Mountain Memories

Dark Hollow Falls Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA, from Adobe Stock Photos

Mountain Memories

An antlered deer bounds to sheltering trees.

A doe and spotted fawn graze lush meadows.

Seeking sylvan sanctuaries of peace

in our youth, we find the hidden hollows.

We view mountain vistas in morning mist,

green valleys and winding river below.

Ravens glide on updrafts in sky-blue bliss,

silent above an ancient hemlock grove.

We descend a steep trail beside a stream,

water music echoes through the forest.

At journey’s end, the waterfall of dreams

is singing the “Hallelujah Chorus”!

My dreams now play reruns of old memories,

of blue mountains and green river valleys.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

View of the Shenandoah Valley from Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, Photo from Adobe Stock

Save Mother Earth!

Mother Polar Bear and Cubs, Photo by NOAA from Unsplash

Save Mother Earth!

Lawmakers and scientists

and assorted ethicists…

Each nation sent a delegation

to help Mother Earth find salvation.

Scientists made their presentations,

consensus of their deliberations:

Mother Earth is sickened by pollution.

Scientists proposed their solution:

Pesticides and poisons are lurking everywhere.

Clean up the land, sea, and air.

Resources are strained by overpopulation.

Keep wild lands and habitats in the equation.

The governmental delegations,

after prolonged deliberations,

agreed on enacting regulations

to be strictly enforced in every nation.

Ethicists were the next to speak:

“Your governmental coercion plan is very weak!

We must set hearts and minds on fire…

educate and motivate, persuade and inspire!”

Suddenly, youthful eco-activists appeared,

determined to make their message heard.

“The future belongs to us!” They chanted.

Protest signs proclaimed what they wanted:

“Save the Rainforest!” “Clean up the Sea!”

“Organic Food!” “Renewable Energy!”

“Save Wildlife Habitats!” “War is an Outrage!”

“Protect Polar Bears!” “Lower the Voting Age!”

Young speakers took the microphone.

They said, “No group of experts can work alone.

Scientists, governments, and ethicists must

work together to earn our trust.”

“The future belongs to us! We take a stand…

The children of the world demand…

Stop your games and endless debate

and save Mother Earth before it’s too late!”


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Environmental Protest, Photo by Mika Baumeister from Unsplash
Solar Energy Farm, Photo by Zbynec Burival from Unsplash
Wind Turbine, Photo by by Natalie Douglas from Unsplash

Katey and the Great Texas Whiteout

My Daughter Katey During the Great Texas Whiteout

Katey and the Great Texas Whiteout

Florida was home.

Katey had not played in the snow

since leaving Russia.

Katey moved this year.

Texas snowfall surprised her…

First snow since age four!

Whiteout in Texas…

power off, roads hazardous.

Katey shoveled snow.

Historic blizzards…tragic.

Playing in snow…Katey’s joy!


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia

Photos by Ellen and Katey


Texas is experiencing unheard-of back-to-back blizzards and below-zero temperatures. This may be one of many examples of extreme weather events due to global warming. Increasing frequency and severity of hurricanes and wildfires, craters forming in Russia’s Tundra, and melting polar ice are some other possible examples.

Texas is not well-prepared for blizzards. Items such as Snowplows and snow tires are in short supply. The low temperatures are overtaxing the power grid and causing power outages. Some people’s water pipes have burst. A few areas have orders to boil water. Many people are stuck at home with a dwindling supply of food and without heat. I am grateful that my daughters and their household have experienced only a very brief power outage.

My Daughters, Katey and Ellen
Rez Plays with Katey’s Snow Angel
Don’t Do It, Ellen!
Yay. Snow!

Florida in Red

Poinsettias, Photo by primalfelines from Unsplash

Red Leaves

Autumn at Christmas.

Red poinsettias linger,

welcoming the spring.

Photo by Ryan Stone from Unsplash

Red Sky

Red winter sunrise.

Short winter days grow longer.

Red winter sunset.

Male Cardinal, Photo by George Berberic from Unsplash

Red Birds

Cardinal’s crimson.

January…spring fever.

Woods ring with bird songs.


Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


Florida’s Change of Seasons

The change of seasons is subtle in South Florida. Times given vary, but are approximate for where I live.

In Florida, most trees and plants are green all year, but some are deciduous. Red Maples and Virginia creeper are among Florida’s deciduous plants. Their leaves turn red in late December and fall around New Year’s.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico and grow well in South Florida. They typically bloom in December, and their red bracts stay on the plants for several months. Pink and white are other popular poinsettia colors.

As is true in many places, winter sunrises and sunsets tend to be especially vivid.

Male cardinals get their bright mating plumage in mid-January, and the woods, which have been silent for a while, are alive with bird songs. Spring and baby birds will not be far behind.

Beauty Berries

Female Cardinal
Male Cardinal

Photos by Joshua J. Cotten from Unsplash

Beauty Berries, Photo by Cheryl Batavia


Beauty Berries

Cardinal perches, so alive,

atop a beauty berry bush,

fluffing feathers, bright-eyed,

she surveys the bounty.

Clustered along the branches,

green pearls ripening

to plump, shiny berries…

magenta meals for birds.

Fuzzy leaves fading

at summers end,

reveal beauty berries

in all their autumn splendor.

Echoing in the woods beyond,

cardinals are calling…

rippling silver songs

of unadulterated joy!


Copyright 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Purple Ruella

Purple Ruella, Photo by Cheryl Batavia

Purple Ruella

Ruella flowers open

with the sunrise,

bringing joy…

and vivid butterflies!

Ruella mingles with stick-tights,

so you think it’s a weed?

You must be joking, friend…

a weed? No, indeed!

Mexican petunia

is its other name.

Even if it were a weed,

I’d love it just the same!

The garden book warns

it’s invasive; don’t be surprised

if you hear me describe ruella…

as “naturalized!”


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia

Hurricane Laura

Hurricane, Photo by NASA from Unsplash


Hurricane Laura

A killer hurricane named Laura

wrecked homes, fauna, and flora.

Roaring across the Gulf Coast,

raining and blowing, doing her utmost

to be remembered as a horror!


Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana, US, on 8/27/20, reportedly the strongest hurricane ever recorded there. After causing widespread destruction, and six reported deaths, it was downgraded to a tropical storm and is currently headed north along the Atlantic coast.