wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


26 Comments

Hunting the Hunter

Quentin has been hanging out on the landing, looking at himself in the glass panel beside the front door. I think he thinks that reflection he sees is another quail in the house.

He must be wondering why the other quail isn’t coming out. He is so desperately hunting for others of his kind, especially if one were a female.

But he isn’t the only one who is hunting.

As I looked through the upstairs window to see if Quentin was still on the landing below, I saw, not a quail, but a quail hunter.

GASP! That’s not a quail. I ran for the camera and turned it on as I hurried across the room, hoping this predator hadn’t flown away by the time I returned. I know they are very wary.

This one was tiptoeing along the path, checking behind every little twig for the dinner of his dreams.

I was snapping pictures through the window with the zoom on because I didn’t dare go any closer lest he fly, so all these pictures are a bit “window-ish” and not the best clarity. But it was enough to identify the fellow as a sharp-shinned hawk, a very close lookalike to the Cooper’s hawk.

Moments later, he flew away.

The nearby birdfeeders were absolutely silent. No birds around. Not a peep!


35 Comments

Quentin Quail

The quince is not quite blooming yet, but I needed a picture of it for this post, so I took one from a couple of years ago.

This poor lonely quail is looking for a mate. Not sure there is one in the neighbourhood for him to find, but I made one up for him.

I quail at the thought of the poem I am going to inflict on you today.

Quentin Quail is on a quest,

He quills a questionnaire,

Querying and quizzing all,

To find a queen so fair.

Quite a queue around the quince,

For lady quails so quaint,

Topknot quivering in the wind,

Our Quentin’s feeling faint.

“That’s queer,” he quips so quietly,

“She can’t be from Quebec,

And yet she calls with quality

Out of her pretty bec.”

Quentin quicksteps forward now,

He’s feeling like a prince,

Quavering he offers quiche,

And she will offer quints.

His family quota is fulfilled,

His hopes have not been quashed,

The former quandary is solved,

Of cares, his hands are washed.

Quentin will become a dad,

Of kiddies eight, nine, ten,

But now he wonders just what kind

Of quagmire he is in.


26 Comments

Reluctant Sharing

“I could hardly wait for my breakfast of sunflower seeds this morning, folks. It was darned chilly overnight and I needed a few heat calories.”

 

“While Lincoln takes a break to go chase Della around the woodshed, I’m going to sneak a few sunflower seeds. But oh my goodness, they’re big. I wonder if I bit off more than I can chew.”

 

“Did you see that sneaky thief getting into my stash? I only turned my back for a few seconds to go tell Della that breakfast is served, and that foxy sparrow was into my food. I’m going to have to put some of these away for a rainy day.”

 

“Not too far away, and still under the roof. That will keep it dry.”

 

“Now stay! — I’ve seen Anneli do this with Emma. She points her fingers at her and says, ‘Stay!’ I’ll do what she does. Cool, eh?”

 

“Silly Lincoln. Every time he goes to bury a sunflower seed, I can zip right in here and help myself to his breakfast. Oh well, survival of the fittest (and smartest – that’s me). There’s a reason they call me a fox sparrow.”

 

Sharing shelter, that’s okay,

Sometimes it works out that way,

Sharing food’s another thing,

Since it can starvation bring.

 

Oh, all right, I get fed well,

But when seeds are in their shell,

It takes time to eat them up,

In my hands shaped like a cup.

 

Then along comes foxy sparrow,

Sitting on the jar rim narrow,

Helps himself to food that’s mine,

No permission here to dine.

 

Go ahead then, help yourself,

Sitting there upon my shelf,

I will have to be more wary,

Sunflower seeds I now must bury.

 

 


44 Comments

A Windy Night

“Will ya look at that?” Emma says. “Branches all over the yard are bad enough, but that one that smashed into Lincoln’s house is huge. And it’s still up there!”

“I know! I saw the whole thing from inside my cedar hedge home when it happened.”

The Captain pulled the treetop off the woodshed roof with his old beater truck while the Admiral ran for the tape measure. Thirty feet snapped right off the top of a tree to the left of the woodshed.

And another long branch is still up there – it got hung up on the way down.

“Good grief!” wails Lincoln. “That was my lookout tree. The whole top is gone. And I had plans for all those cones left on the tree.”

“I feel just sick!”

The forces of nature make changes on Earth,

They make creatures realize what life is worth,

The wind can move trees and the branches around,

It howls and it yowls with a frightening sound,

The birds and the squirrels take cover and hide,

They shiver and shake while the storm they outride,

But after a night that they spent curled up tight,

They creep out and check in the bright morning light,

To see if their home world is standing there still,

It’s been slightly changed, but survive it they will.


29 Comments

Easter Snack Time

“These walnuts are really good, but what’s that you say? There will be eggs? It’s too soon for the birds to lay eggs, isn’t it? Otherwise I’d think about helping myself.”

“No-no-no-no-no!” says the bunny. “Not now, Lincoln. They’re for Easter. But you can’t have them yet. I have to paint them first.”

“What? Aw, no. You can’t fool me that way. I can see they’re already painted. Just look at them!” 

And sure enough, the eggs Anneli buys look like it’s Easter every day.


Happy Easter, everyone.

 

Chickens lay the Easter eggs,

Rabbits like to paint them,

Lincoln likes to steal the eggs,

So, he’s not a saint then.

 

Lincoln tries to rob a nest,

Sticks his head right in there,

Momma bird gives him a peck,

Feels just like a pin there.

 

Maybe it’s a better plan

Not to steal the birds’ eggs,

Walnuts do taste very good,

Looking cute, the squirrel begs.

 

But who cares about the day

That the folks call Easter,

Lincoln eats his walnut snack, 

Sitting on his keister.

 

 


42 Comments

Getting Rid of the Evidence

Orson, the Oregon junco, has found a sunny spot to rest.

“Ooooh! This is so toasty on my body. The sun has warmed the railing. It feels glorious after so much cold wind.”

“Ahh … this is SO nice! I’ll get some of that warmth on my throat too. Oh, my goodness, that is so wonderful.”

“Oops! Excuse me. Nature calls. I’m trying to be modest, turning my back, but why do I have the feeling I’m on Candid Camera?”

“Hmm … the evidence … it’s still there. What to do? What to do? Oh, no! I’m such a birdbrain.”

“I just can’t have anyone pointing an accusing feather, saying it was me. They’ll probably put it on Twitter.  Still, I needn’t worry. If they put anything on Twitter, the birds would be canceled for expressing an unpopular opinion. Meanwhile, only one thing to do and that’s flee the scene of the crime.”

The evidence was left behind, but before a half hour passed by, the heavens opened up and the whole deck was full of evidence. Well … it looked like more evidence.

Loads of evidence covered the railing as a freak hailstorm blew in and then out again as quickly as it had come. Orson was spared many accusations, and he felt a lot lighter.

 


21 Comments

Fir Cones

Lincoln finishes off yet another fir cone, leaving only the stem and a few messy bits on the ground. He likes to eat the seeds, one by one, from the base of the seedwings which are stuck to the stem of the cone. He spits away the rest, littering the forest floor with the brown dishlike flakes.

Then he goes into a fantasy world and pretends to be a star in his own movie. He takes the denuded fir cone stem and holds it like a king in a dubbing ceremony. Since Lincoln is alone he has to play the role of both the king and the young squirrel about to become a knight.

Are you ready?

A good bath is due, 
For the purification,
And so Lincoln scratches,
His mite infestation.

A red robe is worn, 
His fur coat has the hue,
For black shoes and socks,
His dark toenails will do.

The sword on the altar,
Awaits while Linc prays,
It should be ten hours, 
But that feels like days.

We'll gloss over that part,
A squirrel can't sit still,
At least he's not hungry,
He's eaten his fill.

Now here comes the king
He picks up the cone sword,
"Squire Squirrel," he says to him,
"Please harken my word."

The king lifts the cone sword
And whacks it right down,
Upon Lincoln's shoulder, 
And says with a frown.

"My faithful Squire Squirrel
While you kneel here alone,
I dub you, Sir Lincoln,
As knight you'll be known."

So whaddaya think, eh?

SIR Lincoln, heeheeheeheeheeeeeeeeee!

If you are a writer, please visit my other blog for a post about publishing.

https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2021/03/28/publication-mania-2/


47 Comments

Hidden Pictures

Do you remember “Hidden Pictures” in the puzzle books for kids? The drawings were usually full of squiggly lines and somewhere in the maze of lines were smaller hidden pictures.  The goal was to find them all.

In the photo below, there is only one hidden picture for you to find. It’s my friend Lincoln, the squirrel.  Can you find him?

You may have to click to enlarge the photo to find him. If you can’t find him even after clicking to enlarge the photo, I’ve made it easy for you by adding the cropped photo below, that zeroes in on him.

 

 

I’m hiding cones for later snacks,

Someplace behind these wooden stacks.

Some niches in the wood will be

Where future goodies wait for me.

The problem is to finally choose,

And that location not to lose.

So many possibilities,

They challenge my abilities

To know what’s where and how to find

The yummy snacks I’ve left behind.

 


33 Comments

Pink Snow

Whoever said that snow was white

For certain didn’t get it right.

I know in shade it has some blues

And purples adding pretty hues,

It’s sad when snow shows bleeding red, 

A little bird may soon be dead,

If dusty specks turn snowflakes black,

Just turn, you’ll find a chimney stack,

Sometimes a doggie has to go,

So never eat the yellow snow,

But early sunrise glowing pink

Makes snow the prettiest, I think.

 

Please visit my other blog for writing tips and stories. Today’s post is about filter words.

Filtering

 

 


26 Comments

Herring, and Egg on Your Face

So much fuss over a little fish.

But it is a very popular fish, especially on the tables of the UK and Germany. You can have it smoked or fried, or fried and served in tomato sauce, or pickled and rolled up into Rollmops. If you like fish, you probably love herring.

My mother told me that back in the days before WWII, a fishmonger was selling herring in the street, and he called out to the customers, “Herring! Herring! So fett wie der Goering.” (“Herring! Herring! As fat as Goering” [the commander-in-chief of the Nazi air force]). Since Goering’s name rhymed with the name of the fish, it caused a chuckle among the townspeople who came out of their houses to buy his fish.

But the Nazi bigwigs didn’t like to be made fun of so they arrested the fishmonger and put him in jail for two weeks.

When he was released, the fishmonger went back out onto the streets to sell his herring, calling out, “Herring! Herring! … As fat as … they were two weeks ago.”

*****

Right now the local herring fishery is winding up and the cleanup begins.

Here is a photo of the beach area below our house where you can see the herring spawn turning the water close to shore a turquoise blue colour.

The seiners have caught their allowed quotas of herring and most have gone home.  There is still a lot of herring spawn (eggs) in the water, a lot of it stuck to seaweed and being washed up on the beach.

This is what the seagulls gorge themselves on.

The one on the bottom left has “egg on his face” but doesn’t seem to mind it. See the herring roe sitting on his beak?

*****

In my other blog, you might be interested in a post about what turns readers off.

https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2021/03/20/what-turns-readers-off/