wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


24 Comments

Little Tree and Big Tree

Wow! Look at YOU, Little Tree! Just look at all those blossoms! But I wonder why they call you a dogwood. Is it because dogs do something on your wood? Terrible thing to do to a beautiful tree.
No, that’s not why they call me a dogwood. But something has stunted my growth. Would you believe I’m the same age as Big Tree across the street? That’s how it is to grow up on the wrong side of the tracks. I’ve missed out.
Big Tree has spent his whole life in the sunshine near a water tap, while I’ve been thirsty for years, shivering in the shade. You’d think that Big Tree would share his food and water since I have so little, but he doesn’t make a move to help me – I mean social distancing is one thing, but he’s downright unfriendly – won’t even talk to me.
Well, it’s not my fault if I was born with a fertilizer spoon in my mouth. My caregivers are simply smarter than yours. I show them my thanks for the food they gave me. And you’re wrong. I would share with you, but I can’t leave. I’m kind of rooted to the ground.
I see what you mean, Little Tree. He’s twice your size. Does that mean you’re the poor relation? Would you feel better if I tickled your bark to make you smile. I could scratch any itch you might have. All I have to do is run up and down your trunk a few times. Make you feel better….
You think about it and let me know, okay?


33 Comments

Two Coasts, Two Kinds of Snow

Today, May 24th, it snowed a foot or more on the east coast of Canada. This is not normally May weather, even for the province of Newfoundland.

As I stepped outside in my front yard on the west coast of Canada, it looked like snow too. But a second look told me the white “flakes” on the ground were actually tired dogwood petals that had finished blooming.

As I turned to walk towards the front yard, I saw more snow. But this time it was in the shape of snowballs from my snowball bush (part of the viburnum family).

I really sympathize with the Newfoundlanders today, but I wouldn’t want to trade places with them. I like our kind of snow better.


41 Comments

The Dogwood

For some reason, this is a good year for the dogwood. Local dogwoods are in fine form. Even the little one in our yard is blooming prolifically.

It is the provincial floral emblem of British Columbia.

The Dogwood Speaks Out

 

One day I could be forty-five,

That’s feet in height, I mean.

My flowers are a velvet white

With just a hint of green.

 

Their petals number four to six,

But never all the same, 

And now I’m sure you’re wondering,

“How did it get that name?”

 

In Sanskrit, I am named for “dag,”

Which happens to be “skewer,”

But changing “dag” to “dog” makes sense,

And questions asked are fewer.

 

The berries on my flowers feed

An awful lot of birds,

And deer who want to browse my twigs

Keep munching them in herds.

 

The bears and beavers eat my leaves,

Perhaps they think I’m salad.

Then satisfied, they amble on, 

They burp and sing a ballad.

 

For tanning agents and for dyes,

My bark is useful too.

The Salish and the Thompsons somehow

Knew just what to do.

 

The Cowichans made knitting needles

From my solid wood.

They knitted sweaters with designs

As often as they could.

 

I’m useful and I’m beautiful,

I’m really quite a tree,

For B.C.’s floral emblem

They’ve officially chosen me.

 


34 Comments

Cool Days for Baby Robins

Everyone knows what robin’s egg blue looks like. We often use that term to describe a pretty shade of blue, perhaps on some piece of clothing or a paint colour, but I think it looks best on the shell of a robin’s egg. I found this half shell two days ago on a cold miserable day when the little bird that hatched out of this shell probably wished he were back inside it.

It is a testimony to how tough the robins are, when they risk nesting so early. It is also evidence that they  need as long a growing season as possible for the young birds to grow to adulthood before the fall.

I took this picture of the egg shell when the sun was shining through the living room window for a few minutes that day.

Later I took another picture with the robin’s egg on a piece of white paper, next to a chicken egg as a size comparison. Somehow the “robin’s egg blue” colour looked more faded and greener. What a tiny egg it is, when you consider that the baby bird will grow to be the size of a robin.

“That’s my boy,” the robin chirps. “He’ll grow up to look just like me!”

As a point of interest, this photo of the robin in the dogwood was taken on April 29, 2016.

This year on April 25, this same dogwood tree is just getting tiny leaves and there is no hint of flowers yet. What a difference in temperature. It’s a very long, cold spring this year.


35 Comments

Dogwood Time

Straight out from my bedroom window, in our dogwood tree, a little robin sang, “Winter’s over. We survived another one!”

011

Did you know that the Pacific dogwood is the provincial flower for the province of British Columbia? Its flowers have four to six petals. That in itself is unusual, as probably the most common number of petals for flowers is five.

While researching the number of petals on a dogwood, I came across the term “Fibonacci Numbers.” The number of petals on most flowers is one of the Fibonacci numbers, but the dogwood only sometimes complies. The Fibonacci number sequence is named for Leonardo of Pisa, also known as Fibonacci, for introducing the concept of these numbers to the western world in the early 1200s.

The Fibonacci sequence is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 …

Can you guess what the next number is going to be?

I was amazed at how it works. The next number is always the sum of the previous two.

I think someone used this sequence to figure out the rate at which rabbits breed. I think, too, that Fibonacci must have done his research in my backyard.

Math and nature are so connected, it never ceases to amaze me.