wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Pacific Tree Frog

This little Pacific tree frog was so small that at first sight I thought he was a beetle. Then he moved and I saw that he had legs and had no resemblance to a beetle except his size, which I guess to be about 3 centimeters at the most, or just under 1 and 1/2 inches. I love those little pads on his toes that help him get a grip.

He looks like he’s wearing a jogging suit with that racing stripe around his nose and eyes.

Did you know he can change his colour from green to mottley green/brown to brown?

It was thought at first that tree frogs change colour according to their environment (for camouflage) but in fact it is triggered by background brightness set off by seasonal changes. Some changes in colour can be noticeable within a few hours but complete colour change can take weeks or months.

 

I’m watching out for garter snakes,

If you should see one, heaven’s sakes,

Do warn me in a timely way,

In case of danger, I can’t stay.

I know you do not see a crown,

I dropped it, so just look around,

And you will figure out my hints–

Inside me lives a tiny prince.


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Show Me the Money

Last year I took a picture of this ugly pole in order to catch the rainbow behind it, because the colours were so bright. A couple of days ago there was a rainbow in the same place but not quite as bright. I’m borrowing the old photo to make my point.

They say there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, so I went looking for it.

I started looking on my back deck and found the pot. It didn’t quite have “gold” in it, but close enough. It had money in it. They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but it grows on the lunaria plant, otherwise known as the money plant.

When you look at the plant’s leaves and flowers, there is no money to be seen, but once the flowers go to seed, the plant’s stalks no longer carry flowers but their seeds, enclosed in pods the shape of silver dollars. This lunaria has been in the same pot all winter. Its seeds from last year have mostly fallen out of the dollar-shaped pods and have re-seeded the plant. Some of the plants appear to have come up from the old roots as well.

So, in a way, I did find a pot of “gold” after seeing the rainbow.

This particular lunaria is from plants that were grown by the people whose house we bought back in 1980. I brought a few seeds of those plants with me to every place we’ve lived since then and they are still going strong.

This is one thing I love about plants and gardening. There is a story attached to many of the plants in our gardens.

Do you have a plant story you’d like to share?


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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.