Monday, 18 June 2018

Poetry Monday: Garden Gnome

It's Poetry Monday, and the theme is "garden gnome."

Join Diane, Delores and me as we tackle this theme! Feel free to leave your own poem at any of our blogs. Or, if you wish to post it on your own blog, please leave us a comment to let us know where to find you.


No preamble this week! Dive right in :)


O Garden Gnome

O pointy-hatted garden gnome
It's terribly sad you cannot roam
You're out in all inclement weather
Because your legs are stuck together

Unfortunately, the snow is so deep you can't actually SEE his legs.

(Photo: Pixabay)

That's it for this week! Uncharacteristically short, I know, but then -- so are gnomes 😄

Do YOU have a garden gnome? Do you have any garden ornaments? Do tell!

Update:  Next week's theme is "vacation days" . . .

Friday, 15 June 2018

Wobbly Twins

In the grey dawn of early morning on Thursday, we noticed three visitors to our back yard: a pair of fawns and their mama. They were in a private corner next to the neighbour's solid high fence, under the low hanging branches of the trees near our compost pile.

We wondered if they had perhaps arrived as one visitor only -- a pregnant mama. I've seen newborn colts and a newborn giraffe (by giraffe cam), and I know how quickly they are able to get up and stagger around.

These babies were wobbly, still, on their impossibly long and skinny stilt-legs, and when they laid down they curled into equally impossibly small bundles of brown, dotted with white spots.

Two of nature's miracles.

No pictures because I didn't want to disturb them or their mother.

But each one looked much like this:

(Photo: Pixabay)

After about a half hour, mama and babies started moving slowly away through the trees, and when I dared to sneak a peek later in the day, they were gone. Despite our town's ban on feeding deer, I set out a small container of bird seed and another with pieces of carrot and apple. Let the local officials fine me if they wish . . . I remember how it felt to be a new mother.

The temperature today was an unseasonably cold 9C (48F) all day long, with rain drizzling down, broken only by a brief roll of thunder and a massive downpour in mid-afternoon.

I couldn't help but think of those babies all day. And all evening.

I hope they survive the cold, inhospitable elements.

And I hope they come back.


Hope your weekend brings you a couple of nice surprises :)

I'll return on Poetry Monday, with the theme "Garden Gnome" . . . I'm looking forward to this one!


Tell me something wonderful you've seen lately. I'm all ears, kind of like the fawn above, only more figuratively and less literally :)

Monday, 11 June 2018

Poetry Monday: Positivity

It's Poetry Monday!

Join Diane, Delores and me as we explore this week's theme, "positivity." You are welcome to leave a poem in the comments section of any of our blogs, or, if you'd prefer, post it on your blog and leave a comment to tell us where to find you. It's free and fun, and sometimes frustrating and futile; our poems don't necessarily have rhyme schemes or fit a pattern, but they're ours! Also, we work our little brains to mush creating them, so we get kind of attached to them.

And -- we're off!


Well, no, we're not off yet; we need the Donkey Preamble.

My brain is still hurting from writing last week's overly long poem. Sometimes the critical lines of a poem pop into my head fully formed and I only have to expand on those. Other times, nothing comes to mind except the "angle" on the theme that I wish to use. Either way, I try to visualize the overall direction of the poem and work toward it. Sometimes it feels like driving a large boat using only my mind. The boat keeps wanting to go one direction and I want it to go another direction. The words and the rhythm are like currents that can either help the process or interfere with it. Often I delete whole verses that I really, really like because they are taking the story in the wrong direction. I probably need to do it oftener, but I'm afraid I'd give up writing altogether if I had to change more than I already do.

All that just to say that this week's offering is going to be short and sweet. Short, anyway.



It's easy to be positive when all is going well,
But oh! so much more tricky when the world is going to heck in a handbasket.


What, you thought it was going to rhyme?? Feel free to substitute whatever you need to, in order to make it sound more pleasing to your ear :)

Quick, kitty! Get out of that basket before it's too late!

Have a good week, people!

Update: Next week's theme is "Garden Gnome" . . .

Friday, 8 June 2018

Greening Up Despite The Frost

I haven't gotten out for a walk for more than a week -- it's been busy here and quite rainy some days as well. But I have a few pictures taken prior to that; they show that our spring is steadily advancing.

The dandelions have mostly gone to seed by now.

Finches are supposed to love dandelion seeds, but I haven't noticed the finches in our yard eating any. Maybe that's because our finch feeder is still open for business. I would like to wean all the birds off the feeders very shortly because the finch virus that was rampant last year has already started in some parts of the province. But our nights have been so cold (there was a heavy frost Thursday night), I feel sorry for the birds. They aren't used to temperatures this cold this time of year. The next week is forecast to be warmer, though.

Things are looking very green now:

Green trees against blue sky. When you were growing up, were you ever told that green and blue clothing should not be worn together? I was. I think that was in Home Economics class. Now it's one of my favourite combinations. Mother Nature knows what she's doing.

The edge of the riverside trail where I walk, sprinkled with tiny blue forget-me-nots.

Wild strawberry plants in blossom. When I was a kid, there was a field of wild strawberries near our house. We could pick enough of the tiny berries to make strawberry shortcake for our family of four. They are very fragile and require careful handling. We always removed the hulls of the berries as we picked, to avoid having to touch them again before washing. It was heavenly to crouch in the tall grass amidst the strawberry perfume.

Wild apple tree blossoms

And finally, the moon on the rise:

It's not green, but I like it anyway.

* * * * *

What's happening in your corner of the world?

Stay tuned for Poetry Monday, with the theme "positivity" . . .

Hope you have a nice weekend :)

Monday, 4 June 2018

Poetry Monday: Trees

It's Poetry Monday!

Join Diane, Delores and me as we offer our thoughts on this week's topic, "trees." Are you interested in joining us? If so, leave a poem in the comments, or post on your own blog and leave a comment to tell us how to find you. You don't need to use the suggested topic; a poem of any kind is welcome. As you will see in a moment, my poem is only tangentially related to trees.

* * * * *

I've been having some trouble with bird identification, as you may have noticed from my previous post.

As pointed out by Red (who blogs at Hiawatha House and is an advanced-skills birder), even the same bird can look different depending on its age, the time of year, and whether it's a male or a female. I think you must need to have a prodigious memory to be able to store all that in your head for every bird you are likely to see in your area. Maybe that's why they make field guides. You think?

Anyway. I started wondering whether birds would have the same trouble identifying people. It has been documented that crows can distinguish among individuals and even teach their offspring which people have treated them poorly or well, even when their offspring have not previously been in contact with those people. That's amazing, isn't it?

But surely there must be a whole other segment of the bird population that can't tell us apart: birds that think all short people must be children, all greyhaired people look alike, and all colourful dressers must be males (because Hello, in the bird world that's how things are).

I picture the conversation in the trees going something like this. I hope I've got the quotation marks and quotes-within-quotes properly done; it's been close to half a century since I studied this stuff.


Tree Talk

Henry and his Henrietta live up in a tree,
On a branch in a nest with their baby birdies three,
Looking at the Two-Leggers upon the ground below,
Making idle conversation. This is how it goes:

"Look, Riette," says Henry, "at the little person there,
"Is that a baby human, the roundish one with light brown hair?"
Henrietta squints her eyes and tips her head a bit.
"D'you mean the one with grey streaks or the one having the fit?"

"I mean the one that's shrieking and making all the noise,
"And running up and down the yard and playing with those toys."
Riette says, "Oh, you mean the one that's smaller than the others?
I think that it's a youngster, though it could be a grandmother."

She says, "I just don't know, dear; it's so very hard to tell
"The differences 'tween mom and tot and grandma . . .(sigh) . . . oh, well . . ."
But Henry's a persistent guy and wants to sort it out.
"I've heard that babies wear short pants and often have a pout,

"But all those people on the ground are in short pants today,
"And all of them have scrunched-up little faces. Oh, I say!
"I wish they would be still and let me have a real good look!"
Henrietta sighs again, and reaches for a book.

It's called "The People Watchers Guide"; a glossy new edition;
It's full of people pictures and quick tips on recognition.
If birds are having trouble it will help them recognize
People in their neighbourhood by habits, clothes, and size.

Reading from the volume, Henrietta says, " 'The girls
"Paint their nails and faces and they wear their hair in curls.
"Their clothing is quite flashy and they like to scream a lot.
"They always wear the colour pink; they mince, they do not walk.

"And, as for boys, they are the ones who throw the sticks and stones
"And eat the worms' -- hey, just like us! -- 'and often break their bones.
"They're smelly and they cuss a lot and like to dress in blue;
"They grunt and fart and tease their sibs' -- that's what it says boys do." 

Riette continues reading from the Guide held in her wings,
" 'Now these are not definitive, they're only general things.
"In fact, in half of cases, the opposing facts are true:
"The boys are kind; the girls like worms; and both like Pale Ecru.

"And size can be a guide to age, but foolproof it is not;
"Some juveniles can get so tall, while others stay so squat.
"Behavior offers clues to age, but once again, we say,
"Adults can act like kids -- or it can go the other way.

"The thing you must remember when identifying folks:
"The things they have in common are: they don't hatch out from yolks;
"The parents do not sit upon them snug within a nest;
"And none of them have feathers or a beak or tail or crest.' "

Henrietta slowly shuts The People Watchers Guide;
She knows by Henry's vacant eyes her sweetie's brain is fried.
In fact she doesn't think she feels so awfully well herself.
She shakes her head and puts the book away upon the shelf.

The trio on the grass beneath are surely entertaining,
But trying to identify those specimens is draining.
Henry and Riette are happy just to watch the show.
Besides, it's nearly mealtime at the Bird Buffet below.


Henry and Henrietta's brood: Meet Henny, Honey, and Heiney. Pretend they're being fed bird seed, okay? (Photo: Pixabay)


Okay, that went a lot longer than I planned. Thank you for sticking around to the end. Sometimes you get trapped in the middle of a poem, you know? And the vines grow up around you as you're tromping around and before you know it you're stuck in there with no machete and only a bunch of words to get you out. Frankly, I feel lucky to have escaped at all!!

Update: The theme for next week is "positivity" . . .