wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Preeners Get Clean “Bill” of Health

The local estuary is looking something like a Roman bath house.

The customers flock to the baths for their daily constitutional. The Canada geese are taking advantage of the safety of the tide being out some distance from the road nearby, while they still have the water for an escape from any people or animals approaching by land. Worst case, they can fly away.

But the day is warm and they are comfortable.  They are hard at work preening their feathers, nibbling away parasites, and  splatters of grit and goo after dipping their bills in the greasy uropygial gland on top of their back end at the base of their tail to smear a little Goose Brylcreem onto their feathers. This also helps with waterproofing. Having not a feather out of place improves the aerodynamics when they fly.

Even the mergansers are busy preening. She doesn’t seem to care that she has a “man” on either side of her, watching her tidy up.

 

Everyone is seriously on task.

But this one must have plans to go camping and maybe do a bit of trout fishing. See her testing her newly cleaned wings?

 

While you are waiting for my next post, why not check out one of my five novels? Just click on the cover of the books at the side of this post. Or you can visit my website: anneli-purchase.com


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Hors d’oeuvres, anyone?

Near the mouth of the Campbell River, the Canada geese were having a wine and cheese party, mingling, gossiping, and chatting,  and looking for the hors d’oeuvre platter to come around.

Not far away was a flock of mergansers. When they saw the camera, they got upset. I thought I heard them squawk, “No pictures!” as they fled. But soon I saw that I had misread what was going on. It was the hors d’oeuvre platter going by and they all wanted some salmon fry canapés.

It was a team effort, rushing the waiter who fled with the tray of food. The head merganser called to the others of his team, “Get in a line, quick! Pretend you’re a fishnet and let’s rush the salmon canapés. Surround them if you can.”

“But they’re just small fry,” Alec, the smart one, quacked.

“Silly boy,” Mergan scoffed. “Don’t you know these tidbits are the best?”

“Duh! I guess…. I’ve heard that good things come in small packages.”

“Well, don’t just sit there bobbing on the waves. Swim like you’ve never swum before. If you want to eat, that is.”

*****

Watch this short video, and while you may not see Mergan and her friends rushing the waiter while that smart Alec misses out by being the last – all talk and no action – you will see the water boiling from the onslaught of munching mergansers. The blood and carnage have been censored. I made sure it was all out of sight, under the water. It will help to have the video on full screen so you can see the water on the left, stirred up by the ducks.

 

 

Not that much to see, but under that boiling water, the body count will never be known. The mergansers are very good at hiding the evidence.