wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


28 Comments

Chipping Sparrow

“Hey, Charlie! Come over here. I think I’ve found some bugs.”

 

“Yeah? Where?”

“Well … they were here a second ago.”

 

“Oh! Wait! I think I see him.”

 

“This is taking way too long. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll go looking for my own again.”

 

Charlie and Cherry were cruising the patch,

Hoping to find bugs to go down the hatch,

Cherry was choosy and took far too long,

Charlie flew off and instead sang a song.

 

Cherry, I love you, but as for my dinner,

Waiting for you is just making me thinner,

I’ll find my own meals and you’re doing fine,

You find your own bugs and I will find mine.


24 Comments

Hiding the Children

 

I know she’s got that nest someplace nearby. I’ll just watch where she goes and then I can get some scrambled eggs for breakfast.

 

“You murdering so-and-so. You keep away from my children.”

Well, I’ve hidden the nest really well, so they should be okay. No one knows where it is.

I know where it is. But don’t worry I won’t tell. I can see it from here. See? Right over there by the house.

It’s right in that thick yew tree.

I even peeked inside and saw the four little kiddies-to-be.

Be careful, robin, hide your nest,

The scavengers like eggs the best,

Don’t show them where your darlings lie,

Or kidnappers will make them cry.

 

They’ll snag them and they’ll fly away,

And you with anguish and dismay,

Will shriek and call and cry out loud,

As robbers take them to a cloud.

 

So take good care and be alert,

And you will tragedy avert.

You know the crow has got a hitlist,

It’s survival of the fittest.


18 Comments

The Fat Herring

“Junior! What are you looking at down there?”

 

“Nothing interesting, Ma. I’m just wondering who’s going to clean up all the mess those seagulls are making. After eating all those herring and the herring roe, I bet it’s pretty slick and hummy on that roof.”

“The squawking and shrieking is ear piercing. They have no pride. Slithering around on that roof as they digest their shreds of herring. But I guess they do a good job of cleaning up the beaches. If only they’d clean up the roof after they … you know ….  But wait! What’s that I hear the seagulls saying?”

 

I heard seagulls squawk a joke,

Hermann Goering was the bloke

That they picked on for his fat,

Not so nice, but that was that.

 

Herring seller in the town,

Cried his product all around,

“Herring, herring!” he would shout,

“Fat as that old Goering lout.”

 

Then police took him away,

Told him that’s not nice to say,

Off you go, two weeks in jail,

And you’ll stay there without bail.

 

Two weeks later he was out,

He was careful what to shout,

He had herring, don’t you know,

Fat as just two weeks ago.


36 Comments

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.


23 Comments

Where Am I?

HEY!? Where is everybody? Where is everything? Where am I?

 

What has happened to the sky?

I could ask the birds that fly,

If I only weren’t so shy,

Ask an owl, and I might die.

 

 

Overnight it disappeared,

Cloudy giant softly neared,

It’s exactly as I feared,

Weather here has been so weird.

 

Hard to see the limbs I climb,

Icy parts that slip like slime,

If I fall off just one time,

It would really be a crime.

 

Where’s the spot I hid that food?

Need to hunt, not in the mood,

Who knew winter was so crude?

Guess I’ll eat what’s partly chewed.

 

Half a fir cone hidden here,

For those days when it’s severe,

Surely spring will soon appear,

When it warms up, I will cheer.

 


33 Comments

After the Snow

Screaming winds ripped through the fir trees when they were still laden with snow. The weight of the snow and the push of the wind was too much for some branches. It will take some sawing to make this branch manageable in pieces for the yard cleanup.

But all is not doom and gloom. See the black creature between the trunks of the trees? She’s having fun.

Here is  closer look.

Sorry. All we can see is her hind end. The front part of her body, especially the nose and front paws, are busy investigating whatever smells so good inside that old tree stump. It will be bath night tonight … again!

I can smell it in that stump,

Is it mouse or ratty’s rump?

Something yummy for my tummy,

Hope it hasn’t turned too gummy.

 

What care I if full of soil,

In the house the rugs I spoil?

I won’t cower in the shower,

Splashing water gives me power.

 

People love me even dirty,

They make kissing noise all flirty,

They will hug me, it won’t bug me,

Better clean though, soft and snuggly.

***** Please visit annelisplace for writing tips. Today we have more troublesome words explained.

 


47 Comments

Rufus

 

 

 

Still, still, still I sit,

Feathers fluffed and light,

Chill, chill, chill is it,

Going to freeze tonight.

 

Save, save, save my strength,

Lest my legs do fold,

Brave, brave, brave at length,

Need to be so bold.

 

Eat, eat, eat the seeds,

For the night is long,

Meet, meet, meet my needs,

Hope I can be strong.

 

Spring, spring, spring will come,

Bringing sun and life,

Sing, sing, sing and hum,

Ending winter’s strife.


40 Comments

A Harsh Surprise

The skiff of snow we had the other day was just the prelude to get us in tune for the magnum opus.

Some snow for Christmas was a fine seasonal touch, even if it was a bit hard on the birds, but the snowfall we had in the last two days, coupled with a drastic drop in temperatures and an increase in NW wind – well, let’s just say I’m praying for the return of my old friends, wind and rain.

Since the Arctic winds are coming from the north or northwest, I decided to put more birdseed on the leeward side of the house. Out of the wind, the picnic blanket won’t blow away or freeze to the ground as readily.

So, not being particularly house proud, I sprinkled bird seed liberally by my front door and in the dry edges near the house on the south and east sides.

Emma can’t believe her eyes. So many birds. You know she’s a “bird dog” but that is not supposed to apply to songbirds. She’s in shock that birds are right there on the other side of the glass – you know, that glass beside the door where she always looks out when she’s left behind.

“Wow!” she says. “A varied thrush!” And she tells herself to stop drooling.

“Oh, it’s you again,” says Vera Thrush. “You should stop poking your nose into the glass pane. You’re mucking it all up with noseprints.”

“On second thought,” thinks Vera, “I should maybe check out another area and come back later when that maniac killer dog is having a nap. But … does she ever sleep?” Vera turns to go. “Better safe than sorry…. Hmmpf! Can’t believe I said that. Such a cliché.”

Vera’s feathers fluff up soft,

Keeping warmer air aloft

Trapped beside her chilly skin,

She will not let winter in.

 

Hard to fathom so much cold,

Although pretty to behold,

But the chill is not a thrill,

It is often known to kill.

 

Thankfully, the seeds are spread,

All around the front door tread,

Even though they don’t belong,

Matters more that we stay strong.

 

First comes need and then decor,

Later we’ll clean up the door,

But we’ll wait till Emma’s busy

So she won’t get in a tizzy.

 

All these seeds are such a gift

Hard to find them in a drift,

Front door feeding works just fine,

Think I’ll grab some, make them mine.

 

 

 


43 Comments

Snow – The Double-edged Sword

Yes, yes, it’s a white Christmas and almost everyone is happy. Snow covers the ugliness of winter.

But it also covers all the seeds and insects the songbirds would love to pick at. This fox sparrow is probably wondering how he’s going to get through the next days. He doesn’t know that it’s going to get even colder in the next few days. I’m making sure to keep the bird feeders filled and in a relatively sheltered place.

But mostly I fear for the tiny hummingbirds. Why, oh why, didn’t they fly south when they had the chance?

The hummingbird feeder was already starting to get chilled by late afternoon. In the next days, the sugar water in the feeder will try to freeze even partway through the day. I’ve been bringing the feeders inside at night and I will probably have to exchange the frozen water for warmer sugar water before the day is over. The forecast says it will get very cold at night. Meanwhile, this hummingbird was happy to find the sugar water not frozen today. Poor little thing.

Snow at Christmas, what a treat,

But it hides what birds would eat.

Joyful people celebrate,

Birds though have a different fate.

 

Let us help them fight the cold,

In the deep snow, let’s be bold,

Filling feeders to the top,

So the birds can fill their crop.

 

Snow is pretty but it’s hard,

When it covers up the yard,

Birds and squirrels do their best,

Let’s all help them in their quest.


39 Comments

Under Cover

A few nights ago, while I snuggled under the covers, the outside world was also being put under a cover — from freshly fallen snow.

The hummingbird feeder I had taken down to be out of the wind on the exposed deck, was no longer nestled among the branches that the birds used to love to sit on. (See the photo below). It had become a snow trap. Any bird venturing into the maze of bent down boughs might get a snow shower which, in the case of a tiny hummingbird, could be fatal. I had some work to do but I fixed up a place for the hummingbirds to feed safely.

The regular birdfeeders needed a place that was safe from the Steller’s jays who would gobble up the whole contents of the feeder. I had found a place in the branches of the filbert (hazelnut) tree.  But then it snowed. Can you find the feeder to the left of the tree trunk and about four feet off the ground? The birds were happy to scratch up spilled seeds under the tree.

The Steller’s jay is quite the bully no matter where I put the seeds.

Pretty as the snow is, I worry about my poor little animals out there, scratching for enough food to keep warm and stay alive.

 

Last night the air was oh, so cold,

It chilled me to the bone,

My sparrow girlfriend, oh so bold,

Was shivering on her phone.

 

She called her snowbird friends last night,

They’d almost all flown south,

And she was wishing that they might

Have messaged her by mouth.

 

She’d gladly be in warmer climes,

While leaving me behind,

Their happy chirps melodic chimes,

As sunshine they did find.

 

But here in Lotus Land of North,

The snow moved in and covered us,

To find some food we must go forth,

Lest heavy branches smother us.

 

The hedge and shrubs have been a boon

But still we have to eat

And battling jays from morn till noon

Is always quite a feat.

 

Those greedy birds take so much food,

They spill what they don’t need,

We have to fight the whole darn brood,

So we can get some feed.

 

My girlfriend had the right idea,

To call her friends who left,

But if she’d gone, I sadly fear,

I would have been bereft.

 

Together we will pick at seeds,

To bolster up our strength,

Then later when we’ve met our needs,

I’ll cuddle her at length.