wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Love Conquers All

Love happens in the most unexpected places, between the most unexpected individuals. Here in the estuary of the Puntledge River, an odd couple have been “seeing” each other for weeks.

 

Remember Red Skelton’s Gertrude and Heathcliff? They are gossiping at the top of the next photo.

“Watch this, Gertrude.”

“I can’t, Heathcliff. Can’t you see I’m doing my feathers?  I got this spot on me when I ate that clam.”

“Oh, you women. Never mind that. You look beautiful to me. But look over there. It’s that Betsy Barnyard, trying to make a move on Charlie Canada … AGAIN! She just pesters him and pesters him. Just won’t leave him alone.”

“Oh go on … you know he likes the attention.”

“Shh! Here she comes.”

***

“Honk-honk! Hi, Charlie. Whatcha doin’?”

“Oh, just hanging out. Fixing up a few feathers. Minding my own business.”

“I wondered if you wanted to ‘hang out’ with me today. It’s such a lovely spring day.”

“Are you serious? You know we’re not the same kind. Heavens to Betsy Barnyard! What would your father say?”

“I don’t know, Charlie. I haven’t told him about us. Anyway, who cares? These days it’s okay to  love whomever you want.”

“But Betsy, there’s also the fact of our stations. I represent the country. I’m Charlie Canada, and you … well, there’s just no getting away from it. You were brought up in a barn.”

“It’s no use hanging your head in shame. It’s just the way things are.”

“I’m sorry, Betsy, but I don’t think we should see each other anymore. We’re just too different. And think of the children. They would have such cultural issues. I don’t know if I could handle it.”

Betsy sniffles and wipes away a tear. “Okay, Charlie. If that’s the way you feel about me….”

“I’ll just have to go drown myself. I can’t face that gossipy gaggle of geese in the barnyard.”

“Awww … Betsy, don’t be like that. Come on over here. ”

“Are you sure, Charlie?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry. I couldn’t be happy without you.”

 

“Well, Heathcliff. What do you say now? It looks like they’re getting back together again.”

“Just as long as they’re happy … like us …. Right, Gertrude?”

“Whatever you say, Heathcliff.”

 


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Emma the Birthday Girl

In June of 2014, a fat little puppy came to live with us. Emma  was doted on during all her waking hours and mine. She is a field bred English cocker spaniel.

I told her jokes and she laughed at the appropriate times.

She loved tearing around in the backyard and posing for photos.

The stairs in the house were a huge challenge for her, as her legs were very short and her bum was quite plump.

“Are you serious? ME? Go down those stairs?”

“I think I’ll just wait right here. With any luck, Anneli will carry me down the stairs.”

“How nice of Anneli to leave her Birkenstocks for me to chew the straps out of.”

“It’s my birthday today. I’m five years old.”

“Did I hear someone say birthday cake?” 

“Bring it on!”

Happy 5th birthday, Emma. Now she’s old enough to go to Kindergarten.

 


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The Tulip’s Story

Before any other tulips open up in my yard, still among weeds that I haven’t dealt with, here is the first of the season, just “born” today.

I’m surprised at how happy it makes me, after such a long dreary winter.

The name of the tulip is thought to have come from some connection to the turban, or to the fact that a tulip was sometimes worn on a turban as decoration.

Thought to be originally from Persia, the tulip arrived in northwestern Europe in the 16th century.

*****

A Tulip’s Story

It’s not because I have two lips that I received my name,

A sultan wore me on his hat so it would not look lame.

He put a turban on his head and wrapped it good and tight,

And then he looked into the glass, but something wasn’t right.

He said, “It needs a pick-me-up, a tad of fashion flair,

This tulip bright would do the trick, but oh dear, do I dare

To wear a flower on my head, what kind of man am I?

But I will show the world out there, I’m brave without  a lie,

The ladies will all flock to me, admiring my good taste,

And this is such a perfect chance, I simply cannot waste.”

And so he put me on his hat and strolled along the street,

Smiling at approving looks from ladies he did meet.

Perhaps this fashion disappeared, no longer quite the thing,

But I am famous everywhere, for brightening up the spring.

 

 


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Beware of the Leylandi

About 25 years ago I planted two tiny leylandi cypresses. I thought if they grew as fast as I’d heard they do, I would soon have some privacy in a very exposed corner of the property.

The leylandis delivered, but then they kept delivering and delivering.

In the photo below, you can see the tree cutter we hired. The two leylandis are on the left side of the picture. When I planted them they only came up to his waist.

The sticksy tree to the left of the leylandis is a black walnut. Over the years it has been crowded out and has been leaning ever farther away from these cypresses, crying for light and water.

Our cedar hedge is fairly healthy until you get to the ones near the leylandis. It seems the shade and lack of water has not done them any good either. All the water got sucked up by the bigger trees.

The leylandis are toast now. I felt bad, but the walnut tree and the hedge are not sorry to see them go.

We can see our neighbours’ house again, but fortunately for us, they are great neighbours, so it won’t be a problem.


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Hairy Harry

Hairy or downy? They look very much alike, so I had to investigate to find out the difference. This, I think, is a hairy woodpecker. He has a longer, heavier bill than the downy. That is the main identifying feature.

This fellow was picking at tree trunks and branches by the side of the bumpy dirt road to the lake where the Captain and I fished for trout a few days ago. With little traffic, the nearby woods are quiet, and a hairy woodpecker could forage for food relatively undisturbed.

He is known to check out holes made by sapsuckers and to drink the sap that has filled the tiny wells in those holes. Of course he does his own excavating to look for insects under the bark of trees. He also likes a change once in a while and will eat fruit, berries, and nuts.

I’d say he has a well-rounded diet.

***

Harry flits from tree to tree

Trying hard to hide from me.

Maybe he is camera shy,

Though I can’t imagine why.

Maybe he’s just playing games,

Teasing when I call him names.

I don’t think his name is Harry,

I want snaps but he won’t tarry.

O’er his shoulder, gives a call,

“Show is over, that is all.

If my name you  can’t get right,

I will simply leave,  take flight.”

 

And that is just what he did.


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Sleeping on the Job

This barber shop door frame looks a bit rough with left over winter sidewalk salt, but most people don’t notice that. They’re too busy looking at the main attraction. She is catching a few warming rays by the  door, dozing in the greenhouse effect she must be feeling. Ahhh … so gooooood … after a long winter.

Her job is to invite interest in the barber shop. Anyone who parks in this strip mall and happens to walk by will remember the barber shop and possibly come back as a customer. Or maybe just to see the dog.

Looking like the Queen of Sheba, she rests while doing her job very well.

I’m wondering if she needs a bit of a haircut herself.

“You first,” she says.

*****

The queen lies on her chaise longue

For nothing in her world is wrong.

How languidly, she soaks up sun, 

Attracting clients one by one.

“You think I’m sleeping on the job,

I’m making sure no one will rob

The barber shop and any guest.

I only look as if I rest.

You need a haircut? Come on in.

I’ve done my job and we both win.”

 

 

 


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Trout Time

Sitting in a skiff with the Captain, I dangled a fly line in the clear waters of a local lake trying to keep my mind on fishing.  As long as there wasn’t a breath of wind, the surface of the water was a mirror.   The reflections kept me reaching for my camera to document the beauty of the day times two.

Oops! I had to interrupt my ooh-ing and aah-ing to take the dip net and bring in this trout for supper.

Back to my trance over the gorgeous scenes around me. These ducks might be scaup – not sure. They were at the far shore of the lake, happy to chat and exchange gossip, until we came too close for their comfort.

Time to go! But in a short while they were back again.

What a fine day it was. The fish were biting and the mosquitoes were not. It doesn’t get much better than this.