wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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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.


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Opportunists

Cloudy skies are welcome here,

Makes the heat wave less severe.

Look at this, it could be lunch,

If that guy can catch a bunch.

“How’s the fishing been today?”

Guy just stares with nought to say.

Looks like nothing in his creel.

Does he know the pain I feel?

“What? You had one, let it go?

I was wanting lunch, you know!”

Right! That’s it. I’m outta here,

Try to find another near.

I’ll find Joe, he’s down the shore,

How I hope he’s catching more.

Fisherman goes back to work,

Hoping soon his line will jerk.

PS I forgot to say these photos were taken by a friend on his cell phone.


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Flossie the Floozie

Have you ever been ignored by someone you care about? You wait, hopeful for conversation, and … nothing.

I told Floyd, “My name’s Flossie. How are you?” But he was so snooty. He just flew to a nearby tree and ignored me. Let me tell you, I was hurt.

I was seriously doubting myself. Having a confidence meltdown. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Why didn’t he like me? He was so unfriendly. Just stuck his nose in the air. He was fine as long as HE was talking, but as soon as I said something, he flew off.

Then I had a thought. I … er … I … hadn’t had a  bath in a while.

I checked my pits. Hmmm…. Got myself tidied up and as I sat there waiting, I realized that when I introduced myself, he must have thought I said my name was Floozie, not Flossie.

Well, now we wait … and we’ll see. I should wait a few minutes before I call him back. Wait until my feathers aren’t so ruffled. But still, what a nerve of him to be so rude.

 

Flossie Flicker’s feelings hurt,

Floyd has treated her like dirt,

When he talks about his day,

He expects to have his say.

 

But when Flossie wants to yack,

All he does is turn his back.

Flossie is so insecure,

Not so confident, not sure.

 

Then she spruces up her look,

Waits for Floyd and sets the hook,

“My name’s Flossie! It’s not Floozie!

Goodness gracious! Floyd’s a doozie.”


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The Plum Tree Nest

Two things are special about this nest.

One – I didn’t know it was there and it isn’t a robin’s nest. Something smaller, but I don’t know what.

Two – Because of finding this nest I now know that there are a few (VERY few) plums on this tree. The plum trees have been a bust this year. We have two Italian prune plum trees and two of these round yellow-green cherry plum trees (I don’t know what they’re called). See the plums? One is by the nest and the other is at the bottom left of the picture.

The nest might have been from some smallish bird like a chipping sparrow, but it was not a spotted towhee (they nest on the ground) or a bigger bird like a robin that would need a bigger nest (robins and towhees being the two most common birds around here).

But if it hadn’t been for the nest, I wouldn’t have noticed that there are a few plums on the tree – the only plums this year! No prune plums and only a handful of these green ones.

The baby birds are long gone, and I can only hope that they made it. I love having birds around.

Baby birds have left their home,

And set out, the world to roam,

They have left the nest behind,

Now it’s there for me to find.

 

Next to it, some plums have grown,

Though I hadn’t even known,

Good to see at least a few,

That have blossomed, and then grew.


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Flicker Baby

Mom told me to wait for her up here. I don’t like being alone.

Oh, my! I hope she hurries. I don’t like the look of that crow.

Mother Flicker dips and glides,

While her baby sits and hides,

Harvesting some lovely ants,

Adds a beetle to enhance,

All the goodness that she feeds,

To her babe and fills his needs.

 

Junior waits while mother works,

Hoping that no danger lurks,

Crows and merlins and the like,

Waiting for a chance to strike,

Junior always eyes the skies,

Watching everything that flies.

 

“Come on, Mama!” Junior cries,

“Bring those insects, bugs, and flies,

I’m so hungry all the time,

Don’t you hear the lunch bell chime?”

Nervous baby can relax,

Mom is back and she brought snacks.


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Chipping Sparrow

“Hey, Charlie! Come over here. I think I’ve found some bugs.”

 

“Yeah? Where?”

“Well … they were here a second ago.”

 

“Oh! Wait! I think I see him.”

 

“This is taking way too long. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll go looking for my own again.”

 

Charlie and Cherry were cruising the patch,

Hoping to find bugs to go down the hatch,

Cherry was choosy and took far too long,

Charlie flew off and instead sang a song.

 

Cherry, I love you, but as for my dinner,

Waiting for you is just making me thinner,

I’ll find my own meals and you’re doing fine,

You find your own bugs and I will find mine.


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Badlands

Are the badlands really bad?

The lack of a steady supply of water makes it hard to grow much. And look at the terrain. Can you imagine an expensive piece of farm machinery trying to negotiate those hillsides? I think farming this area is out of the question.

Still, some vegetation just plants itself. It has to be tough to survive. Grasses are real survivors if they only have a chance to sprout.

But seeds are easily washed away if not in the sparse rain, then at least in the run-off from snowmelt. The wind lends a hand too. Between them, wind and water carve out a landscape full of curves, rifts, pillars, and odd-shaped hills.

So what is the good of these badlands? That is, if there is anything good about them.

At first glance, it looks like a wasteland. You’d be surprised though, how much life it supports. Insects, obviously, and those attract birds and snakes. Lots of snakes.  I guess that’s a good thing, if you like snakes. They have to go somewhere.

The carved out crumbling rock formations provide many crevices and holes for a snake to hide in – a place to get out of the hot sun. In the late fall, rattlers will travel miles through prairie grasslands to the badlands where they seek out underground chambers (caves and tunnels) and scooped-out areas where they can snuggle up together for the winter in their very own hibernaculum. These dens are often underground and close to the water table, but preferably in a place where it stays above freezing.

The erosion in the badlands creates all kinds of possible hiding places for small animals.  The fields at the edge of a badlands area could provide food for insects, small rodents, rabbits, and game birds such as grouse and pheasants, which in turn attract predators such as hawks and owls.

Even deer may be found wandering through the badlands.

 

 

 

If you have a dog though, watch where it goes. You don’t want it to be bitten by a sneaky snake. If you take your dog there, maybe to hunt a partridge or other game bird for dinner, the best time to do that is probably early in the morning when it is cool and the snakes are still a bit poky.

A friend told me of a time when his dog (same breed as our Emma – an English field cocker) was running down a path ahead of him and a rattler was in the path directly in front of her. The dog leaped over the coiled up snake and kept going. It was lucky that, because of the cold morning, the snake was still quite lethargic. A few hours later, this scenario could have had an unhappy ending.

If you’re ever in a badlands area, keep your eyes open and your camera handy, and bring along your snakebite kit and the local vet’s phone number.

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