wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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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.”

 


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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.


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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. 

 


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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/


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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.


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The White Stuff

“Eh? Orson? What’s that you said?” That Oregon junco knows everything that’s going on around here.

It's a chilly wind today,
My fur coat is on to stay,
I'm so happy to be warm,
With the temps below the norm.

“If you’d pay attention, Lincoln, you’d know there’s been a big change in the weather.” Him and his big fur coat. He probably hasn’t even noticed. But just look at Emma. She’s still trying to figure it out too.

Look now, Lincoln! See the ground,
See the flakes fall all around?
Food will be more precious though,
Covered as it is with snow.

“Sheesh! This is just like in the movies where Bambi says, ‘Mother, what’s all that white stuff?’ and she says, with her soft, stunned voice, like some naive housewife out of a 50s sitcom, ‘Why … it’s snow!'”

Emma snarfs in deep, long sniffs,
White stuff gives off special whiffs,
Did a raccoon pass by here?
Did a rabbit scratch his ear?

Licking, tasting flakes of snow. 
Tries to bite it, where'd it go?
Funny flakes of wetness fall,
On her head and over all.

Emma gives her coat a shake,
Leaving just one lonely flake,
Sitting on her pointy nose,
Then into the house she goes. 


36 Comments

A Change in Menu

Anneli said she’s sorry, she ran out of sunflower seeds and she hasn’t been back to the Bulk Barn to buy more yet. Would I like to try some of the walnuts she has been drying?

They are wonderful! She has a whole tree of them in the backyard, but the shells are pretty hard to crack. I would have harvested them myself, but the husk around the nuts tastes bitter.

That and the fact that the backyard supervisors are always patrolling out there have kept me away.

There’s only the little black one now, but she’s dangerous. She leaps up four or five feet if she’s after something, so I’m careful around her.

And anyway, since Anneli has cracked these walnuts for me, I don’t have to hurt my teeth trying to open the shell. She takes good care of me so I don’t have to risk my life around that crazy killer dog.

Oh, ye heavenly squirrels on high! This is delightful!

I could even use this shell as a sippy cup. Slurp, slurp!

I wondered where my breakfast was,

The seeds were not in sight.

I nearly died of shock because

The change gave me a fright.

Instead of tiny sunflower seeds,

Just walnuts could be found,

The food that would fulfill my needs,

In shells so rough and round.

I checked them out and noticed then

The nuts were cracked in chunks,

It looked like I could eat again

The meat lay there in hunks.

How sweet of her to crack these shells,

To spare my tiny teeth,

Inside the nuts were little wells,

With nutmeat underneath.

I nibbled it and pulled it out

The flavour was the best,

No need to cry or mope about,

A change is good as a rest.

*****

Please visit my other blog, Anneli’s Place, for writing tips posted in small doses so as not to be overwhelming.


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R.I.P., Ruby

Our springer spaniel, Ruby, has gone to doggie heaven as of two days ago.

To be honest, she was the worst puppy we’ve ever had – so naughty, into everything, and not listening. She bit holes in the Captain’s prescription glasses, took off and buried his special Uncle Henry knife (in the neighbour’s yard, we think), and helped me with the gardening by digging alongside of me (in places where I did not want holes dug) and helping herself to all the tools (which I then had to retrieve). She was SO bad, but we loved her.

She always had a mischievous streak, teaching Emma, the English cocker spaniel puppy, all her bad habits (like taking apples off the trees) and barking at passersby. She continued these bad habits right up into her old age.

But she was a loving dog, who turned out beautiful and enriched our lives.

She was an excellent bird dog who had all the qualities you could ask for in a hunting dog.

The bonus for us was that she was also the perfect family dog.

Ruby was almost 14 years old and the day she was ready to leave this world she told us it was time. We hated to let her go, but it would have been cruel to keep her with us a day longer. We miss her so much.

Rest in peace, sweet Ruby.


37 Comments

Puppy Love

Our friends have a new young dog. Although the breed originated in the US, it’s called an Australian Shepherd, so they named her Aussie. This puppy gets a lot of love, but she also gives it. When Aussie hears “I love you,” she says it right back. With our friends’ permission, I can show you a glimpse into the “I love you” conversation.

Here is our friend Glenda with Aussie on the beach.

It’s not always easy to get children to say their lines when you want them to, but Aussie finally does come up with her responses to the “I love you” prompt. Watch the short video clip below.

“I love you, Aussie, you’re so sweet,”

Her darling dog just waves her feet

Up in the air while on her back

As Glenda kisses with a smack.

“I love you Aussie,” that’s the phrase

The puppy loves to hear, this praise.

When Glenda’s words are whispered near,

Her Aussie says, “I love you, dear.”

Of course it’s done in doggie talk,

But she loves Glenda, she’s her rock.


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.