wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


32 Comments

Lincoln is Bullied

Ooh! Look at the stash of sunflower seeds Anneli put out for me today!

Darn it all. There’s that nasty Estelle the Steller’s jay. She’s got quite a beak on her. I’ll just watch her out of the corner of my eye.

I’m being cool, having a drink of water, as if I’m not worried in the slightest. That’s the only way to keep those bullies at bay. You have to pretend they don’t scare you at all.

But oh my gosh. It’s going to be that kind of day. Look who’s hovering around. That Emma looks sweet, but she can be vicious when it comes to us squirrels. Still, I’m not scared of her … very much. I’d just bite her in that cute nose of hers.

Come down here and say that, Lincoln. I dare ya.

Oh no. I see Estelle edging closer … and that mutt is still hovering. Things are just getting a bit too hot around here. Think I’ll have to abandon lunch and come back later.

You had this all to yourself, Lincoln. Time you learned to share!

And don’t stand there gawking at me while I eat or I’ll fly up there and peck you in YOUR nose.

Yikes! It’s getting just a wee tad uncomfy around here. Think it’s time to skedaddle.

“I’ll be back … ya bullies!”


36 Comments

All Masked Up

 

First it was the dog, growling and barking at me, and now it’s that woman waving her camera around like she’s a journalist and I’m the star of her freak show. I can see the headlines now: Masked Bandit Hides in Tree

Only one thing to do, and that’s go higher and stay put. The woman doesn’t look like she’s much of a climber – not at her age.

Emma, her dog, can jump a few feet, but of course, she can’t climb.

 

 

Well … let’s see … what’s the best way to get up here?

I’ll just have a stretch before I climb any higher. Get limbered up before I go up the limbs.

Ouch! I forgot about my owie. Think I scraped it the other night going up a tree in a hurry. Couldn’t really see where I was going and I gave myself a sore arm on one of those broken branches.

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, check out Mrs. Journalist. Yup, she’s still standing there pointing that black thing my way. Well, at least she can’t identify me with my mask on, so I can cause any kind of mischief I want. But I am complying with all the Covid rules – I have my mask on …  which is silly, because we’re outdoors in the fresh air.

When will she stop pointing that camera at me?

Sorry, but I’m a bit camera shy.

She’s a brazen one! Still there. Still pointing that gadget at me. Good thing I have a mask on for anonymity as well as for Covid. But still, still, still….

I’d better stay hidden behind the tree. I’ll just peek out now and then to see if she’s gone yet, and to make sure that dog isn’t around.

Reggie Raccoon felt quite brave around noon,

He just couldn’t wait until dark.

Running so hard across Anneli’s yard,

He leaped up the nearest tree’s bark.

 

Rushing he scrambled, his fate he had gambled,

He came close to losing his tail,

Emma, the jumper, leaped up to his bumper,

It’s lucky her snap was a fail.

 


34 Comments

A Hard-earned Treat

Even though the summer has been dry, the blackberry vines were loaded. Emma has learned that the pain from pokes and prickles of thorns is worth the trouble.

 

She loves blackberries.

Her tender little nose takes a lot of punishment in order to get at the berries.

Some are not so willing to fall off and be eaten. Emma doesn’t mind pulling.

If only I could teach her to place them in a container for me without slobbering on them, and bring them to the house.

When I pick berries for myself I’m always sure to pick the ones that are higher than about a foot off the ground.

 

Once I saw my people pick,

Blackberries from bushes thick,

Why not do the same as them?

Looks like they are quite a gem.

 

Sure enough, the taste was fine,

But my poor lips bit a spine,

“Yikes! That hurts,” I yelped in pain,

Then I tried it once again.

 

Sweet and juicy was the taste,

Not to eat would be a waste,

Now I grit my teeth and pull,

And eat berries ’til I’m full.


36 Comments

The Olympic Diver

Evidence of long ago logging documents the size of some of the trees that used to grow around the lake. All around, lie smaller logs that have been knocked down by wind or by the annual flooding of the lake as heavy rainfall swells the feeder creeks, or snow melt causes the lake to rise.

So the lake has areas where a boater must take care to avoid half-sunken logs and deadheads.

One such deadhead was just below the surface of the lake, so some thoughtful person attached a white float marker to it as a warning to boaters. I  don’t have a photo of this marker, but it was a fair distance from shore.

I should mention that when Emma was only six months old, the Captain was walking along the banks of the Missouri River with her in Montana. Without warning, Emma jumped from the four-foot-high bank into the river. She loves the water.

So you can guess what she did as we motored along, and Emma spied the float. She must have thought it was a duck that needed to be retrieved.

A flying leap, an Olympic dive, two gasps from us in the boat!

The Captain immediately shut down the outboard motor, called his enthusiastic dog back to the boat, and hoisted her aboard. I expected to get shaken on, but what I didn’t count on was that she leaned on me on her way back to her front row seat and got my backside sopping wet before she gave me her shower.

I remember the Captain asking me then if I still loved my dog.


22 Comments

Giant Cedars

Do you see a tiny dark creature at the base of one of the forest giants? It’s Emma the Explorer.

Look at me, Anneli. I’m at the foot of the Empire State Tree. I can’t climb, and there’s no elevator. It sure looks huge from where I am. Click to make the picture bigger and maybe you’ll see me. I’m black and have a white nose.

Giant cedars standing tall,
Many here have yet to fall,
Others tumbled to the lake,
Fell so hard the earth did shake.

Still they keep their feet on shore,
Though they won't grow anymore,
Flooding waters soaked their boots,
And by force they lost their roots.

What these giant trees have seen,
Since they first began to lean,
Has a bear once scratched his hide,
On the cedar's sunny side?

Has a buck his antlers rubbed,
Losing velvet as he scrubbed?
Did an eagle perched aloft,
Make his nest there, downy soft?

Cedars lying in the lake,
Tangle trout that lures do take,
Lucky fish will break the line,
Swim away and feel just fine.

Silent sentinels await,
And one day they'll meet their fate,
Younger trees will then stand guard,
While the old ones fall down hard.

But the cycle carries on,
Wood in water will be gone,
Many seasons come and go,
And the young have room to grow. 


49 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.”

 


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.


45 Comments

Bald Eagles

I saw an eagle land in a tree below my house, so I went out onto the deck to take its picture.

Then I zoomed in on it and got a close up of it, but had no place to steady the camera and just took my chances.

In a second closeup, I saw that he had his beak open and I could see its tongue, but I see that the photo is quite small on the blog, so if you want to see the eagle’s tongue, you’ll have to click on the photo to make it bigger. Even so, it will be hard to see.

These birds are much bigger than they look. If you had one sitting beside you with its wings spread out, tip to tip those wings could span 8 feet. The bird might weigh about 14 lbs., the size of a small turkey. 

Anyone walking a small dog or worse yet, letting it run around in their backyard in eagle territory, had better watch out for it. They make a nice snack. Although eagles are not water birds, they will do what they have to do to procure food. I have seen an eagle with a loon in its beak, dragging it across the surface of the water as the eagle swims with one wing paddling like a lifeguard saving a drowning person, until it got to shore where it cold devour the bird. I have seen it do the same after swooping down to pick up a coho salmon just below the surface of the water. They are incredibly strong birds.

At this time of year, the herring come close to shore to spawn. This means a bounty of food for the eagles. You can see these birds showing up in the tall trees near the beaches in greater numbers to await the arrival of the herring. 

Eagles are not totally scavengers, but they are like a cleanup crew of a different kind. They are opportunists and will eat what is already dead, but they pick off sick or injured animals, whether they be land- or sea-birds, small mammals, or fish.  A crippled duck won’t suffer long with eagles around.

This is why you will often see eagles high up in a tree. They observe a large area, watching for stragglers in a flock of birds, or any weakness in animals small enough for them to pick up.

 

This raccoon may have been sick, injured, or dead, and became an eagle’s meal.

“Hmm…. There must be a little morsel left.”

 

“He’s messed up my nice white head feathers, but it’s worth it. What’s a bit of blood when you can fill your boots like this?”

“Just a few tidbits left. I hope I can still fly up into that tree with my stomach so full.”

 

Once when I was playing with Ruby, our late springer spaniel (then a small puppy), in the backyard, two eagles had been sitting unnoticed by me, in a nearby fir tree. They swooped down low across the yard, heading for tiny Ruby. I ran for Ruby and spread out my arms to provide an “umbrella” over her, and the eagles lifted up like two jets making an aborted landing. If I hadn’t been out there with her, she would have been eagle food that day.

 

So take care if you live in eagle country and have small dogs or cats. 

 


42 Comments

Beach Walk

After months of wind and rain, followed by at least a week of snowy blasts, the sun let us know that it’s still up there. It lit up the white hills and said to us, “Come out, come out. I’ll warm your back as you walk on the beach.”

The Captain and I took Emma to the beach on the east side of the spit, where the morning sun was warmer and much of the snow was gone.

Emma loved it, but then she saw something that stopped her in her tracks. “Whoah!” she said. “WHAT is that large woman doing out there in this icy water?”

She wasn’t swimming much — more like bobbing in the waves. She didn’t seem to mind the cold.

To her right, was a very relaxed sea lion head. I looked back at the woman and saw that what I thought was a head,  was really the sea lion’s flipper.

A whole group of them lay on their backs, enjoying the morning sun. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d had a breakfast of kippers. It’s that time when the herring come in close to the beaches to spawn. That makes the sea lions happy, as well as the eagles and sea gulls, all of whom love to eat the herring spawn and herring bodies that wash up on the beach for a wonderful smorgasbord.

Everybody (except the herring) is happy these days.

Don’t forget to visit my other blog, https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2021/02/12/the-trap/

Also, please visit my website to find out more about my books and my copy-editing.  http://www.anneli-purchase.com/


31 Comments

Love, Love, Love

I wish I knew how to make the mouth move and dub in the words, but this is Ellie, my sister-in-law’s dog, wishing everyone a very happy Valentine’s Day. Be good to each other.

I’ve been asked what breed Ellie is, so I’ve added this bit. She’s a Coton de Tulare.  Related to Bichon. 

A word of kindness never hurt,
It costs us naught to say it,
So why not give it generously,
It's easy, don't delay it.

We never know what kind of day,
And worries others have,
A loving word, a smiling face,
Could be a healing salve.

Don't do it 'cause it's Valentine's,
We need to supersede it,
To make the world a better place,
God only knows we need it.