wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Out Behind the Woodshed

Jasper and Crispin are in love. They’ve been chasing each other up and down the fir trees, and through stacks of firewood in the woodshed.

It looks like Jasper has finally caught up to Crispin.

Crispin might be having second thoughts. She’s sneaking away – a bit late – as Jasper’s declarations of love came as a bit of a surprise today. Something tells me that, after all her flirting, she wasn’t expecting quite so much attention. She’s going to find a quiet place to contemplate WHAT JUST HAPPENED.

“Crispin, come back! I love you!” Jasper calls. But she’s gone.

“That was sure fun! But will she come back? Maybe I shouldn’t have been so aggressive, but I thought she was just playing hard to get. And she didn’t say no. Heck! I thought she liked it. I know I did.”

“But what if she gets pregnant? Oh dear! I’m not sure I’m ready to be a father. Oh deardeardear! She’s probably mad at me. I may never see her again.”

“But no! Here she comes with a peace offering. Isn’t she just so sweet?”

“Does this mean you’re my girl? Will you marry me, Crispin?”


23 Comments

Where Am I?

HEY!? Where is everybody? Where is everything? Where am I?

 

What has happened to the sky?

I could ask the birds that fly,

If I only weren’t so shy,

Ask an owl, and I might die.

 

 

Overnight it disappeared,

Cloudy giant softly neared,

It’s exactly as I feared,

Weather here has been so weird.

 

Hard to see the limbs I climb,

Icy parts that slip like slime,

If I fall off just one time,

It would really be a crime.

 

Where’s the spot I hid that food?

Need to hunt, not in the mood,

Who knew winter was so crude?

Guess I’ll eat what’s partly chewed.

 

Half a fir cone hidden here,

For those days when it’s severe,

Surely spring will soon appear,

When it warms up, I will cheer.

 


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After the Snow

Screaming winds ripped through the fir trees when they were still laden with snow. The weight of the snow and the push of the wind was too much for some branches. It will take some sawing to make this branch manageable in pieces for the yard cleanup.

But all is not doom and gloom. See the black creature between the trunks of the trees? She’s having fun.

Here is  closer look.

Sorry. All we can see is her hind end. The front part of her body, especially the nose and front paws, are busy investigating whatever smells so good inside that old tree stump. It will be bath night tonight … again!

I can smell it in that stump,

Is it mouse or ratty’s rump?

Something yummy for my tummy,

Hope it hasn’t turned too gummy.

 

What care I if full of soil,

In the house the rugs I spoil?

I won’t cower in the shower,

Splashing water gives me power.

 

People love me even dirty,

They make kissing noise all flirty,

They will hug me, it won’t bug me,

Better clean though, soft and snuggly.

***** Please visit annelisplace for writing tips. Today we have more troublesome words explained.

 


48 Comments

Cool Days

Cool mist puffs

From stream to sea.

Icy droplets

Yearn to be free.

Oregon junco

Grasps a twig,

Craving bare ground,

He can dig.

Finding seeds and

Fat insects,

More like what

A bird expects.

 

Tiny sparrow

Sits alone,

So much snow 

He can’t condone.

Keeping warm 

and saving strength,

Sunny days

Will come at length.

 

***** Please visit my other blog: annelisplace


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Red-breasted Sapsucker

This info paragraph is taken from allaboutbirds.org

Red-breasted Sapsuckers eat sap, insects and other arthropods, fruit, and seeds. Their tongues are shorter than those of other woodpeckers, with brushy tips that help them lap up sap. They spend far less time drilling into wood than many other woodpeckers [do], and instead pick insects (especially ants and beetles) from crevices in the bark or from sapwells. They also fly out to catch insects in midair.

It seems as if these sapsuckers show up here around Christmas time. I did another blog post about them five years ago when they showed up in my backyard. https://wordsfromanneli.com/2016/12/17/a-christmas-tree-party/

Now, desperate for food, they must be finding what they need in the big firs in our area. I took this picture one day last week.

A day or two later, he had hit a window at my neighbour’s house. Luckily they managed to save him after a bit of R&R time in their avian intensive care unit. See the bird resting below.

 

All I wanted was to fly

Higher up into the sky.

Now my neck is oh so sore,

Thought that window was a door.

 

Giant branches of the trees,

Beckoned me to “Fly up please,

Pick these insects off my bark,

Go ahead and work ’til dark.”

 

But between the trees and me

Shiny glass I did not see.

Like a wall it smacked me down,

Dizzy trees spun all around.

 

Then a lady picked me up,

With her hands shaped like a cup,

Put me in a warm, soft box,

I was trapped, but not with locks.

 

Somehow I was free to go,

Once my neck stopped paining so,

With a squeak I called goodbye,

Then flew up into the sky.

 

Thank you, lady, thanks so much,

For your kind and gentle touch,

But remember for next time,

I prefer my glass with grime.

 

***** If you are interested in writing, grammar, copy-editing, books, etc., why not check out my other blog which is dedicated to that kind of thing? https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/


47 Comments

Rufus

 

 

 

Still, still, still I sit,

Feathers fluffed and light,

Chill, chill, chill is it,

Going to freeze tonight.

 

Save, save, save my strength,

Lest my legs do fold,

Brave, brave, brave at length,

Need to be so bold.

 

Eat, eat, eat the seeds,

For the night is long,

Meet, meet, meet my needs,

Hope I can be strong.

 

Spring, spring, spring will come,

Bringing sun and life,

Sing, sing, sing and hum,

Ending winter’s strife.


40 Comments

A Harsh Surprise

The skiff of snow we had the other day was just the prelude to get us in tune for the magnum opus.

Some snow for Christmas was a fine seasonal touch, even if it was a bit hard on the birds, but the snowfall we had in the last two days, coupled with a drastic drop in temperatures and an increase in NW wind – well, let’s just say I’m praying for the return of my old friends, wind and rain.

Since the Arctic winds are coming from the north or northwest, I decided to put more birdseed on the leeward side of the house. Out of the wind, the picnic blanket won’t blow away or freeze to the ground as readily.

So, not being particularly house proud, I sprinkled bird seed liberally by my front door and in the dry edges near the house on the south and east sides.

Emma can’t believe her eyes. So many birds. You know she’s a “bird dog” but that is not supposed to apply to songbirds. She’s in shock that birds are right there on the other side of the glass – you know, that glass beside the door where she always looks out when she’s left behind.

“Wow!” she says. “A varied thrush!” And she tells herself to stop drooling.

“Oh, it’s you again,” says Vera Thrush. “You should stop poking your nose into the glass pane. You’re mucking it all up with noseprints.”

“On second thought,” thinks Vera, “I should maybe check out another area and come back later when that maniac killer dog is having a nap. But … does she ever sleep?” Vera turns to go. “Better safe than sorry…. Hmmpf! Can’t believe I said that. Such a cliché.”

Vera’s feathers fluff up soft,

Keeping warmer air aloft

Trapped beside her chilly skin,

She will not let winter in.

 

Hard to fathom so much cold,

Although pretty to behold,

But the chill is not a thrill,

It is often known to kill.

 

Thankfully, the seeds are spread,

All around the front door tread,

Even though they don’t belong,

Matters more that we stay strong.

 

First comes need and then decor,

Later we’ll clean up the door,

But we’ll wait till Emma’s busy

So she won’t get in a tizzy.

 

All these seeds are such a gift

Hard to find them in a drift,

Front door feeding works just fine,

Think I’ll grab some, make them mine.

 

 

 


43 Comments

Snow – The Double-edged Sword

Yes, yes, it’s a white Christmas and almost everyone is happy. Snow covers the ugliness of winter.

But it also covers all the seeds and insects the songbirds would love to pick at. This fox sparrow is probably wondering how he’s going to get through the next days. He doesn’t know that it’s going to get even colder in the next few days. I’m making sure to keep the bird feeders filled and in a relatively sheltered place.

But mostly I fear for the tiny hummingbirds. Why, oh why, didn’t they fly south when they had the chance?

The hummingbird feeder was already starting to get chilled by late afternoon. In the next days, the sugar water in the feeder will try to freeze even partway through the day. I’ve been bringing the feeders inside at night and I will probably have to exchange the frozen water for warmer sugar water before the day is over. The forecast says it will get very cold at night. Meanwhile, this hummingbird was happy to find the sugar water not frozen today. Poor little thing.

Snow at Christmas, what a treat,

But it hides what birds would eat.

Joyful people celebrate,

Birds though have a different fate.

 

Let us help them fight the cold,

In the deep snow, let’s be bold,

Filling feeders to the top,

So the birds can fill their crop.

 

Snow is pretty but it’s hard,

When it covers up the yard,

Birds and squirrels do their best,

Let’s all help them in their quest.


41 Comments

Holiday Time

 

It seems to be snowier this year, but only in dribs and drabs. It snows, and the next day it rains and the snow is gone. But the wind is bitter cold and the air is raw. I hope all the little birds and squirrels find warm places to spend the night. I know they’re out and about even in terrible weather, looking for bits of food to keep them warm enough. Even the hummingbirds that didn’t fly south are sipping at the cold sugar water in the feeder. Poor little things.

I hope you are all helping to keep the birds alive this winter by putting out suet or bird seed. Please don’t feed them bread. It’s not going to do them any good. They need proper bird seed and sunflower seeds.  And if you have a cat, be sure not to put the feeder where a cat could get to it. On second thought, if you have a cat, don’t feed the birds. Let your neighbour do it.

I hope you all have a happy time over the Christmas holidays. Be good to your friends, neighbours, and families. There is probably not enough of that kindness in the world.

With so much Covid fear, it seems that we are losing the closeness we had with friends and family. Everyone is afraid of this monster illness. But maybe we need to work harder at keeping up our friendships by writing, or phoning, or having more over-the-fence visits, until we get a handle on this virus.

Let us try not to forget that humans are meant to hug, and smile without masks, and love each other.  I worry about the toddlers who are not learning to read their parents’ facial expressions as they grow up. Somehow, someday, we need to get back to the way things were.

Have a healthy and happy Christmas time. I wish you all the best for 2022.

 

PS. I noticed I said, “I hope” several times in this post. I was going to change it, but then I thought, “No, I DO hope a lot.”

I hope you have a  lot of hope too.

 

 


41 Comments

Lonely Spaniel

Somehow, these past two weeks have been filled with commitments, appointments, and reasons to go into town. With the weather alternating between cold rain and slushy snow, I don’t like to put Emma out in her kennel. She has a doghouse inside that fenced “playpen” and she’s quite safe in there, but it’s chilly when you don’t have a chance to run around much to stay warm.

So, we keep her in the house while we’re gone. She mostly sleeps on her dog bed until we get home again, but after leaving her for the third time within several days, I was feeling bad for her. She’s always so happy when we come home, so I know she gets lonely.

Today when I came home from an appointment, she met me at the door as usual, and I asked her where my slippers were. She always brings them to me when I come in from outside and I usually don’t even have to ask her for them.

But she brought me one of the Captain’s shoes so I went looking for my slippers and here is what I found.

A stash of six shoes on her bed! She must have gone up and down the stairs six times to bring them all to her bed upstairs so she could snuggle into them while we were away.

 

When the people go away,

No one knows how long they’ll stay.

Sure they leave me warm and fed,

And I curl up on my bed.

 

But the house can be so still,

Many quiet hours to fill,

Though my dog bed is all right,

Hope they come back before night.

 

Maybe I can find some shoes

And feel better while I snooze,

Into them I stick my snout,

The aroma knocks me out.

 

Extra lonely time today

Means I need those shoes for play,

Up and down the stairs each time,

With a shoe for every climb.

 

Six times down and six times up,

Six brown shoes  for lonely pup,

Tired now, I’ll snooze and wait,

Hope the people won’t be late.

 

Emma says, “I suppose I could always pass the time by reading one of Anneli’s books. They’re still on for only 99 cents until December 31st. Check them out on Anneli’s blog post https://wordsfromanneli.com/2021/11/21/book-bargains/

“They’re great books if you want entertainment for a tiny price.”

“And did you know that Anneli has another blog for writers and readers? It’s called annelisplace. You can find it here. https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/