wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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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.


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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.”

 


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/


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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.


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.


37 Comments

Breakfast Interruptus

See how I can multi-task? I can chew a sunflower seed while tossing the shell away.

 

Oh, darn it all. There’s Emma. “Hey! What’re YOU doing here? Can’t a squirrel eat breakfast in peace?”

 

See how I did that? I told her! Cool, eh?

 

Uh-oh! What if she gets out of the backyard? Sometimes the people let her into the front.

 

I think … yup … it’s time … to RUN!

 

I bet I could catch you! I can jump, you know.

 

Not this high, you can’t. Nyah-na-na-naa-na!

Heeheeheeheeheeeeeee!


51 Comments

Quick Like a Bunny

M-m-m! These tall grasses smell delicious!
Oooh! Yummy! They are exquisite.
I wonder if I should turn on the tap and give the grasses a drink of water to make them grow.
This long stem is so good, and it gets better the closer I nibble it to the top. Hahaha! I could come to a seedy end!
Uh-oh! Did I hear the backyard supervisors? Those dogs are F-A-S-T! At least, the little black one is. The other one is getting pretty old (thank goodness)!
I’m just going to hide here for a minute. If I stand straight, I’ll look like part of the pipe. I think I’m slim enough, don’t you?
On second thought, maybe I should crouch down and hold still. This is when I wish my ears weren’t so long.
Just to be on the safe side I think I’ll skedaddle, quick like a bunny, until the coast is clear.

I found some grass with flavour grand,

Beside the tap and in the sand,

I nibbled it and loved the taste,

I could not let it go to waste,

But then I heard a vicious dog,

My eyes bugged out, I stared agog,

I tried to hide but then I thought,

This battle’s one that can’t be fought,

The dog has biting teeth and jaws,

I sure don’t want to give her cause

To bite my soft brown bunny fur,

I’d rather run away from her.

I’ll come back later, in the night,

When she is sleeping curled up tight.

And then I’ll munch and lunch till dawn

Cause I am safe while sun is gone.

But, oh, what is that hooting sound?

I think I’d best not stick around.


47 Comments

Old Slippers

Several years ago a good friend gave me a pair of brand new slippers for my birthday. I didn’t think I really needed slippers, but when I started wearing them, I thought, “Darn! These are comfortable.”

Over time I became attached to them, and Emma realized this. Now we had a competition over possession of the slippers.

I should have remembered what happened to my Birkenstocks when she was just a puppy and she ate the straps right out of one of them.

“Did I do good, MA? Huh? Huh?”

 

She has outgrown the chewing habit, but she still likes to take a little nibble if the flavour is especially good.

So if she only nibbles a bit, how did the slippers get like this?

Well, she knows I need my slippers in the morning, and when she wants me to get up, she brings ONE of them to the bedside. This may be after she has slept on it.

And who knows where the other one is?

So the conversation with the dog goes like this,” Thank you!” (which is what I have to say to make her give it up – she has me trained). Then I say, “Go get the other one.”

She runs around the house to wherever she left the slipper and brings it back to me.

Then she makes me beg for it and say, “Thank you!”

After five years of nibbling and fetching, my slippers have changed shape somewhat.

Do you think I need new slippers?