wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Competing for Fish

When you’re commercial fishing or even sport fishing, there’s always competition for the catch. These trollers are hoping to catch a few chinook (spring) salmon (King or Tyee to the Americans). The salmon have been given so many names in hopes of confusing those who would like to catch and eat them.

The trollers are anchored for the night and who comes along looking for supper, but a killer whale. Oh, sorry. For those of you who are easily offended, let’s call him a less harmful name – orca. He usually comes with the whole “wolf pack” for a more certain kill.

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Not only do they hang around the trollers to try to catch a salmon but they check out the sporties too.

Photo courtesy of Fern Handy, Haida Gwaii.

If the killer whales don’t get the salmon, there are always a few sea lions around looking for a free lunch. Looks like this one got it. That’s a nice fat spring salmon in its jaws.

Photo courtesy of Fern Handy, Haida Gwaii.

And only moments earlier you thought you’d be having salmon for supper.


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Ups and Downs

The Eurasian collared dove brings out differing emotions in people. Some love them; others hate them. I happen to love them. They’re fun to watch and their call (the repetitiveness of which is mainly what drives some people nuts) reminds me of Mexico, so I feel like I’m on holidays without leaving home.

This fellow landed on my mildewy gutters the other day. (You’ll have to forgive the green stuff on the gutters because they’re too high to clean regularly.)  But on with what happened.

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Wow! What a view of the birdfeeder. But how to get down there, now that I’m up.

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Oh, who’s this? Company? Maybe it’s the fire department – here to help me get down off the roof. It is rather high up.

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You’re right! It IS a long way down.

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This requires some analytical thinking. Hmm….

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We could jump….

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“What do YOU think we should do?” “I think we should jump.” “Okay. Good idea. You first.”

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“Now where are you going?” “I’m going to look for another way down.”

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“No luck?” “Nope! Let’s just go for it.”

Proving once again that life has its “ups and downs.”


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Fur Fashions

This gal didn’t mind wearing a fur coat in the heat.

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This sure isn’t as good a restaurant as Suzanne’s place, but it’s handy for now.

She scampered into my yard the other day and wasted no time finding the dinner table. Basically, all she wanted was some granola – a few millet seeds, some sunflower seeds, bits of cracked corn. What dainty fingers and pleasant table manners she has.

I know these red squirrels have a bad reputation for robbing birds’ nests, but they don’t have much of a lifespan themselves. The little guys are lucky if they make it through their first year. Seems they get smarter as their mortality rate drops after that. Still, eight years is about all they get. No wonder they scurry around so fast. With a life that short they have to pack as much living into it as they can.


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Snack Time

When I told Emma to sit and have her picture taken, she didn’t argue. She was very obedient. That’s because I had just finished giving her the Dickens for going too far this time. For months, she has packed my shoes around in the house. Every shoe I tried to put on my feet, first involved a hunt through the house for the matching mate. It got so I taught her how to bring it to me by saying, “Go get the other one,” and she would proudly bring it from wherever she had last dropped it. There was never a mark on the shoes … until today.

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“Did I do good, Mom? Huh? Huh? Did I?”

I could have cried when I saw what she had done to my $125 Birkenstock sandal.

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She still doesn’t get it. She’s still smiling and you can tell from the blur in the photo that her tail is still wagging.

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“But you still love me, right? Come on, admit it. You know you do.”


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Smoke gets in your eyes

It’s hard to see the neighbours’ trees clearly. Smoke from the forest fires was still thick yesterday, but today it seems to have lifted somewhat, even though the fires are still not contained. I guess the wind changed and the smoke is drifting around higher in the atmosphere. 005

Before I got Bulldog’s advice about how to set the camera to get the redness of the sun to show up, I had already taken this photo. The fennel plant insisted on getting in on the action. This picture was taken yesterday around 4 p.m. and the smoke was still thick at that time. That should be blue sky in the background, but the blue part was completely obscured.027aStill praying for rain! Tons of it.  It doesn’t mean I won’t complain about too much rain this winter.


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Dog Days of Summer

We all know it is a hot and dry summer this year. My usually green backyard is yellow and brown. The grass breaks off as I walk on it and big patches of bare dirt are showing through. It will all come back in the fall with the first rains, but until then, there is no water to spare for an acre of grass. It’s more important to keep the trees, shrubs, and garden alive.

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Definitely the dogs days of summer.

This morning I looked out expecting yet another bluebird scorcher of a day to develop. Wow! I’ts foggy. Maybe we’ll get some rain at last! But then I saw the sun. It was blood red and easy to look at. I reminded myself not to do that, just as in an eclipse we shouldn’t look directly at the sun, lest we damage our vision. I tried to take a photo of the sun but the red colour wouldn’t come out right. Being an amateur photographer I still don’t know how to get the red  sky colours or the photos of eclipses to come out right. Here is the best I could do, but imagine the whole sun as red as the line around it.

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As it rose higher in the sky, it was just as red but that colour was even more difficult to capture with the camera.

005Then I realized that the last time I saw the sun looking like a red ball of fire was a few years ago when the smoke from a fire hundreds of miles north of us had covered our skies. Sure enough, I have learned that there are several large fires burning on Vancouver Island. Right now I feel as if I’m sitting on a bonfire ready to go up in flames at any time. I’m surrounded by tall trees that haven’t seen a drop of water for over two months and the dry grass around me is the best kindling you’ll ever find for starting a fire.

If I see a smoker walking through the nearby trails (and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen hikers going for a healthy walk while puffing on a cigarette),  I’m not sure how I’ll contain my fear and outrage.

The town of Port Hardy to the north of us is threatened by a wildfire as I write, while another fire is burning to the west of us near Port Alberni. It seems the whole province of British Columbia has fires burning. Saskatchewan has plenty of fires as well, and of course, we’ve been hearing of the fires in the States for weeks. It’s just too dry!

Yesterday, the view below was of bright blue sky and brighter blue sea with a few white caps puffed up from the breeze that brought us relief from the heat while, elsewhere, it fanned wildfire flames. Today everything is gray from the smoke of many fires.

007My garden has been getting water, but everything else, as you can see, is tinder dry.

008I’ve learned that “tinder” is a frightening word.