wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Spring Ditties

It was a day of surprises. Yesterday, this plum tree had only tightly bunched up buds. Today the sun came out for a few minutes and the plum tree called out,

“Look at me! Look at me!

Every flower a plum will be!”

The next surprise lay at my feet as I stopped to admire the plum tree. It was just lucky I didn’t step on it.

Robin baby, where are you?

Found your shell that you picked through,

Lying by the blooming plum,

Just the size of someone’s thumb.

 

Morning, sparrow, golden crowned,

You don’t mind me being around,

Posing for me for so long,

Before bursting out in song.

 

 

 

Waxy petals calling out,

Any hummingbirds about?

We’re the colour that’s the best,

Not much sugar, that’s a test.

Try it putting out your two lips,

We are truly tasty tulips.

 

You rang?


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Happy Hummers

Hills bedecked in powdered rain.

Will we see green trees again?

Chilly mist drifts overhead,

Cools the hibernator’s bed.

 

 

Yet the valley down below,

Barely shows a hint of snow,

Filbert trees are flowering,

Wimpy folks still cowering.

 

 

 

Filbert flowers dangle plain,

Golden curtain, golden mane.

Hiding hummers, sheltered perch,

Safe from predators who search.

 

 

 

In the open on this twig,

In the sun I dance a jig,

Happy to be warm out here,

Catching rays of light so dear.

 

 

In the shade, my throat is brown,

Wait until I turn around,

I’m like lady hot pants pink,

Pretty special, don’t you think?

 

 

Bright pink plumage, yes that’s me,

Now I’m quite a catch, you see.

Don’t believe me? Yes, it’s true,

Sure as I can look at you.

 

 


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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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Last Show

The maple tree overhanging the driveway is almost finished changing colour. Soon it will shed its colourful dress and stand there shivering in bare limbs. The tiny dogwood in the foreground is also getting ready to drop its leaves. One last show of colour and it too will be done.

Here is the maple closer up. A few leaves still have a bit of green but most have turned a golden yellow or orange.

The laceleaf Japanese maple is one of the first to turn reddish-orange. It is normally green, unlike some Japanese maples that are a purple colour for all of its growing season.

This black walnut is an ornamental tree (meaning that the walnuts are not meant to be eaten, like the regular walnuts we know). But the squirrels like them.

These walnuts have a thick green outer shell that peels away, revealing what looks like a regular walnut. The shell, however, is so thick that it takes a sledge hammer to crack it. And yet, that is exactly what I do for the squirrels. They don’t seem to mind the bitter taste of the meaty inside parts.

The video below shows this ornamental black walnut tree losing its leaves to the cool breezes that gust up now and then. The main whoosh of leaves is well into the video, so if you can spare 30 seconds of your life to watch, you’ll see this tree giving it up for another season.

 


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A Glimpse into the Future

 

The swaths of clouds embraced the hills,

What lay between gave me the chills.

The first snowfall this season kissed

The fir trees peeking through the mist.

 

The robins fled their berry patch

For lower lands, their food to catch,

The geese and sandhills winged away

To find a warmer place to stay.

 

Yet later when the sun came out,

It said, “What’s all the fuss about?

I’ll shine my best and melt it down,

This early snow just makes me frown.

 

“I know it will return one day,

A month from now, the snow will stay.

So be prepared and fill the larder,

Soon the days will be much harder.

 

Make your shelters, line your nest,

Keeping warm will be a test,

But we will get through winter’s cold,

If we are ready and we’re bold.”


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The Nice Light

At a certain time of the evening, the last rays of the sun paint a golden glow on the tall firs. We call it “the nice light” when that happens. The morning light is similar, but the glow isn’t as warm as the evening light.

Stand tall, fellows, ready then?

Here comes that nice light again.

Soak it up and feel its glow,

Soon enough, cold winds will blow.

 

Soothing warmth and light for growth,

What good luck to have them both,

Cloudless evenings are the best,

As the sun sinks in the west.

 

When the cold days come again,

We will stand through wind and rain.

Strength to keep harsh days at bay,

Comes from warming light today.


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Camping

A few days of R and R were in order, so we took our old trailer to a lake that was about three hours’ drive from home, and set up camp.

Once the main chores were done, I sprawled back in my lawn chair and looked up.

This is what I saw.  Although there were people camped next to us, it was quiet because they were out on the lake in their kayaks. The peacefulness of the place was a moment to treasure. On the coming long weekend, it would be much more of a party place, but for now, it was wonderfully quiet. Just the whisper of the leaves high up in those trees.

Later we would try our hand at fishing in the lake, but it was so hard to decide whether to hold the fishing rod or the camera.

Now that I’m home and it’s the weekend, I can’t help but wonder how the party is going. I bet it is noisy and a complete change from the quiet few days we spent there. Timing is everything.


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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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The Leaner

A small fir tree has been leaning for about a month, threatening to fall on anyone walking by. The top of the tree is hung up in the branches at the top of one of the big firs.

This tree expert digs in his climbing spikes, and hangs onto the lanyard he has slung around the tree and clipped to his belt.


He climbs a few feet and prepares to loop a second lanyard around the tree. These “ropes” are also called fliplines because he flips them around the tree before fastening them to his belt.

Once he has fastened the higher flipline, he unclips the lower one and climbs a few feet higher again. Then he repeats the process, flipping the loose line higher up the trunk and clipping it onto his belt before unclipping the lower one.

Notice that he has been climbing the bigger tree next to the leaner. Now that he is near the place where the smaller tree is hung up on the bigger one, he starts his power saw and cuts away some of the branches that the leaner is hung up in. You can see parts of the faller (his right foot on the left side of the tree, just below the lanyard that circles the big fir).

Once he has cleared away the branches that are in the way, he fastens a long rope to make a pulley system that I don’t understand, but that is strong enough to hold his weight as he leans over to cut sections from the top of the leaner.  In the photo below you can see that one section is already falling, as he has just finished making the cut.

Feeling secure enough to trust the orange pulley system, he undoes the lanyards that looped the tree, and lowers himself a little farther to cut several more sections before lowering himself to the ground.

A much shorter trunk is left standing. This length is more manageable for falling in a certain direction, to avoid tangling up with other trees and especially to avoid hitting our fence.

In the short video clip, you will see how quickly and easily the rest of the tree falls.

We love to see the trees around our home, but when they are leaning precariously and become a danger to anyone passing by, sadly they have to be taken down. As it turned out, this tree had root rot, and the top of the tree was already turning brown, and I suspect that this was a contributing factor to the beginning of its fall in one of our recent windstorms.

For those of you who are not visitors to my second blog, please feel free to come read some of my writing tips and some short stories and anecdotes at https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2021/02/12/the-trap/  The latest post is about a situation the Captain and I got ourselves into as we toured the former Yugoslavia.


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Everyone Knows it’s Windy

The fir trees in the photo below are used to bending away from the prevailing southeast winds. The bay is loaded in whitecaps, a sure sign that only fools would go out there in a small boat. No fools visible today.

It blew so hard today that the firs in my backyard suffered in spite of being partly sheltered behind my house. When the rain let up somewhat, I went outside to take a picture of the branch that broke in the wind today. Apparently the rain hadn’t quite stopped, as you can see from the big drop that fell right in the middle of my camera lens. I was going to try to edit it out, but then I thought, “No, this is part of the picture. It was wet out there.”

If you look to the left of the tree closest to you, near the middle, you can see that a branch is near the ground, but still hanging on the tree. It is broken and hanging by a thread way up high. See the birdhouse on the tree? Go up about the same distance again as the birdhouse is from ground level and you will see the break.

Here is a close-up of the top of that broken branch.

I guess I could try swinging on the branch like Tarzan and it would come off, but if it broke mid-swing, that might not be too much fun.

Branches flying everywhere,

Look! A sliding patio chair,

Time to get some firewood,

Raining, so put up your hood,

Fir cones pelt the woodshed roof,

Put your hard hat on, you goof.

Quickly, fill that barrow now,

Gusts of wind are screaming – “Wow!”

Push the wood up to the house,

Knowing you’ve exposed a mouse,

Hiding by the firewood stack

She resettles farther back.

Birds are huddling in a shrub,

Dangerous to come out for grub.

Just get through this awful night,

Tomorrow things will be all right.