wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Ghost Plant

I found this odd plant growing along the side of my driveway this morning. It goes by several names: monotropa uniflora, ghost plant, ghost pipe, Indian pipe, and corpse plant.

It does look rather ghostly without its green chlorophyll, but  more striking than that is the shape. I’ve only ever known it as Indian pipe, probably named for its shape similar to the traditional Indian peace pipe.

I’ve always found the Indian pipe fascinating because it is so different from most other plants. I thought it was a fungus, like a mushroom, but apparently it is considered to be in the family of Ericae, the heathers. I can’t see the connection, but I trust Wikipedia to have given me the correct information.

But the Indian pipe is parasitic on fungi, deriving its energy from the root systems of fungi rather than from sunlight. It can pop up very quickly after a rain. We did have quite a downpour yesterday and here they are!

 

By the way, you might have noticed that it is surrounded by Canada’s symbol, the “maple leaf forever,” looking a bit ratty around the edges, and no wonder, the way things are going.


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Groundhog Day

The weather gods must have heard me saying all we get is wind and rain – and okay, a little bit (a lot) of snow – so they decided to send us something different just for a bit of variety.

Is it ice for the birds to put in their drinks?  We could have a party for the birds! Maybe these are tiny marshmallows for their dessert?

Then so many of these icy particles came down that it was way more ice or marshmallows than we needed for the party. And all this, just a day after I noticed the “daffy dolls.”

Things got serious when the wind came up at the same time, causing chaos at the bird feeding station.

Oh, where is spring? I hear many of the Canadian groundhogs saw their shadow today and we’ll have six more weeks of winter. Others disagreed. I hope the others are right. I like to cheer for the under hog.

Please visit my website if you need more winter reading until spring comes for keeps.

http://www.anneli-purchase.com


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Surf’s Up

After the blizzards of the last few days, the sun came out for a few minutes, just long enough to bring the whole city out to the grocery stores and create desperate parking lot jostling and unprecedented lineups at the tills.

That all changed overnight when the wind switched direction and brought strong winds (littering our yard with branches large and small) and plenty of rain to help dissolve the snow.

Notice the larger branch that came down next to the woodshed and the smaller bits all over the rest of the ground.

I looked out at the water this morning. Our usually sheltered bay is a wee bit rough today, but … “Surf’s up!”

I’ll take a wet and windy day any time over the freezing snow blizzards we’ve had.


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Lunch With Lincoln

For the third day in a row, I’ve put walnuts grown in my backyard on pieces of firewood in the woodshed. I had hoped that Lincoln would help himself to the food on these very cold, windy, rainy nights.

He did!

Today I put more walnuts out and he hovered nearby, not even running far. I went back into the house to get the camera, and he ran behind the woodshed. In a moment his curiosity got the better of him and he peeked around the corner.

As I didn’t go away, he decided he might as well go ahead and eat. He’s a bit messy, with food on his arm, but that reminded me of his injury a couple of weeks back. You can see that it’s healed, but the fur is uneven at the edge near his elbow.

Since he sat so still, eating, I made a little video of him having lunch.

 


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Not Christmas

No snow for Christmas. Just wind and rain.

While it looks pretty to have snow, it’s safer for driving if the precipitation is just water, not ice or snow.

So here we have the view today.

Blustery, gray, wet! When you see whitecaps on the water, you know it’s breezy.

Since it doesn’t look like Christmas, I decided that my baking didn’t have to be Christmassy either. Just plain comfort food is good today.

Apple pies await.

 

And the staff of life, bread, is almost ready to come out of the oven. Not Christmas bread; just bread.

(The pale part of the bread is from the light in the kitchen.)

 


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Changing Skies

A southeast system of wind and rain at the lower levels and snow at higher elevations is moving up the coast and then inland. The owners of ski hills are ecstatic.

Just look at the turmoil in the sky. The uppermost clouds are dropping moisture from  those sweeping misty fingers.

A streak of heavy cloud sits like a skinny blanket, trying to decide whether to go up or down or continue north like a long train along the middle of the hillside.

Right in the middle of the picture, just above the level of the bay water, a low snaking cloud is following the Trent River to its mouth.

 

After a few minutes I go outside to take another picture as the clouds darken, and the hillside falls into shadow.

The layers of clouds have begun to separate and the lower ones seem to be churning in confusion. Where to go next?

Right now I’m happy to have the rain at sea level and the snow up higher where the skiers can enjoy it. If it keeps on raining, ask me in a week how I feel about it then.

And if it’s a rainy day, it’s perfect for reading a good book. I’ve written five of them for you. Just check out my web page at www.anneli-purchase.com to find out more about them. They make perfect Christmas gifts.


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The Maple Leaf is not “Forever”

I went to the wharf to make sure the boat had weathered the weather. It is tougher than I am, withstanding the first system of wind and rain that marks the end of this summer.

On the way home I took a small detour to dash out onto the beach for a photo. After many wipes of the lens I got a couple of wettish pics to show what kind of day it is.

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Thoroughly dampened, I drove home, but couldn’t resist taking a picture of this very old house on the way. Too bad the upper windows and the skylight are a modern style. They don’t quite go with the rockwork, but it’s still a unique house. Not just the huge chimneys, but even the walls are made of rock.

As I pulled into my own driveway a few minutes later, I saw a pretty, bittersweet sight — a maple leaf landed on my car, marking the end of summer and proving once again that, contrary to the old Canadian motto, the maple leaf is not forever.

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But it will come again in the spring.


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A Change in the Weather

Large and many were the drops of water that fell from the sky, their countless splashes  silvery like mercury.

Outside the wheelhouse, drops cling to the window pane. But what’s wrong with this picture?

Look at the angle between the horizon and the bottom of the window frame. That will give you an idea of how much the wave action was tipping the boat back and forth. Even in this stiff breeze, it wasn’t too bad. If it had been worse, the Captain could easily have lowered the trolling poles and thrown out the stabilizers that attach to them. When the stabilizers drag through the water, one on each side of the boat, it stops the rolling. But since I wasn’t turning green yet, we kept going without the stabilizers out for the short trip home.

As we got closer to town, we  noticed that the navy cadets were practicing their sailing lessons. The (My) Captain commented on how quickly the tiny boats could turn on a dime as the sailors adjusted the sails.

No sooner had these words left his mouth than the next boat turned … right over! The occupants were tossed in for an unexpected swim. Here they are clambering up on the bottom of the sailboat, with the mother hen hovering nearby.

Now what? It seemed to take a long time for the two women to be plucked off the hull, and even longer before something was done to right the boat. We didn’t have time to watch. They had all the help they needed so we kept going and got out of their way.

Doesn’t it just make you want to learn to sail?


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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

After the skiff of snow we had in the last post, it kept snowing … and snowing … and snowing. The predicted 2 inches of snow looked more like 6 inches on our deck railing.

Partway through the snowfall I took a picture of my veggie garden and thought about the strawberry plants shivering under the blanket of snow. Hah! There’s an oxymoron – a blanket of snow. Blankets are supposed to be warm, aren’t they?

Then that night, it rained and blew

Just as it was supposed to do.

Soon the snow had disappeared,

But the damage was as feared.

See the fir branch dangling down?

It’s so long it reached the ground.

See it hanging by a thread

There beside the garden shed?

Now I’m worried it might drop

On my doggies with a plop.

More like dropping with a crash

Turning puppies into mash.

So the Captain has to tie

Rope onto the branch up high,

Tie it on the pickup truck

Yank it down into the muck.

We don’t grumble, we don’t cuss.

Oh what fun for all of us.

 

 


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Cool, Flaky Rain

Too late for Christmas, but here it is. Our wind and rain has turned into flaky rain blowing sideways.

The video clip I’ve attached doesn’t really show anything, but just the fact that I’ve posted it must show how incredulous I am about the white stuff coming down after weeks and weeks of wind and rain.

 

The wet stuff has changed

The drops rearranged,

Snowflakes come down,

They’re blowing around,

Gray sky and breeze,

I’m down on my knees,

I pray it won’t last

And it melts away fast.