wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Pacific Tree Frog

This little Pacific tree frog was so small that at first sight I thought he was a beetle. Then he moved and I saw that he had legs and had no resemblance to a beetle except his size, which I guess to be about 3 centimeters at the most, or just under 1 and 1/2 inches. I love those little pads on his toes that help him get a grip.

He looks like he’s wearing a jogging suit with that racing stripe around his nose and eyes.

Did you know he can change his colour from green to mottley green/brown to brown?

It was thought at first that tree frogs change colour according to their environment (for camouflage) but in fact it is triggered by background brightness set off by seasonal changes. Some changes in colour can be noticeable within a few hours but complete colour change can take weeks or months.

 

I’m watching out for garter snakes,

If you should see one, heaven’s sakes,

Do warn me in a timely way,

In case of danger, I can’t stay.

I know you do not see a crown,

I dropped it, so just look around,

And you will figure out my hints–

Inside me lives a tiny prince.


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Hairy Harry

Hairy or downy? They look very much alike, so I had to investigate to find out the difference. This, I think, is a hairy woodpecker. He has a longer, heavier bill than the downy. That is the main identifying feature.

This fellow was picking at tree trunks and branches by the side of the bumpy dirt road to the lake where the Captain and I fished for trout a few days ago. With little traffic, the nearby woods are quiet, and a hairy woodpecker could forage for food relatively undisturbed.

He is known to check out holes made by sapsuckers and to drink the sap that has filled the tiny wells in those holes. Of course he does his own excavating to look for insects under the bark of trees. He also likes a change once in a while and will eat fruit, berries, and nuts.

I’d say he has a well-rounded diet.

***

Harry flits from tree to tree

Trying hard to hide from me.

Maybe he is camera shy,

Though I can’t imagine why.

Maybe he’s just playing games,

Teasing when I call him names.

I don’t think his name is Harry,

I want snaps but he won’t tarry.

O’er his shoulder, gives a call,

“Show is over, that is all.

If my name you  can’t get right,

I will simply leave,  take flight.”

 

And that is just what he did.


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What a Difference a Day Makes

Driving along beside the Comox estuary yesterday, I nearly disrupted traffic in my panic to pull off the road to take a picture. I hadn’t expected the sunset to be so spectacular over the glacier. For that matter, I hadn’t SEEN the glacier for days and days with all the cloud cover.

Next to the glacier are the bumps in the hills that the locals have called The Sleeping Princess. Unfortunately I can’t be sure which shapes represent which features of her lying there. But it’s fun to imagine.

Not even 24 hours later, we have a complete change in the weather. No more lovely sunset; just a total whiteout. My backyard with its gnarly fruit trees looks like a black and white photo.

Emma has to check out what this white stuff is.

She’s amazed at how much of it is coming down.

The warmth of sun behind the hills

Is fine for curing winter chills

But who could know the change ahead

Birds shake feathers, snow to shed,

Yesterday they picked and ate,

Now with snow, their breakfast’s late.

Giant snowflakes blanket all

How I miss the robin’s call.

Emma likes a powdery run

But the cold is not much fun,

She’s content to sniff the deck

Wondering just “What the heck?

Think I’ll go back where it’s warm

Where they’ll pet my sleeping form.

There I’ll wait till winter’s done

And we see the warm spring sun.”

 

 


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The Eclipse Lesson

Last night, when I took the dogs out, I was surprised that it was so dark. The moon should have been lighting up the yard as brightly as a cool sun.

I didn’t know until that moment that I was seeing a lunar eclipse. The moon was partly blocked and yet the sky was completely clear of clouds. The shape that darkened out the moon resembled the rounded top of the earth blocking out the sun that had just set behind me a few hours earlier.

I hurried back into the house to get the camera and clumsily took a few photos.

Much later in the evening, the moon was back to normal, shining reflected sunlight from its full, beaming face.

“Hey Sunshine!” called the moon one day,

“It’s time for you to leave.

Romantic lovers always say,

In moonlight they believe.

They do not need your heat, Old Man,

They’re hot enough alone.

My light is better, and it can

Inspire a kiss and moan.”

“Ah, you know nothing, Loony One,

My rays bring winter thaws,

The people crave my  warmth and fun,

They love me without pause.

I bring them light the whole day long,

It’s easier to see,

I brighten spirits into song,

And I know they love ME.”

“That’s nonsense, my dear Sunnyboy,

What garbage you can spew,

I light the night, I won’t be coy,

I’m simply better than you.”

“But, Loony, don’t you understand,

You’re nothing, can’t you see?

By day or night, it’s my command,

The light all comes from me.”

“So prove it,” Loony smugly cried,

“You’ll never shine at night.”

“That’s fine,” the sun said, “I’ll abide,

I have no need to fight.”

The sun then hid behind the earth,

And waited out of sight.

The moon, eclipsed, had lost his worth,

When he was without light.

The moon no longer talks so big,

He wanly glides afar,

The sun just smiles and does a jig,

He’s, after all, a star.


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Three Cheers for the Weather – “Raw! Raw! Raw!”

I thought it was pretty at first, the way the fog rolled in over the bay and completely hid the water from view.

Foolish girl!

It rolled onto the lower beach areas and the land close to the water.

Smugly, I thought, “How pretty it looks, and how lucky am I to be living on higher ground in the clear blue sky.”

But pride comes before the fall. You might be able to see the mist lifting ever so slightly, rising up, looking for me.

Here it comes…

and here it stays, full of tiny droplets of ice water that almost freeze the air.

Carl Sandburg’s Chicago poem, “Fog,” made an impression on me the first time I heard it. He says it so simply, so “on the mark,” and with beautiful imagery.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

But …

I’m sorry, Carl. I find that very often, the last line of your poem doesn’t work for me, so I’ve had to change it.

 

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and stays and stays and stays and stays and stays… .

Anneli Purchase


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“I lied, Miss Scarlett!”

“I lied, Miss Scarlett. I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout  taking a break from bloggin’.”

Okay, I’m a dog.

I can’t help but blog.

While taking a break,

I started to bake,

I thought it looked good

And I’d share if I could,

But this photo for you

Is the best I can do.

The loaf on the right

Is a terrible sight,

But the scrap piece of pie

Was consumed with a sigh.


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A Flicker of Light

Sitting in the dark in my living room at about 6:30 this morning, I was surprised by the contrasting colour of the two levels of clouds — one layer of light gray and one of very dark gray. It gave me the shivers to think of the wind and rain that were coming our way.

I was not disappointed. It blew and dumped rain on us. Once the moisture had been thrown into our faces, the clouds lifted (that’s not the same as going away) and the sky brightened up.

The flicker looked up from his perch in the black walnut tree and called to his buddy who had just flown away, “What do you think, Dear? Is this it for today, or is there more coming? Should we find a more sheltered tree to peck on?”

 

Flicker eyes the roiling sky

Shakes himself and gives a cry,

Shudders at the force of storm,

Sodden feathers, not the norm.

Hoping sun comes shining through,

Flicker asks, “What will I do?

If the next storm is as wild

While I’m wishing it were mild.

Friends will fly away from here, 

I’ll be left alone, I fear.

Wait! I see a glimpse of sun.

Surely I’m the happy one.”