wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


44 Comments

Spaniels’ Play Date

Sweet little Bailey, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, came over to visit Emma, the English cocker, for a play date.

The first thing she noticed was the outside dog kennel.

“What’s that building?” she asks Emma. “It looks like a hotel.”

“Oh, that’s my outdoor doghouse where I can stay safely when the people are away shopping. I have room to walk around in the playpen and I have a doghouse where I can have a nap. It’s locked up tight so nothing can hurt me while the people are away.”

“And you like it in there?”

“Sure, it’s okay. But never mind the dog hotel, Bailey. Come see what I found. This could be interesting.”

“What is it?” Bailey asks.

“Ewwww … it stinks!” says Bailey.

“Never mind that,” Emma says, “Just come and check it out. I think I found some Glosette Raisins.”

“Are you kidding me? I know rabbit poo when I see it.”

“And I can smell it too! No way I’m coming over there … and you shouldn’t be eating it either! Mom! I wanna go home now.”

“Aw, Bailey. Do you really have to go? Well, give me a kiss, and come back soon.”

“Only if you brush your teeth, Emma.”

“No worries,” says Emma. “Anneli brushes my teeth every night.”

 

“Huh! Who would’ve thought she’d be such a picky eater? I like Glosette Raisins.”

 


28 Comments

Location, Location, Location

A few days ago, David Kanigan posted photos of a Canada goose nesting on a dock.

https://davidkanigan.com/2021/04/20/and-the-show-goes-on/

Please visit it to see this post.

I had mixed feelings about this goose’s choice of location. It’s right out in the open, and so vulnerable to predators and the weather. I hope for, but don’t expect, a good outcome for this brood. Still, if she pulls it off and any of her goslings hatch and survive, the goose will deserve a medal for bravery and stamina.

I thought of this goose nest when the Captain came home from a trip up the BC coast, having taken pictures of a goose nest in a very remote location. This is how it should be. This goose nest is beside a river, but somehow the goose knew about rivers rising in the spring, and it has placed this nest high up out of the reach of a flooding river.

The nest is on top of this tree stump, out of sight, and out of reach of the spring run-off in a rising river. It is sheltered from aerial predators by the new growth on top of the stump.  Being up high would also give it a slight advantage over animals that might threaten it from ground level.

But even with all of the advantages the goose has with this remote nest,  it is probably at just as much risk as the town goose in David Kanigan’s blog post.

Thank you, David, for showing the city goose as compared to my country goose. I hope they both manage to bring off a nice batch of goslings.


33 Comments

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Sadly, this golden-crowned sparrow is no longer with us. He hit one of my recently cleaned windows yesterday, and reminded me why I had put off cleaning them for so long. He looked so lifelike when I found him in a planter beside the front door, so I thought he deserved to be remembered as he might have been only moments before. I propped him up to sit on the snapdragon stem.

He has dirt on his beak and his feathers are a bit scruffy from his fall into the dirt, but he still looks beautiful to me, except that he’s not alive anymore. I feel really bad when I lose a bird on my windows.

Golden-crowned sparrows have a mournful song, and today I had the distinct feeling that his friends were looking for him.

If you listen to this very short video clip, you’ll hear his friends calling for him, saying, “Where are you? … I’m so alone.”

I heard that awful sound again,

A bird has hit the window pane.

Emma perked up at the sound,

Barked and stood up, looked around.

 

On the landing it was clear,

No dead birds, not far, not near.

Maybe he survived, I thought,

Just a headache he has got.

 

Later as I watered flowers,

Wanting to avoid the showers,

I looked down to place my feet,

When I saw this bird so sweet.

 

Feeling faint, I lifted him,

Knowing that his chance was slim,

Broken-hearted, I could see,

No more would he sing for me.

 

Beautiful, he looked in life,

Wonder if he had a wife,

Soon I heard her calling sweet,

Hoping that her love she’d meet.

 

One last perch upon a stem,

Such a beauty, such a gem,

As his soul wings high above

We’ll remember him with love.


36 Comments

Nuts About Nuts

Ooh! Look what I found! Hee, hee. I knew I had some good ones stashed from last year.

Now to get into it without breaking a tooth.

Oh, yum!

Here’s the best part.

Bit stale … yup … that’s a last year’s for sure. “Best before” date’s been and gone.

Urrrrp!  Hmm … starting to get a bit of a tummy ache.

Oh, what the heck. Might as well finish it.

One more bite. C’mon, Lincoln. You can do it.

Groan … anybody got any Gaviscon? Tums?

I’m nuts about nuts,

But they get to my guts,

And then I don’t feel so good.

 

 

With trees everywhere,

We can easily share,

There’s lots in my neighbourhood.

 

 

I eat the nutmeat,

It’s the tastiest treat,

But eating too much is not nice.

 

 

So high on my list,

Nuts are hard to resist,

See, even a squirrel has his vice.

*****

Writers, please visit my other blog for “no pressure” writing tips.

https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2021/04/17/the-truth-you-dont-need/


31 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!


39 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.