Earth Day

NaPoWriMo Day 22: We are challenged to write something about Earth Day today.

bumblebee tom tolkien copy

Photo Credit: Tom Tolkien Creative Commons CC by 4.0

This is the same subject I wrote about last Earth Day. For more information about the dwindling population of pollinators such as butterflies and bees, check out the articles listed below. The last one is interesting in that it describes the necessity to hand pollinate fruit trees in China, but also provides a bit of good news about bee populations in the U.S.

Wikipedia – Colony Collapse Disorder

Wired – Wild Bee and Butterfly Declines

Wired – It’s Hard Work Being a Bee

If you like the photo above, you might want to visit Tom Tolkien’s photostream  and blog.


Happy Earth Day

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! We are a community of writers from around the world who post 100-word stories between Wednesday and Friday each week. The stories are all based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.  Please visit Rochelle’s blog for more information…and join us if you wish!

This week’s awesome photo is by fellow writer Doug MacIlroy. Thank you, Doug!

Photo Copyright: Douglas M. MacIlroy

Photo Copyright: Douglas M. MacIlroy

Happy Earth Day

by Jan Brown

“The humans have their lights on again. Why? Is their eyesight weak?”

“Perhaps it’s affected by the cold. They’re not permanent residents like us. They need time to adapt to the harsh conditions.”

“Harsh?!? What’s harsh is the fact that our icecap is melting at an alarming rate. And it’s their fault!”

“OK, calm down.”

“I’ll be calm once our continent is not collapsing under our feet. They come here to measure the damage. They take videos of the disaster they created. But they’re helpless to stop it.”

“Yeah, happy Earth Day.”

With that, the penguins waddled away.

“Adelie Penguins on Iceberg” by Jason Auch – originally posted to Flickr as IMG_0760. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons


To read other Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the blue frog:

NaPoWriMo 27 – We Still Hope

Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is to write a poem based on a photo prompt. Several photos were included as optional prompts; I chose the snowy city scene because the rampant snow of the polar vortex had such an impact on my life this past winter.





We Still Hope

by Jan Brown


we still fret

though winter’s gone

scattered detritus

a harsh reminder

like the shrapnel strewn

in bloody fields of war


we still wonder

what’s become of the leaves

trees bud

but do not blossom

like a growing child

but stunted


we still worry

how the Earth will heal

though welcome, spring’s new warmth

is not enough

like a candle flickering

before it dies


we still hope

spring flora will bloom

summer fires won’t burn

winter snows will be kinder

like seasons of our youth

in fading memory



Toxic Braids

The NaHaiWriMo theme for February 25 is “braid.”

Global Pollution


There is a huge vortex of garbage in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii. Really huge. Bigger than the state of Texas.

It is a tangled mass of mostly plastic, but living things also get caught in it. What is even more damaging to ocean wildlife is that the plastic disintegrates into tiny particles over time. To the fish, these particles look like food. No one yet knows the full toxic effects of this man-made mess. Scientists and engineers are working on possible methods of clean-up, but capturing the disintegrated plastic that falls below the surface is problematic (an understatement).

Some plastics leach carcinogens into the ocean, as well as toxic chemicals that inhibit wildlife reproduction. We are making a kind of toxic slop in the ocean, which likely affects our own food supply.

If you would like more information about this issue, check out these articles. And thank you for recycling!

National Geographic – Pacific Garbage Patch

Giant Ocean-Trash Vortex Attracts Explorers

National Geographic – Plastic Breaks Down in the Ocean, After All–and Fast

Wikipedia – Great Pacific Garbage Patch



The NaHaiWriMo theme of the day is “beehive.”

All over the world, masses of honeybees have been disappearing due to a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Unfortunately for us humans–and for our livestock, pets, flora and fauna–honeybees are essential to the pollination of many crops. Our health is intertwined with that of the bee.

According to a recent U.S. News blog post, colonies that are stressed due to the ingestion of fungicides are not able to fend off pathogens. They are more likely to fall victim to viruses–plant viruses that are able to spread to the bee population. This is just one of many suspected interrelated causes of CCD.

The beehive has never been more important than it is today. I’m not sure I can write a haiku that will do it justice, but here is my attempt:

bee on lavendar

Disclaimer: No bees were harmed in the creation of this haiga!


To read more about CCD, check out these articles:

Colony Collapse Disorder – Wikipedia

U.S. News blog post – Another Answer to Why the Bees Are Dying


The gorgeous photo is by Tom Tolkien, one of my favorite photographers.

Check out his photostream on Flickr or follow his blog here.


Shrinking Habitat

This is in response to a recent #haikuchallenge posted on Twitter by @baffled, to compose a haiku containing the word, “attempt.”

My geology professor always said, “When the oceans die, so will we.”

When I went to college, way back in the dark ages when hippies roamed the earth, we weren’t aware of the imminence or importance of global warming.

I think if he were still teaching today, he might say, “When the polar ice cap melts, so will we.”

Atlantic ocean iceberg

Blood Red

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. This week’s photo is by Randy Mazie. Thank you, Randy!

trespass_randy_mazie-1Blood Red

by Jan Brown

No one noticed when our little office complex died, because no one knew it was there.

When our efforts to develop genetically modified soybeans backfired, farmers were left to battle human-sized, herbicide-resistant weeds. The stalks were so wide, so tough, their combines came screeching to a halt.

We worked 24/7 to modify the mutated weed. But nature is unpredictable, and we discovered too late that humans are violently allergic to the new species.

Now my co-workers are entombed in the office complex. The weeds have travelled outside the brick and stucco, climbing the walls and sprouting flowers. Blood red flowers.



To learn more about the unintended consequences of genetically modifying crops to be resistant to herbicides:

Herbicide Resistant Super Weeds Increasingly Plaguing Farmers – U.S.News article

To learn more about the safety of genetically modified foods, both pro and con:

Are biotech foods safe to eat? – WebMD article


To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories: