Sunday, April 28, 2013

Behold, the Beast

It's a picture of one of our backyard bird feeders.  With an unwelcome customer.

One of Joyce's great hopes when we came back from Indianapolis was to see a reincarnation of the flower beds. In the two years we were gone they deteriorated to weed patches and in the dreariness of winter she would look out the window and make plans for spring. In the meantime, she turned her attention to the one big bird feeder outside the dining room window. We loaded it up with sunflower seeds and hoped for the best.

Turned out the best we could do was to attract a few blue jays and fewer cardinals who didn't have sense enough to go south for the winter. But man, oh, man, did that big feeder attract squirrels.
Big ones. Small ones. gray ones. black ones. You name it - we had it. They loved \the sunflower seeds.

They would shinney up the pole the feeder was on. They would jump from the deck railing. I think some might have just fallen from the sky along with snow flakes. Reminded me of that song back in the hoot nanny days of that cat that came back - again and again - "that very same night".

Well winter struggled to an end and she put out another feeder. One with thistle seed for pretty little yellow birds. Another one with suet. And another. And another. and said, Let's just let the sunflower seed feeder empty out and we'll be rid of the squirrels. But we still wanted cardinals so she bought another sunflower seed feeder. That one was hung on a metal stake pole in the middle of the back yard. We saw a squirrel checking us out and we grinned at each other said, "Take that, you miserable critter."

I swear, that squirrel grinned  back at us. And it wasn't any time that he/she had mastered climbing a skinny steel pole. The picture proves the squirrel was able to do anything it set its mind to. Meanwhile, more and more feeders went up. Guess what? You're right: the squirrel found them and somehow let all the other squirrels in the neighborhood know. And once in a while 9they would let a bird take a bite or two. (Or would that be a beak-full or two?)

We tried baffles: no solution. We tried sticky fly paper. not sticky enough. One of our daughters suggested putting motor oil or grease on the pole. That wasn't any better.

Finally I found some deer/rabbit repellent in the garage. Desperate, I sprayed some of that around the big feeders. Voila: I haven't seen a squirrel in the past ten minutes. Maybe that solved the problem. However, I think there is another problem: the back yard stinks so bad that we can't spend much time sitting on the deck. Oh, well, you win a few and lose a few.
Here's looking atcha!

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