wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Rich Without Money

Having money can help make life easier, but wealth need not always be measured in dollars.

After supper, a quick trip to the beach, just five minutes away, is a rich experience of another kind. The Sleeping Princess presides over the valley. Looking down on the bay, this glacier, unfortunately,  is melting a little more every year, but it is still unique and beautiful.

If she turned her head, the Sleeping Princess could see the beach I’m standing on. She would see the morning glory, or field bindweed, in bloom. It is invasive and tenacious and widespread. Just ask me!!  I want to hate this flower because its vines tangle up everything in my garden. But it has a beauty of its own. I imagine this bell flower holding rainwater for Tinkerbell to drink from.

Here are more of these morning glory flowers popping up among thorny blackberry vines. How tough must it be to endure the pain of those prickles?! And yet how daintily these two invasive plants complement each other.

Glory be! Look at those blackberries! They want picking. I ate a few of them. Sweet, sweet, sweet! But my arrangement with the Captain was already made. We have a lot of blackberries at the back of our own yard and the deal was that if he picked the berries (and endured the thorny scratches and spiders and wasps and stickiness), I would make jam.

I didn’t know he would be so enthusiastic. I had a challenge to use up those berries. But now we have enough blackberry jam to last the rest of our lives. So we’re rich! Rich in jam.

I think I have the sweetest pantry in town.


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Lincoln Returns

You may remember Linc, the delinquent.  Well, do y’all know now where “de Linc went”? He went up a fir tree in my yard.

“Nyah, na-na-nah-na,” he called down to me.  But then he thought he’d better get up a little higher, just to be on the safe side.

 

He turned just once more, and I think he was about to stick his tongue out at me, but I reminded him of his manners. He really is such a “delinquent.”

I hope he’s found a safe place to sleep tonight.

I love it when he comes to visit, but I wonder where he sleeps at night. I hope he keeps out of trouble at least until tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow….

Lincoln is a little squirrel

With a tail that has a curl,

When he visits I am glad

Even though he’s often bad.

 

Up and down the tree he’ll run,

So intent on having fun,

Wish he’d let me cuddle him,

But he says that is a sin.

 

“I don’t trust you,” he tells me,

“Safer if you let me be.”

So when he is on a limb, 

“Smile,” I say, and then, “Got him!”

 

 

 


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Queen Anne’s Lace

 

One of the prettiest weeds in our area (IMHO) is Queen Anne’s lace, or wild carrot, as it is commonly known. It is considered an invasive species, a threat to recovering grasslands after the soil has been broken for agriculture. It is tenacious in clay soils.

The flowers are named for the lace that was prominent in fine clothing in the days of Queen Anne of Britain, or perhaps of her grandmother (Anne of Denmark). In the center of the flower cluster is a red spot that is meant to represent a drop of blood from a pricked finger of the lace maker.

Even if it is invasive, I think it is beautiful among the other flowering weeds growing wild beside the local beach.

If you handle the leaves of the plant, you risk irritation of the skin  when it is subsequently exposed to sunlight. If you have sensitive skin, best to leave this plant alone.

Nature’s garden is not geometric, but that is one of the things I love about it.

By the way, the bitter wild carrot root, in spite of smelling like carrot, is not meant to be eaten. In a young plant it may still taste all right (although not worth the trouble) but it soon gets woody and unpleasant to eat. Also, eating it is not advised since it can easily be mistaken for poison hemlock and other toxic plants.

 

The flower looks like Queen Anne’s lace,

Its roots smell like a carrot,

It also looks like poison plants,

Be careful to compare it.

Don’t rush to touch its pretty leaves,

Your skin may get a blister,

With phyto-photo-dermatitis,

Sun will put an itch there.

So be content to look at it,

Admire it from afar,

And tell it from a distance,

“What a dainty flower you are!”

 

 

 

 


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Flower Favourites

Four favourites are growing in my garden (along with many other favourites that have finished blooming).

The hollyhock is amazing me this year with its flowers and the height of its stalk. It must be at least ten feet tall.

The lily doesn’t bloom for long but is so pretty.

And who doesn’t love the sunflowers which, the Captain hopes, will provide seeds to salt and toast? They are a necessity for cracking and chewing and spitting out while waiting for the fish to bite.

One of my special favourites is the snapdragon. My first experience with snapdragons was when I was a very little girl in Germany and my mother showed me how these flowers could open their mouths. They’re not called snapdragons in German but Loewenmaeulchen (little lions’ mouths), and if you press the sides of the flower together, it opens up like a mouth. As a child I was fascinated by this idea of a little lion flower opening its mouth. Of course in Canada they are dragons who open their mouths to snap.

Do you have favourite flowers in your garden?


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A Matter of Thyme

Enjoy a Mystery and Support a Good Cause

My guest today is Douglas Logan, author of “A Matter of Thyme.”

Doug is a management consultant, facilitator, public speaker, Rotarian – and long-time author of reports and plans.

One day, having just finished writing a lengthy document on innovation, he went for a walk to clear his head. As he did, it occurred to him that not all the words he put to paper had to be so dry.

“Maybe I need to broaden my horizons,” he thought. “What if there was a mystery to be solved?” So, he sat at his keyboard to see just what kind of mystery might need solving. A Matter of Thyme was the result.

 

 

A cold, foggy night. The dead body of a well-respected principal is discovered lying frozen on the highway. He drowned and it’s obvious something untoward has happened. But after several months the police know nothing more than this, and still can’t explain how his corpse came to rest on the cold hard pavement.

Frustrated and impatient with the lack of progress, the victim’s sister asks Justin Thyme for help. Once a highly talented investigator, Thyme has been forced out of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police by the sudden onset of PTSD. Unemployed and living alone he’s learning to control his illness and carve out a new life for himself.

Thyme is at first reluctant to get involved. But encouraged by close friends, he accepts the offer and begins to untangle the mystery and learn more about his new self.

Available at:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.ca/Matter-Thyme-Douglas-Logan/dp/1999018605/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=a+matter+of+thyme&qid=1564678756&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/a-matter-of-thyme

And iBooks on your Apple device.

 

AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

 

The Rotary Club of Halifax Harbourside On-Line will invest proceeds from sales of A MATTER OF THYME in women striving to build better lives for themselves, their families and communities.

According to the World Bank, the best investment we can make in developing countries is to support women’s labour force and business participation.

 

EARTH SHATTERING CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT!

 

Once a month for the next six months the author is giving away a free signed copy of A Matter of Thyme! 

To win your copy, all you need to do is to answer a skill testing question! People who answer correctly will have their name entered in a draw held at the end of each month.

This month’s draw will take place Saturday, August 31.

But wait! There’s more!

At the end of the sixth month, there will be a second draw from all entries received over the six months. That winner of that draw will have the right to have their name used for one of the key characters in the next Justin Thyme mystery, tentatively titled No Thyme for Crying!

What could possibly be more exciting?!

So, let’s get started!

 

Since the Rotarians are using proceeds from sales to invest in women in developing countries, their first skill testing question is Rotary related:

What is the name of the person responsible for starting Rotary International?

Send your answers to Thyme@bell.net

Good luck!

And don’t forget to share this with your friends! In fact, share like crazy!

 


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A Little Surprise

I’ve done a post about the leylandis before but now we have a new development.

Back in April, we decided it was time to take out the two leylandis that had grown way bigger than anticipated. They were infringing on everything around them. The walnut tree on the left of the photo was leaning farther and farther towards the sun and losing branches on the shady side where the leylandis crowded them out.

Here the leylandis are cut down and you can see that the walnut looks like half a tree.

Now in full foliage, it is beginning to look better, but it is still leaning away from the place where the leylandis were.

On the other side of the leylandis, right near the walnut, are two big fir trees that also suffered from a lack of light, being crowded out by the leylandis.  See all the dead branches?

Here is the stump of one of the leylandis, with a round of wood sitting on it.  Beside it is a small sunflower that has grown there without the benefit of much water or care. I only discovered it a couple of days ago.

What’s it doing there?! I didn’t plant it. I suspect that a nuthatch or chickadee brought a sunflower seed from the birdfeeder on the other side of the yard, and wedged the seed into the leylandi bark to hold it fast while it picked at it to open the shell. The seed must have fallen and over time, become covered with soil.

A splash of rain and few rays of sun, and  a new sunflower sprouted. Since I didn’t know it was there, it didn’t get as big as it would have, if I had watered it and put some good soil on it, but even so, I was happy to see how much it had managed to grow.

I feel like a plant detective, trying to figure out why the sunflower grew there. Did a bird inadvertently plant it, or was it maybe dropped by Lincoln the squirrel? It would be interesting to know the real answer.

 


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Eager Eaglet Looking for Dinner

You might say, “The eagle has landed.” This one came down for a visit in my back yard.

 

Young and eager,

Food is meagre,

Desperation makes him brave.

 

Meals are sparing

Without herring,

Times of plenty he does crave.

 

Taking chances,

Searching glances

May result in other fare.

 

Tiny doggies,

Little froggies,

He’ll eat either, doesn’t care.

[No eagles allowed inside the yard.]

Here comes Emma,

Oh dilemma,

So ferocious she can sound.

 

Eaglet leaving

Or be grieving,

Emma’s a tenacious hound.

 

Snobby puppy

Getting “uppy,”

“Don’t go calling me a hound.

 

I’m a spaniel,

Read the manual,

Guard the neighbourhood around.”

[Hi, I’m Tiny Tony!]

“He might set

His hooks in yet,

If he grabbed Tony, I would cry.

 

Did you see

The eagle flee

Because I barked and made him fly?”

 

[Don’t worry, Tony. I’ll take care of you.]