wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


35 Comments

Quentin Quail

The quince is not quite blooming yet, but I needed a picture of it for this post, so I took one from a couple of years ago.

This poor lonely quail is looking for a mate. Not sure there is one in the neighbourhood for him to find, but I made one up for him.

I quail at the thought of the poem I am going to inflict on you today.

Quentin Quail is on a quest,

He quills a questionnaire,

Querying and quizzing all,

To find a queen so fair.

Quite a queue around the quince,

For lady quails so quaint,

Topknot quivering in the wind,

Our Quentin’s feeling faint.

“That’s queer,” he quips so quietly,

“She can’t be from Quebec,

And yet she calls with quality

Out of her pretty bec.”

Quentin quicksteps forward now,

He’s feeling like a prince,

Quavering he offers quiche,

And she will offer quints.

His family quota is fulfilled,

His hopes have not been quashed,

The former quandary is solved,

Of cares, his hands are washed.

Quentin will become a dad,

Of kiddies eight, nine, ten,

But now he wonders just what kind

Of quagmire he is in.


26 Comments

Reluctant Sharing

“I could hardly wait for my breakfast of sunflower seeds this morning, folks. It was darned chilly overnight and I needed a few heat calories.”

 

“While Lincoln takes a break to go chase Della around the woodshed, I’m going to sneak a few sunflower seeds. But oh my goodness, they’re big. I wonder if I bit off more than I can chew.”

 

“Did you see that sneaky thief getting into my stash? I only turned my back for a few seconds to go tell Della that breakfast is served, and that foxy sparrow was into my food. I’m going to have to put some of these away for a rainy day.”

 

“Not too far away, and still under the roof. That will keep it dry.”

 

“Now stay! — I’ve seen Anneli do this with Emma. She points her fingers at her and says, ‘Stay!’ I’ll do what she does. Cool, eh?”

 

“Silly Lincoln. Every time he goes to bury a sunflower seed, I can zip right in here and help myself to his breakfast. Oh well, survival of the fittest (and smartest – that’s me). There’s a reason they call me a fox sparrow.”

 

Sharing shelter, that’s okay,

Sometimes it works out that way,

Sharing food’s another thing,

Since it can starvation bring.

 

Oh, all right, I get fed well,

But when seeds are in their shell,

It takes time to eat them up,

In my hands shaped like a cup.

 

Then along comes foxy sparrow,

Sitting on the jar rim narrow,

Helps himself to food that’s mine,

No permission here to dine.

 

Go ahead then, help yourself,

Sitting there upon my shelf,

I will have to be more wary,

Sunflower seeds I now must bury.

 

 


44 Comments

A Windy Night

“Will ya look at that?” Emma says. “Branches all over the yard are bad enough, but that one that smashed into Lincoln’s house is huge. And it’s still up there!”

“I know! I saw the whole thing from inside my cedar hedge home when it happened.”

The Captain pulled the treetop off the woodshed roof with his old beater truck while the Admiral ran for the tape measure. Thirty feet snapped right off the top of a tree to the left of the woodshed.

And another long branch is still up there – it got hung up on the way down.

“Good grief!” wails Lincoln. “That was my lookout tree. The whole top is gone. And I had plans for all those cones left on the tree.”

“I feel just sick!”

The forces of nature make changes on Earth,

They make creatures realize what life is worth,

The wind can move trees and the branches around,

It howls and it yowls with a frightening sound,

The birds and the squirrels take cover and hide,

They shiver and shake while the storm they outride,

But after a night that they spent curled up tight,

They creep out and check in the bright morning light,

To see if their home world is standing there still,

It’s been slightly changed, but survive it they will.


33 Comments

Pink Snow

Whoever said that snow was white

For certain didn’t get it right.

I know in shade it has some blues

And purples adding pretty hues,

It’s sad when snow shows bleeding red,¬†

A little bird may soon be dead,

If dusty specks turn snowflakes black,

Just turn, you’ll find a chimney stack,

Sometimes a doggie has to go,

So never eat the yellow snow,

But early sunrise glowing pink

Makes snow the prettiest, I think.

 

Please visit my other blog for writing tips and stories. Today’s post is about filter words.

Filtering

 

 


31 Comments

Love, Love, Love

I wish I knew how to make the mouth move and dub in the words, but this is Ellie, my sister-in-law’s dog, wishing everyone a very happy Valentine’s Day. Be good to each other.

I’ve been asked what breed Ellie is, so I’ve added this bit. She’s a Coton de Tulare. ¬†Related to Bichon.¬†

A word of kindness never hurt,
It costs us naught to say it,
So why not give it generously,
It's easy, don't delay it.

We never know what kind of day,
And worries others have,
A loving word, a smiling face,
Could be a healing salve.

Don't do it 'cause it's Valentine's,
We need to supersede it,
To make the world a better place,
God only knows we need it.


25 Comments

The White Stuff

“Eh? Orson? What’s that you said?” That Oregon junco knows everything that’s going on around here.

It's a chilly wind today,
My fur coat is on to stay,
I'm so happy to be warm,
With the temps below the norm.

“If you’d pay attention, Lincoln, you’d know there’s been a big change in the weather.” Him and his big fur coat. He probably hasn’t even noticed. But just look at Emma. She’s still trying to figure it out too.

Look now, Lincoln! See the ground,
See the flakes fall all around?
Food will be more precious though,
Covered as it is with snow.

“Sheesh! This is just like in the movies where Bambi says, ‘Mother, what’s all that white stuff?’ and she says, with her soft, stunned voice, like some naive housewife out of a 50s sitcom, ‘Why … it’s snow!'”

Emma snarfs in deep, long sniffs,
White stuff gives off special whiffs,
Did a raccoon pass by here?
Did a rabbit scratch his ear?

Licking, tasting flakes of snow. 
Tries to bite it, where'd it go?
Funny flakes of wetness fall,
On her head and over all.

Emma gives her coat a shake,
Leaving just one lonely flake,
Sitting on her pointy nose,
Then into the house she goes. 


34 Comments

The Challenge of Change

A new birdfeeder presented unexpected challenges for some birds. The seeds were visible, but access to them was different from the way it was done in the old feeders. All the outlets for the seeds are near the bottom of this new feeder.

Very simple for most of the birds. The sparrow has it figured out. “Come on down,” he calls, but the towhee, on the top right, is still puzzled.

“Nice seeds, but how in the heck do you get at them?”

“Whatcha doin’ up there, Rufus?” the Oregon junco called.

“ARRRGGHH! These are the darndest things. I can see them. Why can’t I get at them?”

“You just stick your head in the red dish … look … like this!”

“I just don’t get it. I’m looking right at the seeds, and I can’t get them.”

Honestly, I don’t know what else to say to him. What a dimwit.

“I guess you could always have some suet, Rufus.”

Brand new feeder, brand new seeds,

Specially made to suit their needs.

High-tech model, high-tech spout

Way too hard to figure out.

Rufus hammers, Rufus picks,

He’s exhausted all his tricks.

Junco coaxes, junco shows,

Why is it that junco knows,

How to get them, how to eat?

Rufus must admit defeat.

He can’t get it, he can’t do it,

Junco points up at the suet.

Don’t go hungry, don’t despair,

Eat that suet over there.

Feeling stupid, feeling dumb,

What a birdbrain I’ve become.

Rufus gorges, Rufus gobbles,

Now so fat, his flying wobbles.


35 Comments

Everyone Knows it’s Windy

The fir trees in the photo below are used to bending away from the prevailing southeast winds. The bay is loaded in whitecaps, a sure sign that only fools would go out there in a small boat. No fools visible today.

It blew so hard today that the firs in my backyard suffered in spite of being partly sheltered behind my house. When the rain let up somewhat, I went outside to take a picture of the branch that broke in the wind today. Apparently the rain hadn’t quite stopped, as you can see from the big drop that fell right in the middle of my camera lens. I was going to try to edit it out, but then I thought, “No, this is part of the picture. It was wet out there.”

If you look to the left of the tree closest to you, near the middle, you can see that a branch is near the ground, but still hanging on the tree. It is broken and hanging by a thread way up high. See the birdhouse on the tree? Go up about the same distance again as the birdhouse is from ground level and you will see the break.

Here is a close-up of the top of that broken branch.

I guess I could try swinging on the branch like Tarzan and it would come off, but if it broke mid-swing, that might not be too much fun.

Branches flying everywhere,

Look! A sliding patio chair,

Time to get some firewood,

Raining, so put up your hood,

Fir cones pelt the woodshed roof,

Put your hard hat on, you goof.

Quickly, fill that barrow now,

Gusts of wind are screaming – “Wow!”

Push the wood up to the house,

Knowing you’ve exposed a mouse,

Hiding by the firewood stack

She resettles farther back.

Birds are huddling in a shrub,

Dangerous to come out for grub.

Just get through this awful night,

Tomorrow things will be all right.


36 Comments

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.


20 Comments

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.