Or, I wish life would laugh with me, not at me!
Life has a strange sense of humor sometimes, doesn’t it? You know what I mean. Like the fact that I spent two years trying to rid my yard of Nutsedge, only to move three states away into a neighborhood where every yard uses Nutsedge for grass. Seriously?? I spent $60 a month last summer for Scott’s lawn service to get rid of the pesky weeds before the upcoming wedding weekend, then fired them when the Nutsedge took over my side yard only two months into the deal. Now, all I can see in every direction is that little ‘weed’.
It crawls under ground like Bermuda, only worse! Whatever you do, do not attempt to pull it!! That only makes it grow 99.936 times faster!!
Life. Funny, isn’t it?
At my previous location I had oodles of birds to go with the oodles of Nutsedge. I all but became a bird watcher, right along with my kitties. They used to love sitting in the window watching the cardinals, chickadees, titmice (titmouses??), and colorful finches feed. There were even mourning doves and chipmunks to enjoy the seeds that fell on the ground.
I preferred a spot on my side porch where my next-door neighbor (read: best friend) and I would drink wine, grouse about the other neighbors (or husbands, whichever were most deserving of our snark at the time), and watch the birds come to several feeders I placed in, around, and under the flowering tree that was the central focus of my side garden bed (I never found out what species the tree was, but it bloomed twice every summer and I absolutely adored it). The squirrels, though, the squirrels were my nemesis.
I am not ashamed to confess, I despise squirrels. I’m one of those people who will swerve to avoid a turtle or frog, but aim a tire right at a squirrel in the road. Hey, natural selection: if the critter is too stupid to get out of my way… Besides, birds will not come to a feeder occupied by such a demanding and voracious animal! And, squirrels continually ate me out of house and birdseed (never mind the endless trail of useless bird feeders they managed to either chew to bits or clean out in an hour). I had one feeder with a screened tube that held the seeds, allowing them to empty out into a tray at the bottom. Mind you, this feeder was huge – so huge, in fact, that we had to secure a 2X2 piece of wood to the shepherd’s crook to support the feeder when full! (Well,
I’m lazy I worked full-time and did not want to fill the feeder every dang day!) Soon after I put it up, I discovered that screen is a wonderful material for little squirrel claws to hang onto. The squirrel was literally wrapped around the tube – upside-down, mind you – feasting on the never-ending abundance in the tray! Oooh! *&^#@!! Squirrels also adored my vintage feeders. They sat on the saucers and feasted from the cups. How convenient for them. *sigh*
You should know, the birds (and turkeys!) liked them, too:
In an attempt to rid myself of squirrels, I purchased two (yes, two) special bird feeders designed specifically to keep the squirrels out! But, life has a twisted sense of humor, remember? (Before I continue, you should know that I am cheap.) My neighbor-friend searched online and invested in a caged bird feeder guaranteed to keep the squirrels out; I found the imitation at Walmart. And so, one day I looked out of the window to see a squirrel’s hind legs balanced on the pole of the shepherd’s crook while it’s forelegs reached through the cage bars to steal seeds from the feeder. I’m pretty sure this squirrel should join the circus (and leave me alone!). But the baby squirrel that fit inside the cage took the cake – er, bird seed – all of it! Next I purchased a (slightly) more expensive “squirrel-buster” feeder designed to close the gate to the seeds when an animal of a certain weight sat on the perch. I soon discovered that squirrels are smarter than I (and the creator of these feeders). You guessed it, the pesky thief simply balanced on the shepherd’s crook and helped himself to the plethora of seeds from the opening. Perhaps the squirrels in my yard will be able to avoid my tires, too: evolution at work. * heavy sigh*
What’s a bird-lover to do?
Well, I moved the squirrel-buster to a tree in hopes that there would be no access to the seeds (it seemed to work, but then, just because I didn’t see a squirrel eating from it did not make it so). As to the cage, I let the baby squirrel clean out the feeder prior to my move. That way, at least I didn’t waste any seeds.
Finding reasons to willingly feed the enemy = cosmic humor!
Last week (at my new location), I hung the cage bird feeder on a shepherd’s crook in front of my bushes. Unfortunately, I am unable to hang it from the one tree in my yard to even attempt to confound the gymnast-squirrels. I have been watching, hoping to discover what kinds of birds will find it (I should probably just ask Mike – he’s a real live birdwatcher, but I’d rather discover this all on my own, as a kind of adventure). Today I finally caved and looked up bird species in my area. I was not disappointed to find that the same birds live here as in Tennessee; however, I have yet to see any at the feeder. (Thankfully, no squirrels have shown up yet, either!)
Last night, as I sat on the porch drinking my daily shot of whiskey, missing my Tennessee neighbor (read: best drinking buddy) and wondering if I will ever find anyone willing to join me for
some snark a drink on my new front porch, I saw a rather large bird fly into the neighbor’s yard. Looking over, there was a mourning dove nesting in a little nook above the neighbor’s front entryway. It kept looking back at me as it sang the familiar whoo-hoo song that is so mournful and yet so lovely at the same time. When I asked my neighbor about it, he informed me that this is the fourth year in a row that the dove has raised its chicks above his porch. Hooray! At least I will be guaranteed of one feathered friend to entertain my kitties and me. Maybe instead of laughing, life is smiling on me at last. 🙂