wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Remembering

In the fall of 2014, a blogging friend and I exchanged seeds through the mail. She sent me hollyhock seeds and I sent her poppy seeds. We looked forward to the spring when we would plant each other’s flowers.

I was sorry to hear that the poppy seeds didn’t sprout for her that next year, but her hollyhocks grew for me.

In November of 2015, she died of cancer. I was shocked because she had been such a positive person. I never would have guessed that she would lose that battle.

I planted the hollyhocks in my vegetable garden because I go there every day, rather than in a flower bed I might rarely visit. Year after year, I think of my friend fondly, yet sadly, almost every day  when I watch her hollyhocks grow, from the earliest leaves to the huge stalks loaded with flowers. It’s as if she’s saying hello whenever I go out to my garden.

If you would like to visit the blog of Barb Beacham, and browse back in time over some of her posts, here is the link: https://salmonfishingqueen.wordpress.com/ 

She was a wonderful person and I still miss her. I’m so glad I have her hollyhocks in my garden.


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Rocky Times

This part of the beach is very much to Emma’s liking. Sand is easier to run on than rocks.

Farther along, some giant hurled a handful of rocks onto the beach, to the north …

and to the south.

A closer look at some of them make me suspect that over thousands (maybe millions?) of years, some clumps of sand hardened into rocks like the one below. It’s a temporary resting place for the baby rock on its back, or maybe it’s on his face….

Do you see the face in this rock? A big slash for a mouth above the chin; a smooshed up nose; two puffy eyes; a scar that goes from his left eye to the right corner of his mouth; and a wart on his left cheek.

Yes, the maple leaf tells us we are in Canada. I’ll let you speculate what it means that the leaf is upside down just now. ( I didn’t touch it! That’s just the way it is.)

I must learn to be more like the old barnacles on the rock by the end of the maple leaf stem, and hang in there. Time marches on and things change. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. Maybe the next tide will flip the leaf over.

 


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The Islands

Vancouver Island is surrounded by many other smaller islands. It’s an easy boat ride to go for an overnight picnic on one of them. With our troller and the sporty boat of our friends, we did just that. Here we are snuggled up together.

The aluminum skiff is handy for ferrying us to shore for some exploring and picture taking.

So many plants and shells are different from those on most beaches of Vancouver Island.

Our friends’ dog may have been a bit nervous at first, but he proved to have sailor’s blood running in his veins. He had a great time and was as good as gold.

Dogs and people all got along fabulously and had a good time.

More on this outing next time.

*** Again – a reminder that all my novels are half price until the end of July. The Wind Weeps remains FREE. See my webpage for more info: www.anneli-purchase.com

 


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Eating Local on Canada Day

On this Canada Day, what could be more appropriate than a basic Canadian meal made from local (very Canadian) ingredients.  The banana doesn’t count. It’s only there to give a comparison of size so you can be assured that the trout are not anchovies on a mini hors d’oeuvres plate.

Potatoes from the garden – first of the season.

Spinach and a couple of cucumbers from the garden will add to the mix of fresh veggies on our plates.

This bounty, among many other things, makes me very grateful to be living in Canada.

Happy 152nd birthday, Canada.

To our Americans neighbours to the south, your 263rd birthday is close enough to ours that I can wish us all a happy celebration of our collective good fortune.

Did you know that Americans are 111 years older than Canadians?


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Over, Under, Upside Down

I wanted to show you the water lily, but I ended up studying the photo and seeing all kinds of crazy things.

I’m in the boat (you see the edge of the aluminium skiff at the bottom of the photo), and over the water. The lily is over, on, under, and above the water.  But what is that big hill doing, hanging upside down from the top of the photo?

Once I started looking at the way the lily was growing, I was quite fascinated by the roots on the lake floor, the stems reaching for the surface of the water (some unsuccessfully, so far), and the leaves floating on the surface, some of them half sunk, others lifting up, yet others lying flat on the bottom of the lake.

And then there are the two flowers that are really only one plus a reflection.

The longer I looked the more I could see.

And to think that at first glance I thought it was just a boring weed in bloom.


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I’d Rather be a Grasshopper

In Aesop’s fable of “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” the ant works hard all summer preparing for winter, while the grasshopper chirps and plays and sings.

 

 

When winter comes, the ant is prepared but the grasshopper suffers.

The ant tells him he shouldn’t have idled his time away. He doesn’t offer to help; only admonishes him. It’s a hard lesson and a rather cruel, heartless response from the ant, but that’s reality.

 

“Idleness brings want”, “To work today is to eat tomorrow”, “Beware of winter before it comes.”

These are some of the lines used as the moral for this fable.

Take your pick of these old sayings. The end result is the same. They warn us to prepare for hard times and not be caught out.

In the heat of summer, we have been working like ants, preparing for winter. We have a big load of firewood to deal with. Usually we prefer fir, but the maple was a bonus.

Some of the logs are quite big and the rounds are still too big to handle.

See the yellow-handled splitting mall and the wedge  lying on the ground beside it at the end of one of the maple logs? When the rounds are split in half they are more manageable for placing onto the track of the hydraulic wood splitter.

One piece is ready to be split.

When the motor is started you just engage the lever and the steel plate is pushed against the wood, until it is squeezed against the wedge at the end of the splitter. The wood splits in two, and is then more of a size that’s right for the woodstove or fireplace.

But of course it still has to be stacked. That’s where Mrs. Ant comes in.  I should change my name from Anneli to Anteli. What’s one letter? (A lot of work!)


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The Black Bear

We were not looking for bears. More like looking OUT for them, but not really expecting to see any.

What are YOU lookin’ at?

We surprised this fellow, as he was coming down to the beach for a sip of water on a hot morning.

We were in the skiff, using the more powerful gas motor to get from our campsite to the favourite fishing spot at the other end of the lake (after which we would use the small electric motor), when the black shape appeared on the beach to our left.

The Captain reined in the speed and headed towards the bear so I could get a picture, but with the change in speed and the wake catching up  behind us, the photos I snapped were not great. Again I apologize. These pics were rush jobs, trying to compensate for the rocking boat, but if I had taken even another second to focus better, the bear would have been gone. As it was, after two quick clicks, he melted into the woodwork.

Looks like we interrupted his plans for a sunny morning on the beach.

Sheesh! Happens to me all the time!

I looked for bears all the rest of the day. When we stepped onto the beach for a swim, I was Mrs. Rubberneck, constantly checking the bushes behind me.

Later, when I told the campsite host that we’d seen a bear on the beach, he looked like he’d seen a ghost. After a moment, I realized how it sounded. I laughed and said, “No! Not here on the beach. Way over, halfway down the lake.”

I guess he had thought he had a nuisance bear wandering through the campsites and he’d have to deal with it.  Whew! Was he relieved!