wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Innocence Backfires

When Emma, our English field cocker spaniel, first went pheasant hunting, she just did what she was bred to do. She sniffed and snarfed until she found a pheasant scent, and she did it very well.

Later in the trailer, she found a stray pheasant feather, and another instinct of hers kicked in – that of eating whatever looked good.

She’s not too proud to get her picture taken with a feather stuck to her mouth and one ear flopped back. She’s confident we will love her anyway. Quite a humble innocent.

With most babies, every new item must be sniffed and if possible, eaten. Emma was no exception. She tried to eat the cord of the trailer’s electric heater when it was plugged in (luckily we caught her before she fried herself), she ate one of my brand new Birkenstocks,

and took her time working on a pair of slippers. (She doesn’t chew them now that she is all grown up, but she nibbles and nibbles over a long time, until there’s a substantial accumulation of damage.)

“Who? Me?”” she asks?

She’s not a puppy anymore and she doesn’t chew everything in sight, but she is still very focused on putting things in her mouth.

A friend of ours came over to help us out when our lawnmower broke down. He always brings dog biscuits as a treat for Emma, and this time was no exception. Emma got her dog cookie and followed the friend around the rest of the time he was here (as she always does).

Fast forward to the next morning when I took Emma out. Something reddish-orange caught my eye after she did her business.  Was it the piece of carrot I had given her? Surely she would have chewed it more. Was it blood? OMG! I hope she’s okay.

I got a stick and poked around in the little chocolate wedding cake she had dropped, and brought the reddish-orange thing into the house. I washed it off, and couldn’t believe my eyes.

It wasn’t a dog biscuit, but it was something our friend had brought with him (and apparently lost in the grass as he was trimming the edges). It’s about an inch long and is made of a rubbery foamy material. Yep! You guessed it. It was an earplug.

But what a funny one it was. See the one hair on its head? Then go about a third of the way down on the right-hand side. Do you see the happy face? (I didn’t put that on it.) I think this earplug was happy to see the light of day again after his journey through the bowels of a spaniel innocently looking for another dog biscuit.

I think in this case, the innocent pursuit of dog biscuits backfired on Emma.

 


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After the Snow

Screaming winds ripped through the fir trees when they were still laden with snow. The weight of the snow and the push of the wind was too much for some branches. It will take some sawing to make this branch manageable in pieces for the yard cleanup.

But all is not doom and gloom. See the black creature between the trunks of the trees? She’s having fun.

Here is  closer look.

Sorry. All we can see is her hind end. The front part of her body, especially the nose and front paws, are busy investigating whatever smells so good inside that old tree stump. It will be bath night tonight … again!

I can smell it in that stump,

Is it mouse or ratty’s rump?

Something yummy for my tummy,

Hope it hasn’t turned too gummy.

 

What care I if full of soil,

In the house the rugs I spoil?

I won’t cower in the shower,

Splashing water gives me power.

 

People love me even dirty,

They make kissing noise all flirty,

They will hug me, it won’t bug me,

Better clean though, soft and snuggly.

***** Please visit annelisplace for writing tips. Today we have more troublesome words explained.

 


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A Harsh Surprise

The skiff of snow we had the other day was just the prelude to get us in tune for the magnum opus.

Some snow for Christmas was a fine seasonal touch, even if it was a bit hard on the birds, but the snowfall we had in the last two days, coupled with a drastic drop in temperatures and an increase in NW wind – well, let’s just say I’m praying for the return of my old friends, wind and rain.

Since the Arctic winds are coming from the north or northwest, I decided to put more birdseed on the leeward side of the house. Out of the wind, the picnic blanket won’t blow away or freeze to the ground as readily.

So, not being particularly house proud, I sprinkled bird seed liberally by my front door and in the dry edges near the house on the south and east sides.

Emma can’t believe her eyes. So many birds. You know she’s a “bird dog” but that is not supposed to apply to songbirds. She’s in shock that birds are right there on the other side of the glass – you know, that glass beside the door where she always looks out when she’s left behind.

“Wow!” she says. “A varied thrush!” And she tells herself to stop drooling.

“Oh, it’s you again,” says Vera Thrush. “You should stop poking your nose into the glass pane. You’re mucking it all up with noseprints.”

“On second thought,” thinks Vera, “I should maybe check out another area and come back later when that maniac killer dog is having a nap. But … does she ever sleep?” Vera turns to go. “Better safe than sorry…. Hmmpf! Can’t believe I said that. Such a cliché.”

Vera’s feathers fluff up soft,

Keeping warmer air aloft

Trapped beside her chilly skin,

She will not let winter in.

 

Hard to fathom so much cold,

Although pretty to behold,

But the chill is not a thrill,

It is often known to kill.

 

Thankfully, the seeds are spread,

All around the front door tread,

Even though they don’t belong,

Matters more that we stay strong.

 

First comes need and then decor,

Later we’ll clean up the door,

But we’ll wait till Emma’s busy

So she won’t get in a tizzy.

 

All these seeds are such a gift

Hard to find them in a drift,

Front door feeding works just fine,

Think I’ll grab some, make them mine.

 

 

 


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Lonely Spaniel

Somehow, these past two weeks have been filled with commitments, appointments, and reasons to go into town. With the weather alternating between cold rain and slushy snow, I don’t like to put Emma out in her kennel. She has a doghouse inside that fenced “playpen” and she’s quite safe in there, but it’s chilly when you don’t have a chance to run around much to stay warm.

So, we keep her in the house while we’re gone. She mostly sleeps on her dog bed until we get home again, but after leaving her for the third time within several days, I was feeling bad for her. She’s always so happy when we come home, so I know she gets lonely.

Today when I came home from an appointment, she met me at the door as usual, and I asked her where my slippers were. She always brings them to me when I come in from outside and I usually don’t even have to ask her for them.

But she brought me one of the Captain’s shoes so I went looking for my slippers and here is what I found.

A stash of six shoes on her bed! She must have gone up and down the stairs six times to bring them all to her bed upstairs so she could snuggle into them while we were away.

 

When the people go away,

No one knows how long they’ll stay.

Sure they leave me warm and fed,

And I curl up on my bed.

 

But the house can be so still,

Many quiet hours to fill,

Though my dog bed is all right,

Hope they come back before night.

 

Maybe I can find some shoes

And feel better while I snooze,

Into them I stick my snout,

The aroma knocks me out.

 

Extra lonely time today

Means I need those shoes for play,

Up and down the stairs each time,

With a shoe for every climb.

 

Six times down and six times up,

Six brown shoes  for lonely pup,

Tired now, I’ll snooze and wait,

Hope the people won’t be late.

 

Emma says, “I suppose I could always pass the time by reading one of Anneli’s books. They’re still on for only 99 cents until December 31st. Check them out on Anneli’s blog post https://wordsfromanneli.com/2021/11/21/book-bargains/

“They’re great books if you want entertainment for a tiny price.”

“And did you know that Anneli has another blog for writers and readers? It’s called annelisplace. You can find it here. https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/

 

 

 


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Night Visitor

Reggie Raccoon came to visit last night. Emma dog was surprised when she went out for last call. Luckily for her, Reggie was a fast climber.  I don’t think Emma would have come away unscathed from an interaction with Reggie.

 

 

Reggie likes to prowl at night,

Finds it safer without light,

Still he gets caught by surprise,

Up the tree he’s quick to rise.

 

Little dogs might seem so cute,

But it brings out Reggie Brute,

He can be so fiercely mean,

After all the fights he’s seen.

 

Up the tree’s the safest thing,

Better than the fighting ring,

Reggie needs to watch his back,

Just in case the dogs attack.

 

Waiting in the branch’s crook,

Fearful moments while he shook,

Seem a lifetime till it’s clear,

And he can release his fear.

 

All he wanted was to check,

If the squirrels had left a speck,

They are given so much food,

Thought they’d share if in the mood.

 

Nothing left though, that was clear,

And when coupled with the fear,

Reggie wonders why he came,

He must find some other game.

 

In the meantime he will smile,

For the camera all the while,

Long as he can look so sweet,

He can hope they’ll leave a treat.

 

 

Meanwhile Emma’s found a spot,

Where she can relax a lot,

Reggie doesn’t want to play,

Maybe try another day.

 

 

By the way, Emma says,  Don’t forget to look at Anneli’s bargains for her books at https://wordsfromanneli.com/2021/11/21/book-bargains/ 

 


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!”


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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.

 


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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.


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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.