wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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A Change in Menu

Anneli said she’s sorry, she ran out of sunflower seeds and she hasn’t been back to the Bulk Barn to buy more yet. Would I like to try some of the walnuts she has been drying?

They are wonderful! She has a whole tree of them in the backyard, but the shells are pretty hard to crack. I would have harvested them myself, but the husk around the nuts tastes bitter.

That and the fact that the backyard supervisors are always patrolling out there have kept me away.

There’s only the little black one now, but she’s dangerous. She leaps up four or five feet if she’s after something, so I’m careful around her.

And anyway, since Anneli has cracked these walnuts for me, I don’t have to hurt my teeth trying to open the shell. She takes good care of me so I don’t have to risk my life around that crazy killer dog.

Oh, ye heavenly squirrels on high! This is delightful!

I could even use this shell as a sippy cup. Slurp, slurp!

I wondered where my breakfast was,

The seeds were not in sight.

I nearly died of shock because

The change gave me a fright.

Instead of tiny sunflower seeds,

Just walnuts could be found,

The food that would fulfill my needs,

In shells so rough and round.

I checked them out and noticed then

The nuts were cracked in chunks,

It looked like I could eat again

The meat lay there in hunks.

How sweet of her to crack these shells,

To spare my tiny teeth,

Inside the nuts were little wells,

With nutmeat underneath.

I nibbled it and pulled it out

The flavour was the best,

No need to cry or mope about,

A change is good as a rest.

*****

Please visit my other blog, Anneli’s Place, for writing tips posted in small doses so as not to be overwhelming.


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A Discerning Palate

Did you know that animals have facial expressions too? Sure we know they can screech and growl, but they have subtle facial expressions too.

Oh goodie! More sunflower seeds!
Oh, yech! Not so goodie! Stale sunflower seeds.
Nothing to do but try again. Maybe it was just the one …. I hope.
YES! It must have been just one bad one.

I don’t so much mind that it’s seeds once again,

But really, they shouldn’t taste bad.

The taste lingered on though I spat out in vain,

The worst seed I ever have had.

I looked for an alternate food I could eat,

But nothing there was to be had,

And since I am fussy, just veggies, no meat,

My choice was depressingly sad.

I tried to remember advice from my mother

What was it she always would say?

Don’t give up with one, she’d say, just try another

And do it right now, don’t delay.

It tasted so yummy inside of my tummy,

The best food I ever did eat,

From now on I’ll do well to listen to Mummy

And never miss out on a treat.


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Flicker

What is he thinking?

Anybody home?

This house is for a gnome,

Inside what will I find?

Something left behind?

Perhaps I’ll find a stash,

Hidden oh so rash,

A home that’s for a squirrel,

Behind this bumpy burl?

Perhaps a juicy bug,

I’d better give a tug.

Shelter from a storm,

Although it’s not the norm.

Good to find this hole,

Might someday save my soul.

Writers, please have a look at my other blog for the occasional writing tips and book posts. You never know if there might be something to help you with your writing.


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Moon Walk

Why? The moon is WAY behind the branches of the tree in this photo, so why don’t the branches show up as being in front of the moon?

I moved over a few steps to get a clear picture.

 

The sun has lent its warming glow

And moon reflects a brilliant show.

A golden globe that floats on high

Suspended in a magic sky.

 

Why don’t we go there for a while

And take our moon boots, go in style?

A bouncy moonwalk, we will do

Upon the moon rock, me and you.

 

And if we see the man in the moon

You’ll catch me if I start to swoon,

Then back to Earth it’s time to scuttle

Snuggled in our cozy shuttle.

 

Once again from Earth we’ll sigh

To see this marvel in the sky.

Golden warmth has filled our soul

I hold your hand and I feel whole.

 

 


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Daffy Dolls

After weeks and weeks of cold, sunless days of wind, rain, and even some snow, is it any wonder we get desperate as we anticipate spring weather?

I was unreasonably happy when I noticed these daffodil leaves poking through the winter’s mess.

I’m hoping that by the time it’s Easter, the daffodils will bloom and announce that our winter ordeal is over.

Daffodils are tough. They are among the first flowers to put out feelers to gauge the temperature above that layer of fall leaves.

Can I come out yet?

And is the snow gone?

Will I be frozen

While waiting for dawn?

 

Gather your courage,

My buddies all say,

Be brave together

And we’ll win the day.

 

First we may shiver,

But then you will see,

The sun will shine longer

For you and for me.

 

Set up your blossoms

To open in spring,

Yellow and cheerful

Is just the right thing.

 

We are the bravest

The gutsiest here,

Being the first to bring

Snippets of cheer.

Sooooooooon!

I cheated here and put in a photo of daffodils from another year, but they are the same ones that belong to those green stems in the previous photo.

Daffodils have a special place in my heart. My mother loved flowers and when, as a new Canadian, she learned the name of these flowers, she couldn’t help always mixing up the syllables. To this day I think of them as daffy dolls, her name for them.

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

http://www.anneli-purchase.com


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The Similkameen River

The Similkameen River flows east a long way from the mountains of E.C. Manning Park in British Columbia, to the *Okanagan fruit growing area in southern BC, where it turns south into the United States to  become the *Okanogan River south of Oroville, and from there to the mighty Columbia River which then flows west again to the Pacific while it forms the border between Oregon and Washington for much of the way between them.

*Okanagan (Canadian spelling)

*Okanogan (American spelling)

It can be a bit of a flood plain  in parts.

Does the river follow the highway, or does the highway follow the river?

 

Every time the highway bends,

And I’ve thought the river ends,

Then I see it once again,

Flowing past the rough terrain.

 

“Faithful follower, that you be,

Following me past rock and tree,

And you have so far to go.”

Says the river, “That I know.”

 

“I will twist and I will turn,

Shores of shrubbery and fern,

Gurgling over rocky places,

Where the little whitefish races.”

 

“Past the mountains and the streams,

Past the vineyards of my dreams,

I will hurry to the states,

Where the huge Columbia waits.”

 

“All together we will flow,

And we’ll put on quite a show.

At the western ocean shore,

You won’t know me anymore.”

 

“In the water system’s grasp,

Plunging in has made me gasp,

Sorry I’m not more specific,

But I’m in the great Pacific.”

 

 

 


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Squirrel Worries

You know I’m very partial to my friend Lincoln. Today the Captain called to me. “Lincoln’s right here in the tree by the woodshed. Bring your camera.”

I snapped a few pictures and it wasn’t until I uploaded them and had a closer (zoomed in) look that I saw the injuries to Lincoln’s arm and hip. I feel terrible to think he is suffering.

At first I thought he might have hurt his arm on a sharp branch, but then I saw the cut on his hip. It looks more like a claw or tooth or a beak might have done that.

In my previous post I mentioned the little animals that are hurt/killed in wildfires (unimaginable that human lives are also lost at times). I can’t see a wildfire image on TV without thinking about all the animals that succumb to the fire.

Even this little “owie” that Lincoln has, hurts me to think about. I hope he has a lot of hazelnuts stashed away and that he doesn’t feel cold or hungry while he’s mending.

I wish that I could capture him and take him to a vet,

Then take him home and put him in a tiny little bed.

I’d cover him with cedar boughs, a pillow made of down,

Some water in a walnut shell, a hazelnut so round.

 

I’d watch him and make sure his arm is healing as it should,

I’d have to stop him if he wanted to escape into the wood.

He’d soon be feeling well enough, and beat a quick retreat.

To scamper up and down the firs, and then his friends he’d meet.

 

“My Lincoln, dear,” his mom will say, “you worried me so much,

I’m overjoyed to have you back, to talk to you and touch.”

“I wasn’t being bad this time,” my Lincoln would explain.

“But something scratched and bit my arm, and gave me quite some pain.”

 

“Now don’t you worry, Mamakins, I’ll soon feel right as rain,

I’ll listen to you carefully, I won’t get bit again,

I’ll be more watchful after this, I promise to be good,

And I’ll stay close beside you in this lovely neighbourhood.”

 

 


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Mr. Lonely Pine

On our recent trip to Montana we saw nature at its fiercest; from fog to blizzards, rain and snow, to evidence of raging wildfires.

This region of eastern Washington is normally fairly dry, but a recent fire made it even drier. It may have been last year or longer ago that the fire went through here because the grass has had a chance to grow back.

A lucky few trees were left untouched by the fire. The rest were probably torches until their fuel burnt out.

Here is Mr. Lonely Pine, wondering where his friends have gone. Why, and how, was he spared?

What will happen to these acres of charred logs? It must take many years for them to fulfil the “ashes to ashes” ritual.

And someday the forest will regenerate and once again host insects, rodents, birds, reptiles, and small mammals (and a few big ones like these cattle).

But see how dry and long the grass is. The highway passes close by here. Be aware if you’re a smoker, and don’t toss out your cigarette butt, no matter how sure you are that it’s out.

 

They’ve named me Mr. Lonely Pine

And they are not so wrong,

I pine away and sometimes whine

If wind blows all day long.

 

I’m one of few surviving trees

Untouched by raging fire,

You should have seen it when the breeze

Whipped flames up even higher.

 

I stood in terror, trembling,

Of course I could not run,

So I began dissembling,

And twiddling my thumbs.

 

I squeezed my eyes shut, every branch

Was shivering in fright,

Next thing I knew, upon the ranch

The blaze burnt out that night.

 

And still alive I praised the gods

That spared me yet a while,

I wondered how I’d beat the odds,

I couldn’t help but smile.

 

I whispered like a pine must do

To coax the baby trees,

And soon they sprouted and they grew,

And now they’ve reached my knees.

 

I’m not so lonely anymore

These young ones chat with me,

And contrary to old folklore,

I talk, though I’m a tree.

 

I want to warn you if you drive,

A cigarette can kill,

To throw it out while it’s alive

Can burn the whole dang hill.

 

So let’s all take a bit of care

Bad endings you have seen,

If you are handling fire, beware

To keep our forests green.

 


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Winter’s Frosty Breath

It’s only October, but this farm scene would make a perfect Christmas card.

The shrubs in the distance have a frosting on them that is making the little ground squirrels living under them shiver.

Here is plenty of fuel to keep someone warm – someone far away, wherever this train is going.

The clumps of sagebrush and other grasses have been coated by winter’s frosty breath, giving them a designer look.

Did you ever mix up powdered laundry soap and water with an egg-beater and then dab the “snow” you made onto your Christmas tree? Then the decorations would be hung once the soapy snow had dried. These trees reminded me of doing that as a child. (I apologize for mentioning Christmas so early.)

The wintery air brings out the elves

They wait for dark or fog

So they can better hide themselves

Behind a nearby log.

The head elf orders laundry soap

The powdered kind is best

They spit in it and then they hope

That this will pass the test.

The soapy snow must be so thick

That it won’t dribble down

It must be right so it will stick

And give the tree its gown.

With sagey brush, like tiny brooms

They paint each branch with snow

The night is short, a new day looms

And all the elves must go.

If I’d been passing by last night

I’m sure I would have seen

But I’d have given them a fright

And I can’t be that mean.

And so I’ll just admire their trees

That look so pure and white

The elves are happy when they please

And know they’ve done it right.