wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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A New Bird

About 100 ft. from my house stands a maple that has seen better days. The woodpeckers peck holes into the trunk, and it’s a wonder that the tree hasn’t lost more limbs in the recent windstorms.

Still, I love to see the woodpeckers, and I always have my camera handy for bird sightings. When I spotted this one on the maple this morning, I grabbed the camera and rushed out onto the deck to snap a photo. I closed the sliding door quietly.

“Please don’t fly away until I get a picture,” I whispered.

He didn’t fly away, so I snapped some more. Still he didn’t fly.

“This is great,” I thought. The squirrels were chattering noisily just then, and I assumed that the woodpecker hadn’t heard me tiptoeing out onto the deck.

But then I thought, “That’s strange. He should have flown by now. Or at least pecked at the bark. But he’s just sitting there. Maybe he’s sick.”

I brought the camera in and uploaded the photos onto the laptop. Then I could see the bird more clearly. I wasn’t sure what kind it was. Maybe not a pileated woodpecker, after all. He seemed to have morphed into something else.

A broken off branch surrounded by the maple’s tears?


42 Comments

The Calm

… before the storm.

The ducks all facing outward

Are waiting for their snack,

They find it in the shallows,

It makes their lips go smack.

 

The heron facing inward,

Has patience yet to spare,

He hopes to spear a morsel,

With no intent to share.

 

All take advantage of the last,

Relaxing stretch of peace,

They feel the system moving fast,

Soon comes the ugly beast.

 

Photo by Pat G.

The licorice scent of fennel wafts,

Along the last warm breeze,

A thousand seeds fly in the drafts,

To inundate with ease.

Ms. Barbara Beacham’s hollyhock,

Has found a home with me,

Although Ms. Beacham’s sent a shock,

And could no longer be.

 

Her lovely flowers bloom each year,

She sends her love that way,

I cherish her with thoughts so dear,

Much more than I can say.

A last sweet effort quickly made,

The berry patch is done,

No strawberries are left to raid,

Except for just this one.

And here it comes, the mighty beast,

So dark, this sunshine thief,

It brings much-needed rain at least,

To every plant’s relief.

It slaps the trees ferociously,

It whips the leaves around,

But they hang on tenaciously,

On hearing such a sound.

The wind is shivery at best,

Each leaf is hanging on,

They’re hoping to survive the test,

Until this breeze is gone.


44 Comments

The Weather Wins

Evidence of winter damage can last for years in America’s prairie landscapes. Farmers did their best to put up strong buildings to withstand the elements in the days before modern building materials were available. Even so, the fierce storms often proved too much for the buildings. These roofs most likely had a huge dump of snow on them at one time.  The weight crushed the roofs as it crushed the farmer’s will to rebuild. In the dry climate, with little rainfall and lots of heat, crops could easily fail, discouraging even those who would have wished to rebuild.

Many buildings were left to their fate in the lonely landscape.

 

Even in more modern times, nature was more powerful than man. I hope the family who lived here wasn’t in the trailer when it blew over. If they were, they would have been rocking and rolling.

 

The tenants in these houses have moved out long ago. Most likely they, or the people they sold to, live nearby.

Somebody has to feed the horses.

Even the horses are hiding behind the house to get out of the blazing sun or the howling wind.

And yet, it’s a beautiful place to visit. Just very hard to live there, because the weather always wins.

 


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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.

 

 


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.

 


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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.

 


66 Comments

Make the Best of it

I know I’ve been moaning and groaning about the snow and how hard it is for the tiny hummingbirds and other little creatures who have to try to survive in the snow and cold.

But for those of you who can shut that dilemma out of your head, you may want to make the best of this snowy weather.

If you have access to a ski hill, you can do that (if you’re still young enough to take advantage of this vigorous pastime).

 

At the top of the chairlift, have a look around and enjoy the crisp air. Take in the vastness of the valley below. Do you feel small?

 

Forget about birds that want to land on a branch. They are gone from this frozen place, leaving it all to you.

 

Pure and clean! And now for an exhilarating ride to the bottom of the hill.  Swish! … Don’t fall.

Photos by Pat Gerrie

British Columbia


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Rufus

 

 

 

Still, still, still I sit,

Feathers fluffed and light,

Chill, chill, chill is it,

Going to freeze tonight.

 

Save, save, save my strength,

Lest my legs do fold,

Brave, brave, brave at length,

Need to be so bold.

 

Eat, eat, eat the seeds,

For the night is long,

Meet, meet, meet my needs,

Hope I can be strong.

 

Spring, spring, spring will come,

Bringing sun and life,

Sing, sing, sing and hum,

Ending winter’s strife.


40 Comments

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.