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 © 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! ❤

Environmental Gems & Green Haiku

Photo by Dustan Woodhouse from Unsplash.
Photo by Annie Spratt from Unsplash.
Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur from Unsplash.

Environmental Gems

Reduce,

Reuse, Recycle!

Choose organic foods.

Use green energy sources.

Protect wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Stop pollution of the land, air, and water.

Manage forests to control fires and prevent floods.

Maintain public lands and nature preserves.

Use plant-based plastic substitutes.

Develop green energy sources.

Practice organic farming.

Plant trees.

Vote.

Photo by Joanne Francis from Unsplash.
Photo by John Middecoop from Unsplash.

Green Haiku

Create; don’t destroy!

Clean up the messes we’ve made.

Make peace with nature.

Ruins of war, Syria. Photo by Mahmood Sulaiman from Unsplash.
If we don’t work now to save the environment, we may all become as extinct as the dodo!
Photo, McGill Library from Unsplash.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Happy Earth Day!

Beyond Earth

Astronauts walking on the moon in 1969, Planet Earth is in the sky. Photo by Joe Han from Unsplash.

Beyond Earth

Hidden by the moon

are stars brighter than the moon…

our earth-perspective.

Beyond the boundaries of earth,

we explore wider vistas.

This morning I woke with a poem I wrote when I was about sixteen years old running through my mind. I wrote the tanka poem above, paraphrasing the poem I remembered from nearly sixty years ago, an update for today. I don’t have a copy of that old poem,”Stars,” but I have reconstructed it from memory and posted it below.

Full moon and stars. Photo by Josh Miller from Unsplash.

Stars

Hidden by the moon

are millions of stars

brighter than the moon.

Because we are small,

it is so.

Because we are wise,

we understand.

Space suit worn by a Russian Cosmonaut, Moscow museum. Photo by iman_os from Unsplash.

When I was eight years old, Russia launched Sputnik, the first satellite, and the “space race” began. Antique relics from early space exploration are on display now in museums. In 1969, when I was twenty, Americans landed on the moon. For the first time, there were photos of the whole earth taken from space.

Planet Earth from space. Photo by NASA from Unsplash.
International Space Station. Photo by NASA from Unsplash.
Space Shuttle. Photo taken in Mexico by Ivan Diaz from Unsplash.

Now, in 2022, fifty-two years after astronauts landed on the moon, unmanned spacecraft routinely photograph distant planets and send the images back to earth. Satellites are used for spy missions and international communication. They show us hurricanes from above, and help to predict weather. Commercial Space travel is in its infancy. Drones are used in warfare and by amateur photographers. Many dead satellites and other “space junk” orbit the earth.

Andromeda Galaxy seen from Russia. Photo by Tengyart from Unsplash.

Humans have much bigger dreams for future travel in space. Before us lie some important lessons about restoring and protecting this beautiful Planet Earth and living in peace with our neighbors. If, in the future, we settle in new worlds, we need to remember those lessons, respect and preserve those new environments, and live in harmony with any civilizations we discover. Star treks, yes…star wars, no!

Sunset in Goa, India, one of the beautiful places on Planet Earth. Photo by Ashutosh Saraswat from Unsplash.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia


Dear Fellow Bloggers,

After two failed root canals, a tooth extraction, and extensive testing of his eyes with different eye drop prescriptions, Robert has finally been cleared for cataract surgery. Numerous appointments have been scheduled for February. I may sometimes be absent from WordPress in the weeks to come. We look forward to Robert’s pre-cataract vision being restored. Many thanks to all of you who have expressed concern for Robert.

Kindest Regards,

Cheryl Batavia