wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


35 Comments

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.

 


43 Comments

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.]


23 Comments

Lying Around

On the beach, I found some things that have been lying around for a long, long time.

This tree, for example, has been clinging to life for decades, possibly waiting to change into a lizard and join its friend farther up the beach. Something happened to the tree, perhaps as it fell over with its roots still in the ground. Maybe at that time it was much smaller and the huge boulder injured it, or prevented it from growing straight.

This may have been when the gnarly knot that we call a burl was formed. These twisted lumps have an interesting grain, and markings that make them special. Artists love to take burls to their woodworking shops to make clocks and coffee tables out of the slices they can cut from the burl.

Just look at the size of this burl. I’m sure the rock had something to do with its formation over many years.

Under this tree, the sandy soil contains countless clamshells. The shells are not in all parts of the higher beach, making me wonder why they are all together in one place.

One guess is that it might have been a midden – a place where early peoples camped and ate clams, leaving the shells  in their “dining room.”

I found a similar midden in Baja California, where the native people from decades gone by brought their shellfish from the beach to a small cave where they ate the seafood and left the shells behind.

Here is another example of the parts of the beach with and without shells, higher up on the bank.

There could be other possible explanations, but for now, I like to think it was a midden – the lunch table where no one cleared away the dishes.


40 Comments

Remembering

In the fall of 2014, a blogging friend and I exchanged seeds through the mail. She sent me hollyhock seeds and I sent her poppy seeds. We looked forward to the spring when we would plant each other’s flowers.

I was sorry to hear that the poppy seeds didn’t sprout for her that next year, but her hollyhocks grew for me.

In November of 2015, she died of cancer. I was shocked because she had been such a positive person. I never would have guessed that she would lose that battle.

I planted the hollyhocks in my vegetable garden because I go there every day, rather than in a flower bed I might rarely visit. Year after year, I think of my friend fondly, yet sadly, almost every day  when I watch her hollyhocks grow, from the earliest leaves to the huge stalks loaded with flowers. It’s as if she’s saying hello whenever I go out to my garden.

If you would like to visit the blog of Barb Beacham, and browse back in time over some of her posts, here is the link: https://salmonfishingqueen.wordpress.com/ 

She was a wonderful person and I still miss her. I’m so glad I have her hollyhocks in my garden.


41 Comments

A Change in the Weather

Large and many were the drops of water that fell from the sky, their countless splashes  silvery like mercury.

Outside the wheelhouse, drops cling to the window pane. But what’s wrong with this picture?

Look at the angle between the horizon and the bottom of the window frame. That will give you an idea of how much the wave action was tipping the boat back and forth. Even in this stiff breeze, it wasn’t too bad. If it had been worse, the Captain could easily have lowered the trolling poles and thrown out the stabilizers that attach to them. When the stabilizers drag through the water, one on each side of the boat, it stops the rolling. But since I wasn’t turning green yet, we kept going without the stabilizers out for the short trip home.

As we got closer to town, we  noticed that the navy cadets were practicing their sailing lessons. The (My) Captain commented on how quickly the tiny boats could turn on a dime as the sailors adjusted the sails.

No sooner had these words left his mouth than the next boat turned … right over! The occupants were tossed in for an unexpected swim. Here they are clambering up on the bottom of the sailboat, with the mother hen hovering nearby.

Now what? It seemed to take a long time for the two women to be plucked off the hull, and even longer before something was done to right the boat. We didn’t have time to watch. They had all the help they needed so we kept going and got out of their way.

Doesn’t it just make you want to learn to sail?


23 Comments

The Changeling

The stickleback lizard staggers towards the water.  Having lost his right hind leg, his body has tried to make up for the loss by sprouting two extra front legs. However, they are all but useless.

If only he can reach the water, he hopes to float, and ease the burden of his heavy trunk and the unwieldy stickles on his back.

In another life he was a proud fir tree on the shore. But high winds and heavy rains, coupled with extra high tides undercut his beachfront home. Each winter, he lost more of his grip on the land of his roots, until one day he was too weak to withstand the eroding waves and howling winds.

With a creak and a crash, he toppled onto the rocky beach, breaking a leg and bruising his skin.

He lay in his tidal grave for many years, watching his lovely needle coat wash out to sea, twig by twig, until at last, he gave up being a tree.

One dark night, a shiver of change trickled through him. The bark turned scaly, and the trunk became a lizard’s body. The limbs twisted into lizard legs. The skinnier upper limbs proudly proclaimed his trademark stickles.

“Ahhhhh … yesssssss!!!” he hissed. “Now if I can only crawl into the sea, I’ll have a good long drink of salty water. Then I’ll relax and float on my back for a while, using the stickles to help steer me. Once I get my sea legs, I’ll go look up my freshwater cousins Nessie and Ogo Pogo.”


26 Comments

Rocky Times

This part of the beach is very much to Emma’s liking. Sand is easier to run on than rocks.

Farther along, some giant hurled a handful of rocks onto the beach, to the north …

and to the south.

A closer look at some of them make me suspect that over thousands (maybe millions?) of years, some clumps of sand hardened into rocks like the one below. It’s a temporary resting place for the baby rock on its back, or maybe it’s on his face….

Do you see the face in this rock? A big slash for a mouth above the chin; a smooshed up nose; two puffy eyes; a scar that goes from his left eye to the right corner of his mouth; and a wart on his left cheek.

Yes, the maple leaf tells us we are in Canada. I’ll let you speculate what it means that the leaf is upside down just now. ( I didn’t touch it! That’s just the way it is.)

I must learn to be more like the old barnacles on the rock by the end of the maple leaf stem, and hang in there. Time marches on and things change. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. Maybe the next tide will flip the leaf over.