Tag Archives: ecology


Pic huge Red rose

It’s almost May and the roses in my garden are bursting into a spread of the most beautiful colors you can imagine. From a delicate pink to Black Magic burgundy, all those beauties pop up and swell right before my eyes. And it all happens in my little-piece-of-heaven – my wonderful garden.

And the aromas? Well, close your eyes and one whiff of Double Delight can carry you to far off exotic places. It does that for me.

And it does something else.

Those aromas speak to me in secret code. They reveal hidden messages, different for each and every one of us, I’m sure. But for me, a beautiful flower in the open air, under the warm sun, makes me think of secrets, of underground caves (how crazy is that when you’re talking about roses?) where primitive drawings decorate the walls. Those drawings reveal the unseen connections that unite all kinds of people across the planet, no matter how close or how far. The drawings always speak of common experiences.

And why wouldn’t they?

We are all made of stardust. Every single one of us. Think of it: Stardust.

And we live on one planet in a vast galaxy within a wondrous universe where invisible threads reach out to every living entity, whether it’s animal, plant, rock, or even right down to the core of the earth.


Have you ever planted a tree, and as you dig you visualize that tree mature and magnificent, all the time knowing you’ll never be there when it reaches its true potential? Still, there’s something deep inside that calls to you, demands that you lay down the seeds of tomorrow. In some way, we are all connected to that tomorrow.

That feeling , that hope is passed from one generation to another and it calls for us to take care of our home, Planet Earth, to keep  it green, keep it alive, prepare it for those who are yet to come. That’s part of our mission, what we’re meant to do. We need to listen to that inner voice, hang onto it, keep it alive, not just for us, but for those of tomorrow. We have to remember that we are connected to those tomorrows, those futures, even if we are no longer here to see them.

Earth Day was April 22nd, and each year when it arrives I am hopeful because I know there are people all over the globe who are going to wake up and realize that it’s now or never to save our world from total destruction, to save all the living beings that occupy it. But as unbelievable as it is, the destruction is accelerating. That not only disappoints me, it makes me desperate. Why can’t we understand that now is the time to try to save our world, take the moment to question our existence in this vast, wondrous universe. Really look at the rampant greed that is crushing everything: Trees are dying, animals are dying, oceans are dying. And when I say dying, I mean heading for extinction.

Gone forever!

Can’t you feel it? Can’t you feel the sadness?

Those days, when that sadness overcomes me, and I feel only the hopelessness of it all, is when I wander into my rose garden. I  prune, water, and smell the flowers with their scent of hope.

When I’m there, I just know people are going to wake up, look around, and finally realize that the responsibilities for our tomorrows rest solely on our shoulders

Picture flower thru pavement.

TheOrganHarvestersBette COVER

The Organ Harvesters (Assent Publishing) Winner! The 2014 Stellar Sci-fi Contest For Science Fiction Dystopian Novel.

A damning evaluation of a system that had put technological advancements ahead of human rights, and protection of the environment.





Pic. Elephant eye

There is mystery behind that masked gray visage, an ancient life force, delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea. —  Peter Matthiessen

I wish people were more like elephants.

Funny, huh?

But if you’re anything like me, you can’t help but enjoy seeing how elephants interact and live their lives – and it’s all there to watch every day on FaceBook. I could spend hours with them on the screen.

Rolling in the mud doesn’t look like real fun to me, even though elephants love it. Those mud baths help protect their sensitive skin, sort of like our sun screen. But splashing, rolling around in the water is more what I like to do. It’s not much different than going to the beach and throwing yourself into the ocean, especially if it’s the Caribbean or Hawaiian waters.

Take a moment, watch them care for their young, or the injured. It’s truly a community endeavor. Everyone looks out for every individual and no one is ever alone, unless they want to be.

I wish people could be that way and live in a world where everyone in their community cared about each other.

If an elephant youngster or any other member of the group falls or gets in some kind of trouble, several others come to comfort and take care of that individual. They encircle to create their own hospital unit, give their own treatment and do the best they can to save each other.  They are so kind and wise, and it seems so natural for them to love each other. Why can’t people learn to be that way and stop living such separate lives?

Elephant culture.

I wish I understood their language so whatever secrets they’ve learned can be passed on to us. What is it they are saying to each other that teaches them to be the way they are —such soulful beings. However they do it, they seem to communicate a sense of love and commitment that most humans don’t seem very interested in.

Maybe it’s because they’re naked.

No, really. They don’t worry about wearing the latest high-fashion shoes that look more like stilts in training for high acrobatics, or feel the need to buy new clothes every week, as though shopping is a human endeavor essential to growth and understanding.

What is human culture? What is it about?

Is it consumerism?

Maybe that’s what keeps us uncaring and isolated from each other. And most consumers already have so much that the same money could be spent on assisting others in their community (our herd). We could help people who haven’t enough to eat. Imagine trying to survive on the streets where people have to save their food to feed their young, while they go hungry.

Our Earth is dying all around us. What we’re not killing, climate change is. Even with all our instruments and scientific savvy, and our superior intelligence, humans have yet to find a cohesive way to act in their own best interests.

Where do elephants get that kind of wisdom?

They know when it’s time to migrate, time to search for water to survive. They understand their world, and they even know when it’s time to die. Each member of the herd acts not only in its best interest, but in the interests of its community.

That’s their world.

What’s wrong with us? Why can’t we be that way, too?

Coming Soon: The Organ Harvesters
A damning evaluation of a system that had put technological advancements ahead of human rights, and protection of the environment


Our Animal Ambassadors

It’s no secret I grew up in the Bronx. I’m not proud or ashamed of it. Rather, I remember how I survived it. Most people who know me have heard about my life there at one time or another, but very few know that one of the things that helped me to survive, saved my soul was the zoo.

The sidewalks of New York can be like a separate, unrelenting entity that roars with massive crowds of people. And when I was a girl, they all pushed at me. Sometimes it was like drowning, being trapped in a crush that swept me away in a raging river.

I visited the zoo from the time I was twelve years old through my late teens. My parents were Russian immigrants and they were hard working, but they were always working, and I was always alone.

When I couldn’t stand it anymore, I would escape to the only place that seemed to make sense – a place with a different pace, sense of time, kind of life. It would slow everything down. Would soothe, would comfort.

The Bronx Zoo was my second home. It was my runaway place. And I usually sat on a bench right across from the gorilla grotto. Those incredible beings seemed so calm, so wise.

I remember there was one very large male in particular that I bonded with. We would stare at each other for long periods of time, and I knew if he were next to me, he would wrap his arms around me and hold me close. He seemed to know how unhappy and alone I was, how much I needed him. I don’t know what passed between us, but it was some kind of energy. And I do know that after a while, looking into his dark eyes, I felt better.

It’s hard to believe that a young girl would want to go to the zoo and sit in isolation for hours, even in the winter with snow on the ground and no one around. But it’s where I went, sometimes just to study, or to be near the animals and the plants, to be someplace where I could smell the earth and the different animal odors.

Strange, all alone, I always felt safe there on that bench with my friend looking across at me.
I know so many people are against zoos. I am too. I’m not a fan of caging any living being, whether its lions, tigers, or elephants, or humans. And penning up dolphins and whales in their watery cages makes me choke.

Shouldn’t we all be able to meet our destinies on our own terms? Isn’t that true, no matter what your shape, or form, or species? Shouldn’t we all live in freedom? Doesn’t every single individual have a right to be free?


But how could a city girl like me ever have found the solace, the company of other different creatures if that zoo wasn’t there? How would I have grown up to love animals and feel the pain of their suffering when people torture or abuse them, or kill them for trophies or to steal their body parts? How would I ever have understood the agony a powerful elephant endures being penned up while it rocks back and forth? How could I ever comprehend the utter loneliness he or she feels isolated from the herd, from their primal land? Would I have ever felt any sadness when watching a panther pace a cage from one end to the other to define a nonexistent territory? Would I have even learned compassion for my animal friends, or every living being?

I came to understand those lessons from going to the zoo.

Is there a better answer to exposing children to wildlife, without caging wildlife?

Today, when I see wild animals living in freedom, having beautiful friendships with humans, for a moment, I smile and my heart swells with a special joy. But in the next breath, I want to scream out: Stay away! Stay far away from us. Humans are not your friend. If you want to live, run! Run from a future dystopian hell!

Have you ever had that same feeling?

What do you think of zoos? Do they only crush the spirit of animals, or are they sacrificial ambassadors to save their species?