wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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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.


53 Comments

Dim Sum

Sorry. It’s not about Chinese food, although I would love to have some right about now.

The brightness of the sky today got “dim some” when the fog rolled in. After days of heavy rain, the clouds regrouped and pondered their next mode of attack, increasingly darkening the sky as the day wore on.

After a while, the fog moved into our place higher up on the hill, and we lived in a cloud for much of the day.

Even Rufus, the spotted towhee, had trouble finding the feeder until Goldie (the golden crowned sparrow) chirped to let him in on the meal.

Groping, groping as we fly,

What has happened to the sky?

It’s not blue nor full of rain,

Will we see the sun again?

 

Chilly, chilly is the air,

Need to find nutritious fare,

Build our strength and warm us up,

Need some grains for us to sup.

 

Foggy, foggy all around,

Where can all the seeds be found?

Goldie chirps and calls to me,

She’s my compass, friend, I see.

 

Sharing, sharing all the seeds,

She has way more than she needs,

Nice of her to share her lunch,

Think I love her a whole bunch.

 

By the way, Rufus and Goldie both invite you to check out Anneli’s bargains for her books at https://wordsfromanneli.com/2021/11/21/book-bargains/ 

A great deal until Christmas.

 


31 Comments

Spotted Towhee

This towhee and the eastern towhee both used to be called rufous- sided towhees, but to differentiate it from the eastern towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus), it is  now called a spotted towhee (Pipilo maculatus).

 

Rufus is trying to figure out the best way to get into Lincoln the squirrel’s food.

“Have you ever been undecided, and had a foot in each camp?” he asks.

He finally decided to just go for it. Showing off his acrobatic skills.

No, he didn’t get put in jail for stealing Lincoln’s sunflower seeds. He’s just hiding here in plain sight. Nothing can get him here behind this maze of twigs.

“And no,” he says, ” I didn’t pull an all-nighter. My eyes are always red.”


34 Comments

The Challenge of Change

A new birdfeeder presented unexpected challenges for some birds. The seeds were visible, but access to them was different from the way it was done in the old feeders. All the outlets for the seeds are near the bottom of this new feeder.

Very simple for most of the birds. The sparrow has it figured out. “Come on down,” he calls, but the towhee, on the top right, is still puzzled.

“Nice seeds, but how in the heck do you get at them?”

“Whatcha doin’ up there, Rufus?” the Oregon junco called.

“ARRRGGHH! These are the darndest things. I can see them. Why can’t I get at them?”

“You just stick your head in the red dish … look … like this!”

“I just don’t get it. I’m looking right at the seeds, and I can’t get them.”

Honestly, I don’t know what else to say to him. What a dimwit.

“I guess you could always have some suet, Rufus.”

Brand new feeder, brand new seeds,

Specially made to suit their needs.

High-tech model, high-tech spout

Way too hard to figure out.

Rufus hammers, Rufus picks,

He’s exhausted all his tricks.

Junco coaxes, junco shows,

Why is it that junco knows,

How to get them, how to eat?

Rufus must admit defeat.

He can’t get it, he can’t do it,

Junco points up at the suet.

Don’t go hungry, don’t despair,

Eat that suet over there.

Feeling stupid, feeling dumb,

What a birdbrain I’ve become.

Rufus gorges, Rufus gobbles,

Now so fat, his flying wobbles.


39 Comments

Rufous-sided Towhee

I don’t know …. Looks a bit suspicious to me.
I’ll just try a nibble. Mmm … mhmm … not bad.
Hey! This is all right!
Uh-oh. Somebody got pictures of me gobbling my food. Who would have thought she’d spy on me right through the window?

What a feast these berries make,

No one says how much to take.

Guess I’ll eat them while I can,

I’m becoming quite a fan.

First I wondered ’bout the flavour,

Now I just can’t wait to savour,

All the berries growing here,

At their best this time of year.

Down the street the mountain ash

Berries fell down just like trash,

Down they fell, kerplunk, kerplunk.

Robins ate them and got drunk.

Not so good for flying straight,

Easy to become owl bait.

I will stick to pyracantha

Cuz for me it is the antha.


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Tony the Towhee

Lincoln was minding his own business when he thought he heard a soft, croaky voice calling, “Eh?”

“Who’s that talking to me?” Lincoln asked. “Oh, NO! It’s Tony the Terrible. I don’t mind sharing a bit of the food but he’s so messy!”

“Who’re you calling messy? It was like this when I arrived.”

“Now, let’s see … is that a good one or another empty hull…?”

“Found one, but what’s the taste going to be like?”

“Meh! Just as I feared. These ones that are lying around are getting a bit stale. So much for cleaning up.”

“Tony, I swear, if you mess up my lunch, I – I – I – …. Well, just don’t make me come down there, or it’s Ta-ta, Tony!”

“Oops! I think lunch is over. I’m going to get a quick ‘Take-out’ and skedaddle. I don’t think Lincoln cares about social distancing and I don’t like him when he gets mad.”

“How do you like that? He’s cleaned me out! No wonder they call him Tony the Terrible.”

“Guess I’ll just have to go harvest some more fir cones. But what a lot of work!”


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The Chill Moves In

Mrs. Flicker is in a panic.

“Did you say the ‘S’ word? Did you say snow?”

 

The Steller’s jay mouths off as usual.

“Oh, I highly doubt that!”

The rufous-sided towhee is trying to be cool. Soon he’ll wish he weren’t quite so cool.

“Now what did I tell you about that? Getting the flocks all alarmed over something that may not even happen?!”

 

The hummingbird, also rufous, is hungry.

“I’m not taking any chances. Anneli doesn’t put this food out just because she’s bored. I think she’s trying to be sure we don’t starve.”

 

The chestnut-backed chickadee gets busy, eating all he can.

“Me too! I’m eating my breakfast to build up my strength. It’s dee-dee-dee-damned c-c-cold and it might snow.”

Above him, the nuthatch is getting impatient.

“Will ya hurry up, Chickie? There’s not much time before that hog, the starling moves in, and I haven’t had a turn at the suet block yet —– Oh too late. Here he comes, the bully!”

 

The starling isn’t shy. Far from it!

“Errr-hem! Move out you little squirts. That suet is mine, all mine.”

The golden-crowned sparrow does his best, singing about spring, but finally I heard him admit,

“I don’t think it’s working. I might have to move south — and fast!”

 

I hope the birds are wrong, but it sure feels like it will snow. I remember how cold and snowy it was last January, so I have plenty of birdseed and suet on hand, and of course I have walnuts and sunflower seeds for Lincoln and Della.

Last January! Brrrrrrr….

But someday it will be spring again.

(No, don’t get excited. This photo is from last May. I just wanted to remind myself that this cold weather won’t last forever.)