Ode to a Young Jatropha

Zebra butterfly gathering nectar from a Jatropha Integerrima flower. Photo by Siala from Pixabay.

Ode to a Young Jatropha

A Florida favorite we revere

delights in winter sun and summer rains.

Jatropha blooms in scarlet splendor here

and blooming daily, honeybees sustains.

Beloved by spritely zebra butterflies,

a cheery view outside our windowpane!

Our balmy winters we gratefully prize.

Jatropha, welcome! May you long remain!

Jack Frost, unbidden, killed you to the ground.

I gave up hope, and soon declared you dead

when armadillos came and dug around,

But Robert watched and watered you instead.

In spring, you rose; in winter, you grew tall.

Jatropha, you were never dead at all!

Photo of an armadillo by Victor Miyata from Pexels.
Our little Jatropha. The shadow is of me taking the photo.
Robert with the Jatropha whose life he saved after it froze to the ground. Photo by Cheryl Batavia.

In just three short months our Jatropha grew from the roots to nearly six feet tall and wide. This winter, I will begin to prune and shape it.

Last spring, we planted another Jatropha in the front yard to replace a tree that died in the freeze. The nursery said that it was not uncommon for frozen Jatrophas to regrow. Our little shrub was newly-planted and vulnerable. Older Jatrophas in the neighborhood had minimal damage, and quickly recovered.

The last freeze in South Florida was in 2010. Freezes happen about every 10 years, and most tropical plants do survive. Let’s hope climate change does not make freezes more common here.

Copyright Β© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

To my Blogging Friends,

Before moving, my son spent ten days with us. During his visit, I spent too much time outdoors in the heat. What started as an allergic reaction to soil molds became a sinus infection. Though I almost never have a headache, I experienced five weeks of severe daily headaches, some days all day. I also suffered extreme fatigue and brain fog.

When I realized I had a sinus infection, I called my doctor’s office for an appointment. My doctor wouldn’t see me and sent me to the walk-in clinic because my symptoms resembled covid. I was in the clinic for three hours being tested for covid and the flu. Both tests were negative. I got some antibiotics, and I am finally over the sinus infection and recovering my energy.

As I am able, I will begin spending more time on WordPress. I am glad to be back! ❀


  1. sorry to hear you had such a hassle Cheryl, and glad it’s readily cured! We need to drink loads more water in intense heat, it does help πŸ™‚ Glad your son got to spend quality time with you.

    I’m also sensitive to pollens and due to heavy rains all our wattle and privot are out this spring. I am fortunate to walk amongst them and come home with stuffed sinuses and a mild headache … cloudy wet days here, no heat yet at any level πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person


  2. What a beautiful poem Cheryl and 3 cheers to Robert for bringing this beauty back to life and so abundantly I might add! It’s gorgeous and I’m so sorry to hear about your sinus headaches that sound so debilitating and here all along, I thought that it was because you were getting your poems published. Plus, you continued to check in on all of us! πŸ’–
    Sooooo happy you are feeling better and keep taking care of yourself! πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Thank you, Cindy. I wasn’t up to doing much computer time, but I am much better now.

      I did publish one poem, but it is taking a long time for the magazine to come out. I have two new books I need to put in manuscript form, but no plans to publish them anytime soon. Publishing my previous books with traditional publishers is still in the works.

      I understand that you are publishing a book. Wishing you all the best with it!

      Liked by 1 person


      1. You’re so welcome Cheryl! I certainly can understand that and it makes good sense to listen to your body.

        Oh that’s great and all in good time. I think that is how this all works. It’s great you are in progress.

        Yes, I am working with Ingrid and right now I have had to put all of that on hold but timing is everything! Thanks a lot, I appreciate that! πŸ’–

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful story of the Jatropha you rescued! So hopeful! I’m so sorry about the sinus infection – and am so glad that you are on the mend! I had two of those this year after never having one before and I agree with you about the headaches. Sending good wishes for good health and a speedy recovery!

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Thank you, Wynne, for your kind words. ❀

      I am sorry to hear you have had a similar experience with sinus infections. Some things I am doing besides the antibiotic: humidifier, drinking lots of hot herb tea and water, a low-histamine diet, probiotics, sinus washing, taking Zyrtec, hot wet clothes on my face, and a few NSAIDs for pain. If you know of anything else that can be done, please share it with me. πŸ™‚ Avoidance would be even better, I am sure you agree!

      Take care!

      Liked by 1 person


      1. That’s a great list. Yes, the tea and the sinus washing were the ones I did a lot of too. I remember wondering if I’d ever clear it and being so relieved on day 2 or 3 of the antibiotics when the pressure started to recede. Hope you are getting some relief too, Cheryl!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. This experience with the Jatropha tree made me contemplate that very thing, Ivor! I believe nature has amazing powers of recovery if we just stop destroying habitats and living things and give nature a chance.

      On a personal level, it also made me think I should have more patience. I should not just want to pull up plants without waiting to see if they can recover. I am so grateful to Robert for saving the Jatropha! He also takes very good care of me, for which I am grateful. πŸ™‚

      Our little palm tree looks like it is going to survive. I think I watered it too much last year, and now I know better.

      I always enjoy photos of the flowers in your garden. Spring is right around the corner, Ivor! ❀

      Liked by 1 person


      1. Yes our spring has just started and it’s nearly time plant some veggie seedlings 🌱.. l do my gardening Cheryl and hopefully my crook back will recovered soon πŸŒ±πŸ€—πŸŒπŸ’•

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, David. The healthcare system in this country can be very frustrating. Most developed countries have universal health care. They spend a lot less on healthcare and have better outcomes. Last I saw, we are ranked eighteenth!

      I am looking forward to some music. Hope you are doing well. ❀

      Liked by 1 person


  4. Cheryl, what an ordeal you went through, and welcome back! The Jatropha is a good example of survival and I am so glad Robert was able to assist in its renewal. I get allergies from the pollen in the fall but not severe. Stay safe and well, and again welcome back! πŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people


    1. Thank you, Eugi, for your empathetic comments. I hope we have a mild pollen season, and you won’t suffer too much. Robert takes good care of many things, but especially, he looks out for me! I am fortunate! I think the Jatropha will serve to remind me of the resilience of nature and inspire me to be more patient.

      Have a great week! ❀

      Liked by 1 person


    1. Thank you, Lawrence. Glad you like the poem. Yes, I have a nephew who developed epilepsy from a sinus infection. I am doing better and think I will be OK.

      I saw your old and new prime ministers visiting the queen on the news today. Hope she can bring positive changes. I certainly like her hairstyle better than her predecessor’s! Have a lovely day, Lawrence. ❀

      Liked by 1 person


    1. Thank you, Lokesh. I think you know more about building a blog than I do! Wishing you all the best with the exam! I always found that a very brief review before going to sleep was helpful in retaining information. Don’t wear yourself out with all-nighters! ❀

      Liked by 1 person


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