wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


44 Comments

Who Says There’s No Free Lunch?

“Floyd! You’ve been at the suet block forever!” says Johnny Junco. “Don’t you think you should give me a turn?”

“Bah! Go eat the seeds I drop,” says Floyd.

Rufus and his Missus zoom in as soon as Floyd takes a break.  “How is it?” asks Rufus.

“A lot of fat before you can get to the good stuff,”  she says.

“Well, why don’t you get right into the cage?” Rufus says. “You’re slim enough.”

“Why thank you,” the Missus says. “How kind of you to say so. I hadn’t thought of that. But you stand guard in case Floyd or his girlfriend, Bossy Flossie, comes back.”

“I guess I’ll just have to pick at what drops on the ground,” Johnny says. “Those guys are just too big for me to take on. But at least there’s something for everyone.”

If you’re big and rough and tough,

When you eat you’ll get enough,

But if you’re a little guy,

You must wait, or stand and cry.

 

 

That’s the way the real world works,

First come bullies, then the jerks,

Dainty birds like us must wait,

Sadly this has been our fate.

 

 

At the feeder we can find,

That someone has been so kind,

Now there’s food to feed us all,

Whether we are big or small.


29 Comments

Dickie’s New Year’s Resolution

Folks! Dickie here. I wasn’t going to make a New Year’s resolution, but something happened to change my mind. I’m sorry to tell you we’ve got thieves in the woodshed. Well, at the very least, they’re freeloaders.

Here’s what happened. Flossie and Flora Flicker and their brother Floyd were checking out breakfast joints….

“I’ve been picking at the ground for those ant eggs and beetles, but they’ve all gone into hiding,” said Flossie.

“Give it up. I know a better place,” called Flora.

“What did you say?” Flossie shouted. “I had my head in the sand there for a minute. Didn’t hear what you said.”

“I said, Flossie, there are easier ways to get a meal around here. Your brother, Floyd has already gone to look. So, are you interested?”

 

“I know the sunflower seeds are stashed around here, in the woodpile,” Floyd mumbled. “I bet Rufus Towhee knows where they are, but he hasn’t been very helpful.”

“I was just about to tell Floyd about the sunflower seeds in the jar,” said Rufus, “but then he found this big ugly bug. I just had to turn my back. Can’t stand to watch him crunching away on it.”

“And now for dessert!”

“I do feel a little bit bad, eating Dickie’s sunflower seeds. He’ll be so disappointed when he sees they’re gone.”

“Oh deardeardear! They found my stash. And Floyd is bigger than I am. Did you see that spear of a beak on him?  Well … lesson learned. My first New Year’s resolution – I’m going to have to start getting up earlier and get my share.”

 


42 Comments

A New Year

Have a happy 2023.

Find and reconnect with friends, old and new.

Enjoy playtime and exercise.

Ponder new recipes.

Try new dishes.

Go with grace and beauty.

Enjoy life.

New adventures? Dive right in.

Soar to new heights.

Keep alert for danger.

Greet each day in a positive way.

Could be a good year, don’t you think?

Best wishes for a great year ahead, from the animals in my menagerie. 

Those who were camera shy today also send you their heartfelt wishes for a happy and healthy year.

 

 

 


50 Comments

The Most Popular Elusive Guy

I think I see him. I hope he’s got my bag of grubs.

Yes, you’re right! And I see the big sack full of hazelnuts for me.

Er, ah, HERE I AM, Santa. OVER HERE!

Where? I don’t see anything.

When he does come, I hope he brings me a lot of rosehips. Wonder what they’d taste like. In the winter I get tired of these holly berries and mountain ash berries. But maybe the rosehips are too fuzzy inside. They look good though.

Oooooh! Look! He’s got sleigh troubles. His reindeer are conking out. Should’ve got a Tesla Sleigh. With inflation, the price of reindeer food today is high, even for Santa. But even so, the cost of the Tesla Sleigh itself is enough to break the bank.

Yeah, he’s in trouble all right.  Look! He’s turning around. Sniff… there goes that box of dog biscuits I asked for.

I see that. Hmm … I think I hear them complaining about being hitched up so close. Something about social distancing.

Sigh! No herring for supper tonight. Not by special delivery, anyway.


Well, I never! He’s going back to the North Pole. There goes that bunch of tree bugs I asked for.

I’ll go round up some recr-hoots.

Hey, you. Santa’s looking to hire you, Al and the Paca, to be his reindeer substitutes.

What’s that you say? You don’t play second fiddle? Huh! You’d think that in the spirit of Christmas, you’d oblige an old man. I see you are related to those llamas next door with all their llammering. You’re just lazy, the All Packa ya. Well, see if I give a hoot.

Here’s a likely crew.

Say, would you pronghorns like to save Santa’s bacon tonight?

But we’re in Montana.

That’s okay. He’ll have to go by there when he limps home with his rainydeer crew and drops them off. Maybe you can hop on and help get them home before the nightshift begins. Thanks a lot.

I’ve been watching and I don’t see him coming back yet. Must be in the workshop, adjusting the harnesses to the new team.

I think I see him now, with his fresh crew of pronghorns. Funny-looking reindeer. Better than nothing, I guess.

Oh, this is so exciting. We just can’t sit still.

Children, children, not so loud,

Reindeer’s nervous of the crowd,

Send a delegation out,

Find that sleigh, and kids don’t pout.

Let’s go meet him.

This way! This way!

Santa’s big sleigh.

Sliding, gliding,

Santa’s riding.

 

Now settle down or Santa will think you’re all quackers.

Look how well behaved we are; black and white, eating at the same table together. One big happy flock. We’re a “blended flock.”

Oh, listen to you guys. You think it’s easy being the black swan of the family?

Whaddaya mean? You think you’ve got it bad? You try being a rat. All I did was chew on a few of those lovely black licorice cords in the truck and WHAM! They lifted the trunk and exposed me to the elements. But they won’t see me hiding in the corner. Bet you can’t see me either. I’ve got a really good hiding place in the door well too. I’ll just wait there until Santa brings new wiring for me to nibble on.

One thing we all got for Christmas – not sure if Santa had anything to do with it – was darn cold weather. So when Santa had to fly back to change his Rainydeer tires for the more heavy-duty Pronghorn brand, he asked the North Wind to provide some Puddle Puzzles for us to play with while we await his return.

Actually, I thought the puzzles were more like A-maze-ing. You just try it. See if you can find a path out of this maze.

I hope your Christmas holiday time is amazing too.

Did you find the rat in the truck? Look on the far back right-hand corner of the picture (actually the left side of the truck).


43 Comments

Solstice Solace

Hi Folks,

My name is Vera. I’m a varied thrush. You may think I look a lot like Roberta the robin. She’s my cousin.

Here’s Roberta the robin this spring, looking a bit ruffled up against the wind.

Roberta came down from the hills with her friends and family last week and so did all my varied thrush friends. We’d been in the conifers in the hills, picking at berries and bugs, but then the snow came and covered all our food.

So we huddled in the woods until the worst of the weather blew over and then found out where Roberta had gone. Well, we all congregated at Anneli’s house and at some of her neighbours’ too. The bare patches of dirt had bugs and worms we could pick at, and the houses along this road had a lot of mountain ash trees growing, so we ate some of those red berries they grow.

It feels like snow will fall again,

Although we birds prefer the rain,

I’m eating berries from the trees,

Though some are icy from the freeze.

 

When bare spots popped up through the snow,

My friends and I knew where to go,

We found some tiny bugs to eat,

The little spider was a treat.

 

The yard across the street has shrubs,

We hide in bushes eating grubs,

When rays of sun warm up the lawn,

A worm that peeks out will be gone.

 

The mountain ash’s berries fall

The sun ferments them one and all,

My cousin ate more than a few,

And then into a window flew.

 

Yes, life is hard these winter days,

But it is just a passing phase,

With winter solstice we will find,

That happy days aren’t far behind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


45 Comments

Sudden Snow

Gone are green hillsides,

Gone, the green grass,

Kids love their sleigh rides,

Kids yell en masse.

 

Searching for food to eat,

Searching for shelter,

Birds by the feeder meet,

Birds helter skelter.

Snow covers all the ground,

Snow hides the seeds,

Trees with snow all around,

Trees, a bird needs.

Thrush trills a lonely song,

Thrush calls his friends,

Hoping they’ll come along,

Hoping snow ends.


42 Comments

The Calm

… before the storm.

The ducks all facing outward

Are waiting for their snack,

They find it in the shallows,

It makes their lips go smack.

 

The heron facing inward,

Has patience yet to spare,

He hopes to spear a morsel,

With no intent to share.

 

All take advantage of the last,

Relaxing stretch of peace,

They feel the system moving fast,

Soon comes the ugly beast.

 

Photo by Pat G.

The licorice scent of fennel wafts,

Along the last warm breeze,

A thousand seeds fly in the drafts,

To inundate with ease.

Ms. Barbara Beacham’s hollyhock,

Has found a home with me,

Although Ms. Beacham’s sent a shock,

And could no longer be.

 

Her lovely flowers bloom each year,

She sends her love that way,

I cherish her with thoughts so dear,

Much more than I can say.

A last sweet effort quickly made,

The berry patch is done,

No strawberries are left to raid,

Except for just this one.

And here it comes, the mighty beast,

So dark, this sunshine thief,

It brings much-needed rain at least,

To every plant’s relief.

It slaps the trees ferociously,

It whips the leaves around,

But they hang on tenaciously,

On hearing such a sound.

The wind is shivery at best,

Each leaf is hanging on,

They’re hoping to survive the test,

Until this breeze is gone.


29 Comments

Student Teacher

I thought I’d try my hand at writing a sonnet. 14 lines in iambic pentameter (da-DAH, da-DAH, da-DAH, da-DAH, da-DAH), three stanzas of four lines and one of two. Rhyming pattern ABAB CDCD EFEF GG

It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

A student teacher starting out anew,

Stood scared before a class of girls and boys,

She struggled to remember what to do,

And wondered how to teach with all that noise.

 

Her shaking hands, her quivering voice aside,

She took a breath and said to form a line.

“I’m happy to be teaching you,” she lied.

“It’s your first day of school, and also mine.”

 

“Please take your seats,” the bashful teacher said.

But one child called out loud, “I like your dress.”

“Why thank you dear. It seems we both like red.”

Her trepidation causing her distress.

 

And like a duck with feathers preened and neat,

Below her, hidden, paddled urgent feet.