Gulf Coast Poet, Cheryl Batavia, by Stephanie Snow Photography.
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Did You Know?
- Flamingos get their hot pink color from eating shrimp.
- Dolphins are very friendly and seem to enjoy hanging out with people.
- Alligators are cold-blooded and lie in the sun to raise their body temperature.
Did You Know?
- Flamingos are living in the wild in Florida after an absence of 100 years.
- Burmese pythons are now living in the Florida Everglades, endangering native birds, deer, and alligators.
- Sea turtles can live more than fifty years.
Did You Know?
- Florida black bears don’t hibernate in winter like their northern relatives.
- Skunks are immune to snake venom and love to eat rattlesnakes.
- Parrotfish have powerful beaks that crush hard coral and turn it into sand.
A World to Discover
Hanging Out with Wild Animals is recommended by the US Review of Books.
Enjoy the poems and beautiful color photos in the Hanging Out with Wild Animals books. All the poems in these books are inspired by my own real-life experiences here in Florida. All of these wonderful animals, and many others live here. Wherever you live, a lot of interesting animals live near you. There is a whole wide world to discover: beaches, mountains, deserts, zoos, parks, or your own back yard. So get out there and meet some animals for yourself! Have a wonderful time exploring the world around you, and observe animals wherever you go. Take a camera along to record and share your adventures.
If you are curious about the animals you read about in the poems or animals you meet, go online to learn more about them. You may be surprised to discover that some animals living near you are endangered. You can learn about ways to protect animals and their habitats. On the last page of the book, you will find information about how to observe animals safely.
Preserving Wild Animals and their Habitats for Future Generations
As I began writing the Hanging Out with Wild Animals books, I found myself adding my voice in support of efforts to preserve wild animals and their habitats for future generations. Several animals that have made a comeback from near extinction in Florida are celebrated in poems in the Hanging Out with Wild Animals books: alligators, flamingos, wood storks, egrets, bald eagles, Florida black bears, and Key deer. I have also written poems about manatees, gopher tortoises, and Florida scrub-jays, all of them currently endangered.
Invasive species are a major problem in Florida, and I have written about several of them in the Hanging Out with Wild Animals books. Pythons prey on deer and alligators, as well as tropical birds and pets. Everglades rabbits are nearing extinction, eaten by pythons. Alien venomous snakes and lizards have invaded the Everglades. Caimans, iguanas, geckos, and a freshwater bioluminescent jellyfish are other alien animals living in Florida that are featured in the books. Carolina parrots were native to Florida and much of the Southeastern United States, but they have been extinct since 1904. Some thirty alien species of parrots now inhabit Florida and are featured in a poem.
The poetry in Wonders is diverse: limericks, haiku, free verse, rhyming poetry, narrative poems, and poems just for fun. In the preface, you will find background information about the men who inspired the poems. Each chapter of the book is devoted to an individual man.
Robert Snyder & Cheryl Batavia under the Banyan Tree, Thomas Edison’s Laboratory, Fort Myers, FL. Photo by Linda Rahimi.
I have experienced the same things that many others have: divorce, death of a spouse, and life as a single parent. At age 65, I met Robert online. We have been together for six very happy years.
From the Preface
“Men have always fascinated and inspired me. I am sure there are some real jerks out there. I’ve heard stories about them from credible sources and seen a few in action, but fortunately for me, all the men I’ve loved have been wonderful human beings.”
Life in Inspiring Places
Poems and colorful photographs share memories and impressions of living in places rich in history and natural beauty–The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Washington, DC, Miami Beach, and the Florida Gulf Coast. Poems about family and personal perspectives round out the book.
In 2019 I celebrated my 70th birthday. As I have grown older, I have looked back on what I learned from my mother and my grandmother and all the other older people in my life. My experiences have been informed by those who came before me. Now I am the older person looking back on my life and sharing my experiences with younger generations as well as with people whose life experiences may be very different from mine.
I have learned from my children and my students over the years, and I continue to learn from everyone I meet. I also enjoy learning about people from different times and places from books, movies, and the internet. You are never too old to learn something new!
Prequel & Excerpts
You can find the Prequel to Life in Inspiring Places
on the “Childhood in Small Towns” page of this website. You can also read poems from the book at “Excerpts, Life in Inspiring Places.”