Saving Mother Earth

Mother Earth. Image by Vogue 0987 from Pixabay.

Saving Mother Earth

We find ourselves now

in daunting circumstances…

No time to give up!

Optimism propels us…

Innovation and effort!

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

Image by Jasmine 777 from Pixabay.

For a cautiously optimistic view of saving our planet, go to YouTube and type “Chasing Carbon Zero/PBS/NOVA/Full Documentary.” in the search bar. This worked for me. (When I tried posting the URL, there was a message that the video was unavailable.)

Photo from NASA.

Make Every Day Earth Day!

Birds Fishing in the Mangrove Forest

Arctic terns at Ten Thousand Islands, one of the largest mangrove forests in the world. The green shrub on the left is a mangrove, and the green in the distance is a very large mangrove island. Photo by Ellen Maher.

Birds Fishing in the Mangrove Forest


mangrove island,

safe perch for arctic terns.

Inches above the waves, they find


Osprey, also called a fish hawk, feeding its chicks. Photo by Richard Lee on Unsplash.


create islands,

green in a sea of blue.

Ospreys soar majestically in

blue skies.

Anhinga, also called a snake bird for its long neck. Photo by Mac Weaver from Unsplash.


anhinga dives

to fish underwater,

spreads water-soaked wings to dry in


Great egret flying and two snowy egrets wading in the water. Photo by William Foley from Unsplash.

Snow white

egrets stand motionless,

fishing in the shallows,

alert, their long, sharp beaks poised to


Pelican in Everglades National Park near Ten Thousand Islands. Photo by Ellen Maher.


pelican flies

at Ten Thousand Islands.

Seeking a little bedtime snack,

he dives!

Pelican flying near Ten Thousand Islands at Everglades National Park. Photo by Ellen Maher.


mangrove forest.

Ecosystem threatened

by global warming’s rising seas.


Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

Happy Earth Day! ❤

I Am the Moment

Sea turtle hatchling racing to the safety of the ocean. Photo by Christopher Farrugia from Unsplash.

I Am the Moment

I am that flash of green as the sun goes down.

I am the crest of a wave before it breaks on the shore,

a lightning bolt that ushers in a clap of thunder.

I am the moment of a butterfly’s first flight,

the rush of sea turtle hatchlings to the safety of the sea.

I am the moment when lovers’ eyes first meet.

I am that half-forgotten melody that lingers in your mind,

a half-remembered dream that eludes you when you wake.

I am that pang of regret for a kind word left unspoken.

I am the blink of an eye, the shadow of a smile.

I am that rare, pivotal moment when opportunity knocks.

I am the moment…and then I am gone!

Sea turtle hatchlings. Photo by Ricardo-Braham from Unsplash.

Copyright© 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

To My Fellow Bloggers:

This poem woke me up in the middle of the night a few nights ago, so I got up and wrote a rough draft before going back to sleep. You may also have had similar experiences. I would be interested in hearing about writing inspirations from your dreams or those that wake you up demanding to be written. ❤

Earth, a Fragile Paradise:


Extinctions & Recoveries;

Pollution & Climate Change;

Finding Environmental Solutions;

Earth, A Fragile Paradise

Whale Mother and Baby. Photo by Max Lissenden from Unsplash.

Earth, a Fragile Paradise


In the early days, Americans

burned whale oil in their lamps,

wore fragrances made with ambergris,

(a waxy substance produced in whale intestines),

and laced themselves into corsets

stiffened with whale bones.

Whales, once threatened by hunting…

became popular attractions

for the eco-tourists of today!

Racism, genocide, and greed

decimated the bison,

mainstay of Native Americans

living on the Great Plains.

Hunters killed them for their hides,

leaving carcasses to rot on the plains.


drove Native Americans onto reservations.

Wanton slaughter

brought bison to near extinction.

Some bison today are domesticated;

others roam free in National Parks.

Whims of fashion:

egret feathers adorning ladies’ hats,

alligator shoes and luggage,

elephants, slaughtered for ivory tusks,

baby seals, annihilated for their skins,

glamorous women in leopard coats,

fashionable men in beaver hats.

Many species, once threatened, now recovered;

battles to save leopards and elephants…


Appetite for wild meat is threatening

many species, including humans.

Diseases cross over from animals to humans:

ebola virus, thought to have originated

in bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, and antelopes;

bats in animal market blamed for Covid pandemic;

AIDS reportedly passed

from chimpanzees to humans.

A desire for exotic pets

brought many alien species

to Florida’s Everglades National Park…

abandoned when they grew too large,

escaped, or were released into the wild.

One species is hunted there once each year…

Burmese pythons, grown enormous

preying on deer and alligators!

Everglades rabbits, easy prey for pythons,

soon disappear when reintroduced.

Sadly, prolific pythons may be permanent

Everglades residents.

American Bison. Photo by Jonathan Mast from Unsplash.

Extinctions & Recoveries

Relentless hunting famously

caused the extinction of the dodo bird.

Some American birds have also disappeared.

Carolina parakeets no longer inhabit

the Eastern United States.

Passenger pigeons are gone forever,

Ivory-billed woodpeckers are no more.

The American flamingo and the wood stork

have re-established themselves

in the United States

after being absent for many decades.

Whooping cranes are still hanging on,

supported by conservation efforts.

White-tailed deer were reintroduced

into Shenandoah National Park.

Predators that used to

control deer populations are gone.

Feeding programs now prevent deer

from starving in winter

or being shot in cornfields outside the park.

Wolves, a bounty on their heads

for preying on livestock,

long absent from some of their range…

successfully reintroduced a few years ago

to Yellowstone National Park,

restored the balance of nature.

Monarch butterfly numbers dwindling,

Milkweeds and wildflowers vanishing

along monarch migration routes.

Pollution bleaching coral reefs,

habitat of marine animals and fish.

Wetlands, nurseries for sealife,

disappearing due to development…

Just a few examples of many animals

endangered by human activity!

Great Egret Family. Photo by homecare119 from Pixabay.

Pollution & Climate Change

Bald eagles, emblem of the United States,

barely escaped extinction.

In the years after DDT was banned,

bald eagles repopulated their former range

and can now be sighted

in every American state except Hawaii.

Ugly faces of pollution:

animals foraging in landfills and garbage dumps,

sea turtles entangled in plastic debris,

seabirds coated with oil, fish whose mercury content

makes them dangerous to eat,

microplastics in the food chain, now found in fish

and in humans who eat them.

Red tides, massive algae blooms in oceans,

blue-green algae blooms in rivers.

Toxic overgrowth, caused by pollution,

results in massive fish kills,

deaths of dolphins and endangered manatees.

Aerosolized red tide neurotoxins cause

respiratory irritation and illness in humans.

Exposure to blue-green algae

may result in permanent liver damage.

Everglades, stressed by climate change,

recent hurricane damage…

small communities struggling to rebuild.

Everywhere in Everglades National Park

staff gauges indicate water levels,

warn about effects of rising water.

Just a few more feet of water,

and beautiful mangrove forests,

home to alligators, dolphins, birds, fish,

and endangered manatees,

will be gone forever!

Global warming

is melting arctic ice at an alarming rate,

stranding polar bears on shrinking ice floes.

Can they survive global warming?

Can life on earth survive?

Polar Bear Cubs at Play. Photo by Hand Jurgen from Unsplash.

Finding Environmental Solutions

Zoos, once prisons

for kidnapped animals,

have become a refuge

for endangered species.

Captive breeding programs seek to

re-establish animals in the wild.

Shrinking habitat is being augmented

by setting aside land

for wildlife parks and preserves.

Magnificent animals of Africa and Asia,

tigers, snow leopards, and elephants,

require large territories.

Preserves protect them from extinction.

Tourists on safari now hunt with cameras.

Poachers are punished.

Villagers are compensated for livestock

killed by protected predators.

Europeans take great pride

in preserving vintage varieties of livestock,

cultivating heirloom flowers, fruits, and vegetables,

maintaining animal preserves.

Florida panthers, symbols of Florida,

inbred and endangered,

were infused with new genes

from Texas pumas, a closely-related species.

Florida panthers require large territories.

Land has been set aside;

tall fences now protect panthers

from collisions with cars.

Unlike reclusive Florida panthers,

Florida bobcats,

adapted to living near humans,

are frequently seen strolling through

suburban neighborhoods.

Blackouts on Florida beaches

protect sea turtles during nesting season.

Manatee zones shield

manatees from boat propellers.

Many programs rescue

injured manatees, sea turtles, and birds.

What’s it all about? Photo by Chen Lei from Unsplash.

Earth, a Fragile Paradise

Earth is a fragile paradise…

experiencing both environmental

degradation and preservation;

some people destroy; others rescue, restore.

Life on earth is threatened.

Working together, people may yet

save this fragile paradise!

Copyright © 2023 by Cheryl Batavia

Please Note: This post was written from my own experiences in Florida. I learned about environmental topics from news and documentaries, and I did some basic research while writing poems about Florida animals. I am not a scientist, just a retired elementary school teacher who cares about the environment.

It’s a big world! Please feel free to provide additional information from your experiences and perspective in the comments. Thank you. 🙂

Let’s Celebrate Earth Day All Year Long!

Earth Day, April 22, 2023