wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


45 Comments

Good or Bad?

The robin’s nest lies empty, and four little newly feathered babies are braving the unseasonably cold spring. The wind ruffles the baby featherlets. Drips of rain plaster the down onto their skinny pink bodies. What little body heat they had must be replenished quickly with food brought to them by their parents.

Junior #1 sits, wondering what to do.

Junior #2 sits a little more hidden, waiting for his mother to feed him.

Mother robin wonders where she should look for food for her brood. She also needs to find Junior #3 and #4.

I felt so sorry for them all that I went out into the miserable, cold wind, and dug up a few shovelfuls of dirt in my garden, knowing that it is infested with the grubs of the ten-lined beetles. I threw them onto the upturned lid of an old garbage can.

These grubs hide deep in the soil and wait for potatoes to grow so they can eat them before I try to harvest them.

Then, satiated, they wait for the first very hot day to come out of the ground and fly around as ten-lined beetles, again, as they do every year, looking for me so they can land on my back where I can’t reach them, and I have to run around the yard screaming until the Captain comes out to save me.

But this year I’m getting my revenge on them. At the same time I’m helping the mother robin to feed her brood.

Watch this video of how “Man” (in this case “Woman”) has helped Nature.

Then you can tell me if I did a bad thing or a good thing.

 


26 Comments

A Challenge

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I did a post about finding a robin’s nest right next to my front door.

Here is the link in case you want to go back to it for a look. https://wordsfromanneli.com/2022/04/25/hiding-the-children/

You may also remember that there were four pretty blue eggs in it.

A few days after discovering the eggs, I peeked into the nest when the mother wasn’t on the nest and I saw that the eggs had hatched, but I couldn’t tell how many.

About ten days later, I dared to take another quick peek with my camera ready. I had to hurry before the mother came back. I didn’t want to upset her. Balancing on a few toes, I leaned into the yew tree, held the branches back with one hand and took the picture with the camera flailing around in the other hand. Hence, the challenge for you to figure out what you’re looking at.

Can you sort out how many baby robins have hatched? It helps to look for big eyes and beaks.

Don’t forget to visit my other blog for helpful hints in writing-related topics.

https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2022/05/10/word-surprises/

 


24 Comments

Hiding the Children

 

I know she’s got that nest someplace nearby. I’ll just watch where she goes and then I can get some scrambled eggs for breakfast.

 

“You murdering so-and-so. You keep away from my children.”

Well, I’ve hidden the nest really well, so they should be okay. No one knows where it is.

I know where it is. But don’t worry I won’t tell. I can see it from here. See? Right over there by the house.

It’s right in that thick yew tree.

I even peeked inside and saw the four little kiddies-to-be.

Be careful, robin, hide your nest,

The scavengers like eggs the best,

Don’t show them where your darlings lie,

Or kidnappers will make them cry.

 

They’ll snag them and they’ll fly away,

And you with anguish and dismay,

Will shriek and call and cry out loud,

As robbers take them to a cloud.

 

So take good care and be alert,

And you will tragedy avert.

You know the crow has got a hitlist,

It’s survival of the fittest.


41 Comments

Spring Ditties

It was a day of surprises. Yesterday, this plum tree had only tightly bunched up buds. Today the sun came out for a few minutes and the plum tree called out,

“Look at me! Look at me!

Every flower a plum will be!”

The next surprise lay at my feet as I stopped to admire the plum tree. It was just lucky I didn’t step on it.

Robin baby, where are you?

Found your shell that you picked through,

Lying by the blooming plum,

Just the size of someone’s thumb.

 

Morning, sparrow, golden crowned,

You don’t mind me being around,

Posing for me for so long,

Before bursting out in song.

 

 

 

Waxy petals calling out,

Any hummingbirds about?

We’re the colour that’s the best,

Not much sugar, that’s a test.

Try it putting out your two lips,

We are truly tasty tulips.

 

You rang?


46 Comments

Thankful

The robins who flew down from the snowy hills a few days ago are having their Thanksgiving dinner. They may eat a few worms and bugs for meat, but the “robins’ version of cranberry sauce” for their dinner comes from these pyracantha berries by our house. Wikipedia says the berries are not poisonous although they contain miniscule amounts of a cyanide-like compound (heavy on the like, I hope). The berries are probably not harmful or I would see dead robins all over the place. They certainly gobbled down a lot of them, as they do every year at this time.

 

“Sure not much left on my plate,” he says, judging by all the emptied stems.

 

“But I think I spy a fat, juicy one down there.”

 

“Is it Anneli’s camera, or is this berry a bit fuzzy? … Never mind. It tastes pretty good just the same.”

 

“Ahh! That hit the spot.”

“And what are the rest of you Canadians having for your Thanksgiving? I hope your dinner was as good as mine. In my case, it may be just berries, but don’t we have a lot to be thankful for, even in these troubled times?”

 

 


30 Comments

A Glimpse into the Future

 

The swaths of clouds embraced the hills,

What lay between gave me the chills.

The first snowfall this season kissed

The fir trees peeking through the mist.

 

The robins fled their berry patch

For lower lands, their food to catch,

The geese and sandhills winged away

To find a warmer place to stay.

 

Yet later when the sun came out,

It said, “What’s all the fuss about?

I’ll shine my best and melt it down,

This early snow just makes me frown.

 

“I know it will return one day,

A month from now, the snow will stay.

So be prepared and fill the larder,

Soon the days will be much harder.

 

Make your shelters, line your nest,

Keeping warm will be a test,

But we will get through winter’s cold,

If we are ready and we’re bold.”


22 Comments

The Weed Eater

“Oh no! Is that who I think it is? ”

 

“Hi Jasper. What are you up to? Any lunch you want to share?”

Oh darn it all. She always shows up at lunch time.

“”Er, ah, hi Roberta. I was just going to have my VEGETARIAN lunch. Nothing you’d be interested in.”

“What is that you’re eating, Jasper? Don’t you prefer seeds and nuts?”

“Yes, well, when it’s hot like this, I like a few greens to help with the thirst.”

“Oh, what the heck. Come on over. There are plenty of weeds to spare in Anneli’s yard. I’m helping her with the weed eating.”

And I’m almost as fast manually as she is with the electric one. I’m like that song by Hall and Oates, The Maneater, except my words are a little bit different.

Oh-oh, here I come.

Watch out weeds, I’ll chew you up.

Oh-oh, here I come.

I’m a weed eater.

 

 

 


23 Comments

Hunting Lesson for Reuben the Robin

“A mother’s work is never done,” says Roberta Robin.

“Come on, Reuben. We have to teach you to hunt for yourself. I can’t keep doing this for you.”

“This is what we’re after.”

“Now watch carefully and I’ll show you how to hunt for these yummy earthworms.”

“First, you have to listen. That means you don’t shuffle your feet and you don’t squawk and run around. That sends them underground.”

“But they ARE underground, aren’t they?” Reuben asks.

“I meant ‘figuratively speaking,'” Roberta says with a sigh. “You’re overthinking this. It’s just a worm hunt. So you lean over like this, close to the ground, and listen. And keep your eyes open too because you might see the grass wiggle as they try to escape.”

“Then when you hear one making a run for it–”

“But they don’t have any legs. How can they make¬† a run for it?” Reuben asks.

“FIGURATIVELY speaking!” Roberta sighs. “Why me? Why did I have to give birth to a little professor?”

“As I was saying, when they make a ru– er… a bid for freedom, you snag ’em with your beak. You might have to dig and peck a little but if you’re quick you’ll get the worm.”

“So it’s the quick bird that gets the worm,” Reuben says. “Not necessarily the early bird.”

“Here you go, Professor Reuben,” says Roberta. “Now you try it. The next one I get will be for me, so you’d better try hard to get your own. That’s it. Get that ear to the ground.”

While I grab a bite for myself at last!

 


61 Comments

The Jolly Holly

Same old holly berries, same old food. Where’s a juicy earthworm when you need one?

Sigh…. Well, there’s nothing to do but to go for it. Hmm … let’s see … I wonder if they all taste the same.

I don’t have teeth, so I guess I just have to swallow the thing whole. Not very ladylike, but here goes. Gulp!

Oh man! These are big enough to choke a horse. Good thing I’m not a horse. Do I look like a Christmas decoration?

This is the last one … OOPS! Just about fell off my perch. I guess that means I’ve had enough.

Have you tasted holly berries?
Oh, of course, you did.
Little ones, and
Luscious ones,
You're sitting right amid.
But it is best if you're a bird, as
Everyone does know,
Red is pretty
Red is ripe
Yet stomach aches can grow.


So snag the berries off the branch,
Nab that one by your feet,
And after tasting, 
Can you tell,
Keen as you are to eat?

"These berries certainly are great,"
I heard the robin say,
"Mushy, minty, maybe I'll 
Eat all I can today."

If you’ve managed to get through my little rhyme, you may have noticed that the first letters of each line, read downwards, give a little message. Do you see it?

If you would like to have a quick review of some apostrophe problems many people have (and many don’t even know it), please have a look at my latest writing tips on my other blog, anneli’s place. https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/


40 Comments

A Case of Harassment All Around

It was a glorious morning, very early.

Ruined!

“Caw! Caw! Caw!” came the ugly croaking call of a crow, summoning his cohorts to make a try for the breakfast that was about to happen when Robbie, Ryan, Ross, and Roberta left their robin’s nest.

I picked up some pebbles from the yard, grabbed the slingshot and went looking for the murderers who threatened to skewer the baby robins with their sharp beaks, much like hors d’oeuvres at a cocktail party.

As I walked down the path in front of my house, the crows flew away, and I stood a moment to admire the view.

I took a few breaths of fresh sea air and turned to go back home. Just then, something burst out of the two-foot-high St. John’s wort shrubbery at the side of the road. It flew up onto a fence rail about ten feet away and stared down at me.

It stared and stared and stared, for maybe 30 seconds, and then it flew up into a nearby fir tree.

I hurried into the house and traded the slingshot for a camera.

It was much farther away now, and I had to zoom the camera. It’s a bit fuzzy, but I was still thrilled to get any kind of a picture of this great horned owl.

Later I saw what it might have been after.

Looking back, I was harassing the crows who were harassing the owl who was about to harass the rabbit who was about to harass my garden which held the worms that the robins were about to harass. And what was harassing me? The backyard supervisors, wanting their breakfast.

Sorry for the blurry picture of Emma. She can NEVER sit still.

And Ruby, patiently waiting for her breakfast.