wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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What’s Under There?

Photo courtesy of Pat Gerrie.

No, that is not a frozen lake beyond the tree line. It’s the northern end of the Okanagan Valley, seen from Silver Star Mountain Resort.

Imagine life going on under that massive fog in the valley. People are trying to drive to and from town, to buy groceries, fill the car with gas, visit with friends, pick up kids from school. They’re feeling their way through the fog, trying not to drive into the lake beside the highway. Doom and gloom, like being half blind when you’re right down there in it. Grope, grope.

And here is the fog over the Comox Valley. Below this fog is the salt water. Only boats are groping their way from A to B. Under this fog, the sea lions chase salmon while the salmon chase herring.

 

Eagles hover over unsuspecting loons, or scoters, or ducks, looking for a sickly one – perhaps one who had a hard time finding food during that last cold spell. They wait for a break in the fog to spy their lunch. Or, they might fly over unsuspecting birds who don’t expect an attacker from the mist.

The fog is scheduled to lift now that a new southeast system is moving in, but it seems that in a surprise about-face, the wind is forecast to bring us one more day of northern air and blow some snow flurries on us – just for a few minutes tomorrow.

 

Icy fog 

Droplets of drizzle,

Freeze my dog,

Muzzle of grizzle.

 

Blind and down,

My spirits are low,

Fog brings a frown,

Wish it would go.

 

Southeaster blows,

Fog drifts away,

Maybe it snows,

But just for a day.


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Eat or be Eaten

A few days ago when the snow came down hard and heavy, I felt sorry for the birds, as I always do when the weather makes their lives hard to bear. But I had forgotten that not only do some birds — the weak, the injured, and the unlucky — have a hard enough time finding food, but they have to beware of becoming food for other birds.

The forested patches near our house are home to many bald eagles. Because the ocean is nearby, it is ideal for them, especially now as herring time draws near.  But until the herring fishery begins, the eagles take advantage of the suffering of other bird species. They are especially fond of snatching seabirds from the water or the beaches.

Out in my backyard, under one of the firs that the eagles love to use as their dining room, I found, discarded, a wing that had been stripped of all meat. My guess is that it was from a loon, as these seem to be one of the eagle’s favourites. I have found several loon carcasses under the dining tree in the past. For the photo, I have put a pop can beside the wing to show the relative size.

In the animal world it still goes that you must “Eat or be eaten.”