wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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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 Flying Stick

The campsite is just in the trees near the bottom of the photo, at this end of the lake. We thought it would be good to get some firewood from the logging slash piles behind the camp. If we didn’t need it, we could leave it for the next campers.

In the sweltering heat on the hillside, we cut and loaded a few bits of wood.

“We must be completely nuts to even think of making a fire. It has to be 30 degrees C,” I said, wanting to get back to the shade of the campsite.

But the evenings can cool off, so we persevered.

On the way back, at the bottom of the hill, I saw something.

“Stop! There! Is that a bird … or … is it a … stick? Or a rock?”

From inside the truck and at this distance I couldn’t tell what it was. I had been fooled many, many times by rocks or sticks that looked like a grouse at the side of the road.

“I’ll zoom it and take a picture. Then I might be able to see what it is…. It’s probably just a stick.”

Through the truck window the blurry photo really looked like a grouse, but the … thing … hadn’t moved an inch in the two minutes we had been sitting there in the truck.

“Just wait,” I said. “I know it’s just a log or something, but I want to go over to it and take a picture of the stick that fooled me.”

I got out of the truck. It still didn’t move. With my camera ready, I was about to snap a picture of the stick, when it flew away.

But sticks never fly away with tail feathers spread out in a glorious rusty brown colour. It was a ruffed grouse.

At home I put the picture in my photoshop app and lightened the dark shape. Now, even in the fuzzy picture, I could see the rusty colour and other features like an eye and a beak and a tuft of a topknot.

He was very good at hiding in the twisted roots of a fallen giant tree nearby. Although I looked for him, I didn’t see him again. Just lots of sticks and rocks.