from eating candy and annoying people, there is nothing else I have ever done daily for this long. In fact, if you had told me back on January 1, 2017 that I would still be at it 7 years later, I would have scoffed at you mightily. 

And, if you had told me that I would create multiple short films and 2 books based on the blog, I would have most likely asked you if you could please share whatever kind of pharmaceutical it was that you ingested before making that statement. But here we are. 

I want to take this time to thank my supporters who have been here since the beginning. Especially Joy and Heather E who read and review the blog every day and let me know if I have messed up the daily post. I sincerely appreciate them keeping me honest. Thanks also to Karen, Shirley, Joy and David for reviewing my books and videos as well. Thanks also to Space Coast Audubon, especially Rochelle, for carrying the blog on their Facebook page and promoting both me and the blog tirelessly. Thanks also to Heather S. who taught me how to be a master naturalist, but also has encouraged me to branch out into filmmaking - I would not have made it into as many film festivals as I have in the last few years without her support. 

I would be greatly remiss if I did not thank my family, especially Mom Simpson and Shirley who, although they do not share my affection for spiders, still read the blog anyway.  And of course thanks to my sweetheart, David for not leaving me in a swamp somewhere, despite having perfectly valid motives and opportunities to do so.  And, last, but absolutely not least, thanks so much to my followers and supporters on my blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Patreon. Although I try, I sometimes miss and do not always reply to every comment, but please know that I always read and appreciate them. It really means the world to me to know that people are still reading.

So what's ahead for 2023? Well, I wrote a children's book last year that I want to illustrate, but I really need to work on my drawing skills. So I have challenged myself to draw at least a little every day in 2023, and will be posting that work on Patreon to my tier 1 and above subscribers. I also plan to make more videos this year. I have a few that are in storyboard and lots of ideas for others. And I also plan to self-publish a third book - The Rhyming Guide to Perching Birds.

I wish you all a very happy new year, and hope you continue to enjoy the blog for another 7+ years.

xoxoxo,

Dee

Photo and text © 2022 Dee Fairbanks Simpson