wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Like a Lamb

This year, March came in “like a lion,” as any herring fisherman will tell you.

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They must have had some terrible days even in these relatively sheltered waters. I know I would be so seasick if I had to be out there.

But at the end of March I took some pictures of the same area and it was a very different story. It was early morning and the sun would be creeping over the horizon momentarily. Its warm glow already lit up the few stragglers of the clouds that had blown through overnight.

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It was still  early, but when I looked more closely, I saw a partial yellow globe.

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No, it’s not the sun. That’s the waning moon. The sun was rising far to the east of it, shining on the clouds around the moon. In the stillness of the dawn the sun sent poetry rays to me:

“Oh Moon, I guess you think you’re cool

To sashay round that cloud,

But keep on moving, you old fool,

While I shine warm and proud.”

The next day, also early in the morning (I’m out there because that’s when the dogs have to go out), the sun was rolling up its sleeves, ready to get to work and warm this corner of the earth. I welcomed it and told it to stay as long as it wanted.

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In these last days of the month, March truly went out “like a lamb.”


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It’s in the Bag

After an all-day sewing lesson to learn how to make a tote bag, I came home with the green bag you see below.

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I thought I’d make another one very similar to the green one and give it away as a Christmas gift. Two bags done. Then the quilting retreat was coming up and I needed a project. Two more bags were made. Then I made a third peach-coloured bag but this time I made it smaller. That was fun.

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Now I was feeling braver and it was taking half as long to make them. The blue bag was smaller and has a flap with a button. But don’t be fooled. The button is just for decoration. There is no buttonhole underneath, but rather Vel-cro to fasten the flap. The button was made by the Captain from the antlers of a deer he shot about 40 years ago.

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I experimented and made a different kind of bag (below), also with a fake button from a real deer.

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Someone special mentioned that she would love to have a bag like the blue one but smaller, so this next one was a bit of a challenge. I’m happy with how it turned out though. I’d now made a total of eight bags, some small, some medium, and some large.

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Two more bags happened after that one.

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I’ll probably make more because they’re fun to sew and easy to make. You might say I’ve turned into a bag lady.


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Young Cooper

This young Cooper’s hawk came to my birdfeeder. I apologize for the number of photos, but he had so much to say.

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How rude of them to all leave the second I arrive on the roof of the feeder. They’ve got my feathers ruffled now! I have as much right to be at the birdfeeder as anyone else. After all, I plan to feed on birds. Isn’t that what a birdfeeder is for?

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It’s hard to find friends when you’re a bird of prey. I’m not even good at catching birds for my supper yet, being just a youngster.

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I have a better view from here. And I think … yes … a few of those delicious finches are returning.

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Eyes front! Play it cool. Pretend you don’t see them.

Oh no. Wouldn't you know it? My mom is calling. Should I stay or go?

Oh no. Wouldn’t you know it? What a time for my mom to be calling. Should I stay or go?

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Meanwhile the birds took off again. Darned dogs running around scaring off my meals. Can’t you just sit still for a while?

Another night of going to bed without supper.

Another night of going to bed without supper.

But just you wait until I get my claws into you tomorrow.

But just you wait until I get my claws into you tomorrow.

I'll pretend I'm not looking. That usually works.

I’ll pretend I’m not looking. That usually works.

I might have to settle for that mouse down there.

Or … I might have to settle for that mouse down there.

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Don’t judge me for hanging around the birdfeeder! What did you think? I gotta eat!

 


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Happy Easter

Why do rabbits paint Easter eggs? Where do they get them? Do they steal them from the chickens’ nesting boxes? I suppose it wouldn’t be impossible for them to come up with a paintbrush somewhere – maybe some feathers lost by a bird. They might make colours for painting by chewing different plants or their flowers and spitting out the juice onto a rock and dipping the “brush” in. Most of the painting party would have to take place at night – first to make it easier to steal the eggs, and second, to have the whole warren pitch in and work on the painting while the dogs (Emma and Ruby) are sleeping in the house.

I see that one of the eggs is of alabaster. It has been part of the collection for more than 40 years. An inexpensive little something bought at a shop in Vancouver. A quail has contributed an egg to the plate. One of its babies was not going to hatch, so its shell is like a commemorative to the little guy. The four faded eggs were painted by my friends Yana and Yosef when they were about 8 or 9 years old. They’re about 32 now. The more brightly coloured eggs, were done by professional rabbits in the Czech Republic more than 20 years ago. These eggs are all resting on an authentic Czech plate that has holes in it. You might be able to see the holes beside the quail egg or to the top right of the green egg. It’s part of the fancy design of the dish that we fondly refer to as a soup plate.

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I’m glad that the rabbits painted these Easter eggs. I don’t usually think of these fluffy critters in a kindly light. No gardener would!  I’ll forgive them this time because of the hard work they do at Easter time, but my goodwill won’t last long. Once in a while I have to get my revenge on them  by eating one of their chocolate cousins, just to teach them a lesson.

Happy Easter!


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Spring Has Sprung

I’ve been impatiently awaiting signs of spring this year. I don’t have many daffodils in the yard, but this bunch always comes up in the same spot at the side of the driveway. Daffodils make me think of my mother because many years ago, as a new Canadian, she could never get the name right and always called them daffy-dolls. It still makes me smile today.

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I find the narcissus prettier, but I don’t have many of these either. Just this one precious bunch.

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The sun was out for a change, so I rushed around taking a few quick pictures. The azalea shrub I bought for $5 at Buckerfield’s Feed Store over twenty years ago is still going strong. Buckerfield’s, sadly, is not. They went out of business a long time ago.

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The primroses are a gift from a friend who was getting rid of extras. They seem happy here. Thank you, friend.

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I was about to put the camera away when I noticed that “the nice light” had come out. So I have to include a couple more photos with the evening sun shining on the trees. The maple is just getting its first leaves. This winter was cool, damp, and dark, and the moss on its bark grew rampantly.

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The firs that strike terror into my chicken-heart when they sway and roar during storms look beautiful today with the warm setting sun on them.

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I was about to come back into the house when I saw that I’d been watched – for quite some time, judging by the steamy glass pane on the screen door.

“What are you doing out there?” she asks. “Can anybody play?”

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Snow Up High

The weather forecast was for another rainy night of high winds. Earlier in the week, our power had gone out three times overnight and we braced ourselves for yet another blow. We were lucky this time and although it rained and was ugly, most of the system passed to the south of us. I felt bad for those people who were hit with winds over 100 kms/hr and lost their power, but at the same time I was thankful we were spared.

A few days ago, the hills had only a touch of snow left at the highest elevation. But all that new rain had come down as snow way up there. I felt sorry for any animals living in the woods on the hillsides, yet selfish to think how pretty the snow looked in the morning light. I’m sure all the skiers were overjoyed. It must have been amazing to ski the next days.005


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Herring and Other Delicacies

Near the end of February and into March, the herring congregate and spawn near the beaches of the east side of Vancouver Island. The arrival of the herring means the beginning of the fat time for other animals  who look forward to eating well, after a hard winter. Here, in a photo taken by one of my neighbours Paul Knettig, the seagulls and eagles await the arrival of the herring. But the eagles are not above preying on other guests at the same dinner table. Among the many seabirds who also enjoy the arrival of the herring, are the loons. It seems that loons are one of the favourite foods on the eagles’ menu.P1020586

Here are the wing bones and a few feathers of what I believe was a common loon. I found this wing under a tree in my yard.

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Here is a close up picture of it.

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Now, aren’t those feathers similar to the wing feathers of this loon in the photo below (taken a few years earlier). I had picked up the pieces the eagle had dropped from a tall fir tree in my yard, and put them together again in the shape they might have been in.IMGP0338

With dead herring lying around on the beaches, the eagles are eating well, but they still prefer to bring their food to a safer spot to be eaten. Sometimes they get clumsy and drop things. That’s why I found a herring head under this same tree where I later found the loon. Thinking I would write about it in a blog post, I picked up the herring head and put it in the empty wheelbarrow for safekeeping until I could go get my camera. Alas! When I arrived with my camera, the herring head was gone.

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And Emma’s breath had a distinctly fishy smell.

Emma 1“Well, you didn’t say not to….”