wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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The Easy Way

While Charlie and Chester the chickadees got their sunflower seeds from the sunflowers in the garden, Nathan the nuthatch found an easier way to get his share.

This jar of seeds is meant for the squirrels, but when they aren’t looking, Nathan zips in and steals a seed. He doesn’t linger at all, making it more of a Dine and Dash situation. At any time Jasper or Lincoln might come and put the run on him. It was hard to get a clear picture, zoomed in from the deck of the house, and needing to snap it quickly as Nathan only stays at this jar for a split second.

“Do you know who’s been into my stash?”

 

Nathan Nuthatch loves his seeds,

Not so much the work.

Squirrel food will meet his needs,

Though his theft might irk.

 

Jasper tries to guard the stash,

Lincoln also helps,

Nathan is afraid they’ll bash

In his skull, and yelps.

 

“Look how much you have to eat,

Yet you will not share,

Food laid out for you so neat,

This I just can’t bear.

 

“If the seeds you will not share,

I will have to steal,

Flying quickly I will dare,

But won’t stay to peel.

 

“In a pinch I’d get my own,

From the tall sunflowers,

But until my cover’s blown,

This will save me hours.”

 

 

 


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A Seedy Place!

The sunflowers are ripe and going to seed. I’m not sure what this bee is collecting, but it is not the only creature interested in the harvest.

Chester the chickadee has found a sunflower that has lost its petals and is well into seed production.

“Whoah!” he says, “This will require some acrobatics.”

“But, oh … those seeds are so good. And this flower is loaded!”

“Hey, Charlie! Come over here! I’ve found a goldmine.”

 

“Now, where was I? Oh yeah, I was getting right in there for the best of those seeds.”

Charlie and Chester are flying around

Looking for places where seeds might abound.

Chester finds sunflowers full of ripe seeds.

Says to himself, “These will fill all my needs.”

 

“Charlie, come over,” he calls to his friend,

“Seeds are so heavy, the flower does bend.”

Chickadee brothers fill up on their snack,

Flittering down from the fir trees and back.

 

And if a seed needs some coaxing to split,

Wedge it in bark and then hammer on it.

When it pops open, the flavour is fine,

Lovely to see how the chickadees dine.

 


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.

 

 


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Finicky Finch

This female house finch has just had a bath and is now looking for a snack on my brussels sprouts plants.

These tasty sprouts are still so small,

That’s not much food for me at all,

To peck them isn’t worth the work,

I’ll have to find some other perk.

So many pairs of pears I see,

Too many hanging in one tree,

Too big for tiny little finches,

I’d get fat and put on inches.

The sunflower seeds will soon be ripe

And then I’ll have no cause to gripe,

They are my favourite snacking food,

To nibble them improves my mood.


40 Comments

Tony the Towhee

Lincoln was minding his own business when he thought he heard a soft, croaky voice calling, “Eh?”

“Who’s that talking to me?” Lincoln asked. “Oh, NO! It’s Tony the Terrible. I don’t mind sharing a bit of the food but he’s so messy!”

“Who’re you calling messy? It was like this when I arrived.”

“Now, let’s see … is that a good one or another empty hull…?”

“Found one, but what’s the taste going to be like?”

“Meh! Just as I feared. These ones that are lying around are getting a bit stale. So much for cleaning up.”

“Tony, I swear, if you mess up my lunch, I – I – I – …. Well, just don’t make me come down there, or it’s Ta-ta, Tony!”

“Oops! I think lunch is over. I’m going to get a quick ‘Take-out’ and skedaddle. I don’t think Lincoln cares about social distancing and I don’t like him when he gets mad.”

“How do you like that? He’s cleaned me out! No wonder they call him Tony the Terrible.”

“Guess I’ll just have to go harvest some more fir cones. But what a lot of work!”


21 Comments

Sneaky Thief

Shhh!!! The squirrels are away …  I think …

 

Quick! Quick! I’ll grab one of their sunflower seeds.

I need to crack the shell. Here’s a stick. Hurry, hurry, before they come back. Those two squirrel brothers have been doing their best not to share with me.

 

Do I dare believe my sharp brown eyes? It’s a towhee. The sneaky little thief!

 

Hey brother! We got trouble …  again!

 

Ooh! Talk about greedy! He didn’t leave much.

 

 

Holy smokes!  There’s hardly anything left. I’m really hurt. 

 

I just can’t believe he did that. He’s almost cleaned us out.

 

But wait a minute. Heh-heh-heh! He doesn’t know about the ones I have … “squirreled” away.

 

I’d better add this one to the stash.

 

On second thought, I should eat what I can before he comes back.


37 Comments

Breakfast Interruptus

See how I can multi-task? I can chew a sunflower seed while tossing the shell away.

 

Oh, darn it all. There’s Emma. “Hey! What’re YOU doing here? Can’t a squirrel eat breakfast in peace?”

 

See how I did that? I told her! Cool, eh?

 

Uh-oh! What if she gets out of the backyard? Sometimes the people let her into the front.

 

I think … yup … it’s time … to RUN!

 

I bet I could catch you! I can jump, you know.

 

Not this high, you can’t. Nyah-na-na-naa-na!

Heeheeheeheeheeeeeee!


45 Comments

Biting the Hand that Feeds

I pushed my luck today. I did a dumb thing and offered Lincoln his breakfast from my hand instead of putting it in a jar as I usually do.  I had a palm full of sunflower seeds and I guess he wanted some meat with his seeds.

The first nip didn’t hurt, so I thought I’d wait to see if he took the seeds next, but he took a bigger nip of my finger and that’s when I decided to let him get his own breakfast from the jar. The bit of blood makes it look worse than it is, but I did check out diseases you can get from squirrel bites. I won’t put my hand out to him again. Lesson learned.

It was awkward taking a picture of my right hand with my left, but “you get the picture.”

A nearby junco saw the whole thing and I heard him say, like Tweetie, “Ooooooh! Dat hadda hurt!”

Meanwhile, Lincoln went back to enjoying his quiet breakfast, sassy little guy. After all, he is a wild animal, and not a pet. Wake up call for Anneli.

Lincoln ate sunflower seeds for breakfast while I had humble pie.


15 Comments

Glad She’s Back

Quick! Hide! Oh, it’s okay. Goodie! Anne-li is back. She asked the Captain to feed us while she was away, but Anne-li is not as scary as he is. She talks to us softly. The Captain makes a scary chirping sound with his mouth and it sounds like a mink coming after us. I once heard Anne-li tell him not to do that.  “It’s too scary for Lincoln,” she said.

Well, now I know she’s back, I can relax. I’ll have the shell off this sunflower seed in no time.

They sure are yummy!

I have a special treat, but it’s in a secret place. See me up here where that pole comes out of the woodshed. I’m tiny and you might not be able to see me on the crossbeam by the pole.

I had this walnut stashed away for some day when I felt like a change from the same old sunflower seeds.

But I do appreciate the seeds too. Thank you Anne-li! And I’m glad you found out that peanuts aren’t good for us squirrels.

And of course, Lincoln is welcome to as much as he can eat.


25 Comments

Nuthatches Again

I couldn’t resist trying for more photos again this morning when the nuthatches came back for breakfast.

 

Granola with sunflower seeds is on the menu today.

 

I might have to go have some of that myself.

I do make my own granola but so far I’ve been using store bought sunflower seeds. Looks like I’ll be buying them again this year unless I want to deprive the birds of their breakfast.