wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


45 Comments

Out Behind the Woodshed

Jasper and Crispin are in love. They’ve been chasing each other up and down the fir trees, and through stacks of firewood in the woodshed.

It looks like Jasper has finally caught up to Crispin.

Crispin might be having second thoughts. She’s sneaking away – a bit late – as Jasper’s declarations of love came as a bit of a surprise today. Something tells me that, after all her flirting, she wasn’t expecting quite so much attention. She’s going to find a quiet place to contemplate WHAT JUST HAPPENED.

“Crispin, come back! I love you!” Jasper calls. But she’s gone.

“That was sure fun! But will she come back? Maybe I shouldn’t have been so aggressive, but I thought she was just playing hard to get. And she didn’t say no. Heck! I thought she liked it. I know I did.”

“But what if she gets pregnant? Oh dear! I’m not sure I’m ready to be a father. Oh deardeardear! She’s probably mad at me. I may never see her again.”

“But no! Here she comes with a peace offering. Isn’t she just so sweet?”

“Does this mean you’re my girl? Will you marry me, Crispin?”


23 Comments

Where Am I?

HEY!? Where is everybody? Where is everything? Where am I?

 

What has happened to the sky?

I could ask the birds that fly,

If I only weren’t so shy,

Ask an owl, and I might die.

 

 

Overnight it disappeared,

Cloudy giant softly neared,

It’s exactly as I feared,

Weather here has been so weird.

 

Hard to see the limbs I climb,

Icy parts that slip like slime,

If I fall off just one time,

It would really be a crime.

 

Where’s the spot I hid that food?

Need to hunt, not in the mood,

Who knew winter was so crude?

Guess I’ll eat what’s partly chewed.

 

Half a fir cone hidden here,

For those days when it’s severe,

Surely spring will soon appear,

When it warms up, I will cheer.

 


43 Comments

Snow – The Double-edged Sword

Yes, yes, it’s a white Christmas and almost everyone is happy. Snow covers the ugliness of winter.

But it also covers all the seeds and insects the songbirds would love to pick at. This fox sparrow is probably wondering how he’s going to get through the next days. He doesn’t know that it’s going to get even colder in the next few days. I’m making sure to keep the bird feeders filled and in a relatively sheltered place.

But mostly I fear for the tiny hummingbirds. Why, oh why, didn’t they fly south when they had the chance?

The hummingbird feeder was already starting to get chilled by late afternoon. In the next days, the sugar water in the feeder will try to freeze even partway through the day. I’ve been bringing the feeders inside at night and I will probably have to exchange the frozen water for warmer sugar water before the day is over. The forecast says it will get very cold at night. Meanwhile, this hummingbird was happy to find the sugar water not frozen today. Poor little thing.

Snow at Christmas, what a treat,

But it hides what birds would eat.

Joyful people celebrate,

Birds though have a different fate.

 

Let us help them fight the cold,

In the deep snow, let’s be bold,

Filling feeders to the top,

So the birds can fill their crop.

 

Snow is pretty but it’s hard,

When it covers up the yard,

Birds and squirrels do their best,

Let’s all help them in their quest.


24 Comments

More Than You Can Chew

Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew? I’m sure Lincoln will figure out that he has to chew it a bit at a time, but that filbert looks big enough to choke a horse.

Trouble is, there are three squirrels hanging around here now and the competition is getting fierce. The feeding frenzy is beginning as the temperature dropped and it feels like snow tonight.

 

The competition’s fierce these days,

I’m not sure what to do,

But in my frenzied eating craze,

I’ve more than I can chew.

 

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

The 99 cent sale lasts only through December. Grab the bargains now and add them to your e-reader. Just click on the link above.

 

*****And also, if you like language or writing, why not check out my other blog at anneli’s place?

https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/


53 Comments

Winter Prep

Hi, I’m Crispin. Remember me from a few weeks ago in the maple tree?

I wasn’t much bigger than a Coffee Crisp bar then, and I’m not a lot bigger now, but it isn’t for want of eating enough.

I tried this wood but it wasn’t that tasty. Think I’ll try the walnuts instead.

My older brother Jasper is also hanging around today, but I want to avoid him. He gets annoyed if I try to eat from what he calls HIS plate.

Oh, I think I hear him up there gnawing on the old moose antlers.

Maybe I’ll sneak over to the walnut stash while he’s busy.

I just hope that Steller’s jay isn’t hanging around. He has a sharp beak, like  a spear. Maybe when I grow up I’ll take him on, but for now, it’s better to play it safe.

See that beak? This was him last week with the sunflower seeds, but maybe he won’t try stealing the walnuts today…. Fat chance.

I was just about to head for the jar of walnuts when I saw that huge tool behind me. Is that a pick axe? Yikes! Made me lose my footing!

Okay, I’m all recovered now. My mother, Della, told me always to say grace before eating, so here goes. (I don’t think the god of squirrels will mind if I don’t close my eyes. Not a safe thing to do.)

And with that out of the way, I can dive in!

Yummy walnuts from the ornamental black walnut tree.

Many dangers, all I see,

Many dangers threaten me,

Tiptoe lightly as a breeze,

Tiptoe quickly, and then freeze.

 

Look around from left to right,

Look around, stay out of sight,

Hurry to the walnut stash,

Hurry, careful, do not crash.

 

Grab some nutmeat and abscond,

Grab the food of which I’m fond,

Nibble some and hide the rest,

Nibble fast and save the best.

 

Winter chill is coming soon,

Winter winds, perhaps typhoon,

Be prepared for hungry days,

Be prepared, these are my ways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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!”


23 Comments

The Last Goodies

As the season officially changes on Sept. 22, at about 12:21 p.m. Pacific time, we say goodbye to the heat and drought of the summer from hell, and welcome the wind and rain of the shorter autumn days.

My garden was a disaster this year with a long cold spring that didn’t encourage seeds to germinate, and a dry, way-too-hot summer that threatened to toast any plants that dared to pop up. Watering barely kept things alive and below a half-inch barrier on the surface, the ground was often powder dry.

The fruit trees had a poor crop this year but a few plums (not as many as in other years) and a few (VERY few) apples managed to grow. My favourite apple tree, the Wilmuta (a cross between Jonagold and Gravenstein) wasn’t exactly loaded either but the few apples it did have were very nice. You can see the Wilmutas below.

The last of the plums. They’re so sweet and tasty, but there were not enough of them.

The walnuts look like they’re drying right on the tree instead of falling off still in their green husks. They don’t look that great this year, but I discovered today that Lincoln has found the backyard walnut tree too (after cleaning off the two hazelnut trees in the front yard).

I don’t think Lincoln will starve this year, as the nuts did all right by squirrel standards.

Digging holes to hide the nuts,

This is what I do,

Later they will fill my guts,

Very tasty too.

 

Working hard this time of year,

Just as I’ve been taught,

Later I can give a cheer,

For the food I’ve got.

 

Days are shorter, now it’s fall,

Must pick up the pace,

Hiding nuts, I have them all,

See my smiling face.

 

Come the winter, nights are chilled,

Cozy I will be,

Lying back with stomach filled,

Happiness for me.

 


41 Comments

First Dampish Days

A dampish day, but that’s okay,

The sky is overcast,

The garden’s wet, so I’m all set,

The watering chore is past.

 

A squirrel hops, he looks, and stops,

He chatters to my face,

Then turns to run and have more fun,

At some much safer place.

 

I pick a pear and am aware

That rabbits like to chew,

If fruit should fall to ground at all,

It’s nibbled through and through.

 

The garden thrives and gives up chives

To make a lovely sauce,

But not the squash, it was a wash,

Complete and total loss.

I’m glad that kale does not get stale,

It’s growing, slow but strong,

This healthy plant in soup just can’t

Make anything go wrong.

 

A lonely rose, so bravely grows,

And blooms its last few days,

But come next year, you must not fear,

Again, it will amaze.


37 Comments

The Easy Way

While Charlie and Chester the chickadees got their sunflower seeds from the sunflowers in the garden, Nathan the nuthatch found an easier way to get his share.

This jar of seeds is meant for the squirrels, but when they aren’t looking, Nathan zips in and steals a seed. He doesn’t linger at all, making it more of a Dine and Dash situation. At any time Jasper or Lincoln might come and put the run on him. It was hard to get a clear picture, zoomed in from the deck of the house, and needing to snap it quickly as Nathan only stays at this jar for a split second.

“Do you know who’s been into my stash?”

 

Nathan Nuthatch loves his seeds,

Not so much the work.

Squirrel food will meet his needs,

Though his theft might irk.

 

Jasper tries to guard the stash,

Lincoln also helps,

Nathan is afraid they’ll bash

In his skull, and yelps.

 

“Look how much you have to eat,

Yet you will not share,

Food laid out for you so neat,

This I just can’t bear.

 

“If the seeds you will not share,

I will have to steal,

Flying quickly I will dare,

But won’t stay to peel.

 

“In a pinch I’d get my own,

From the tall sunflowers,

But until my cover’s blown,

This will save me hours.”

 

 

 


22 Comments

The Weed Eater

“Oh no! Is that who I think it is? ”

 

“Hi Jasper. What are you up to? Any lunch you want to share?”

Oh darn it all. She always shows up at lunch time.

“”Er, ah, hi Roberta. I was just going to have my VEGETARIAN lunch. Nothing you’d be interested in.”

“What is that you’re eating, Jasper? Don’t you prefer seeds and nuts?”

“Yes, well, when it’s hot like this, I like a few greens to help with the thirst.”

“Oh, what the heck. Come on over. There are plenty of weeds to spare in Anneli’s yard. I’m helping her with the weed eating.”

And I’m almost as fast manually as she is with the electric one. I’m like that song by Hall and Oates, The Maneater, except my words are a little bit different.

Oh-oh, here I come.

Watch out weeds, I’ll chew you up.

Oh-oh, here I come.

I’m a weed eater.