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
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. Have fun!
Fact, Fantasy & Hanging Out with Wild Animals
There is a dynamic interplay between factual information and playful elements in the poems in the Hanging Out with Wild Animals books. Each animal has been carefully researched for accuracy. Scientific information is balanced with anecdotes, humor, and imagined animal conversations. The poems are intended to entertain, as well as inform. Most importantly, they are intended to inspire a connection with the environment and a quest to discover more about the natural world.
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.
Wonders: Poems about Love and Relationships is inspired by men I have known and loved. Poems in the first chapter, “Youthful Adventures,” are about various people or are generic. The next four chapters are inspired by individual men.
I was married to my first husband, the “Adventurous Young Man from Virginia,” for eighteen years before an amicable divorce. My second husband, “Light of My Life,” died after eighteen wonderful years together. I didn’t date for twelve years, until after my children had grown up. Then I began dating online and had a brief, but memorable, relationship with “Lover.” Soon after, at age sixty-five, I met my significant other, “Man of My Dreams,” online. We have been together for five very happy years.
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 more detailed background information about the men who inspired the poems.
Robert Snyder & Cheryl Batavia under the Banyan Tree, Thomas Edison’s Laboratory, Fort Myers, FL. Photo by Linda Rahimi.
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.”
“I hope men will read my poems for a glimpse into a woman’s perspective on relationships, and that both men and women will relate to the poems. I think you will find something familiar that makes you say, ‘Yes, I’ve been there!'”
Poems and colorful photographs share memories and impressions of living in places of 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.