Friday, June 19, 2009

Come and Dine

Talk about feeding the whole neighborhood! In the midst of this recession, we are being eaten out of house and home!

We had given up with the bird feeder. The raccoons were just too clever for us. We'd fill the feeder up, hang it on the tree, and the next morning it was lying on the ground, lid off, and empty sunflower shells everywhere. No matter which branch, no matter how high or low, no matter what we fixed it to the branch with, they found a way to get to it. So we abandoned it.

Then we had a brainwave! In the middle of our back lawn is a slab of concrete where once hung one of those umbrella clothes driers:
We bought a pole, pounded it into the hole where the clothes drier used to stand, and then cemented it in. We hung the bird feeder on one side and a plant on the other, et voila!
If you think the post is leaning a little, you're right -- you'll see why in a moment.

This has turned out to be the perfect location -- just steps away from the patio, where I can sit and do my work, armed with camera at my side and get some great shots. But as I said, talk about feeding the neighborhood!

Our house guests are cardinals (dad and Jr.):

and Goldfinches

and red polls (or purple finches, not sure):

cute little sparrows (mom feeding baby):

A nasty crow - who was not a welcome guest

But fortunately he is too big to get his head in the feeder and gave up:

Then came the ever-hungry squirrels:

trying many creative ways to join in the meal:


and somersaults! But to no avail.

He had to be satisfied with 'crumbs from under the table' -- just like the chipmunk who came to join the feast. We don't mind him so much as he goes into 'vacuum mode' snorkeling up all the left-overs!Even this little frog made his way over to the feast -- but I don't think sunflower seeds are his favorite!

The one guest we didn't expect (but should have known better) was this fellow: We'd caught other, smaller raccoons hanging around the feeder after dark -- but they couldn't reach high enough to partake, and ambled off after a while. But this fellow is the granddaddy of them all!
Doth and I took up shoes and plastic bottles to lob at him -- but he wouldn't budge until he'd had his fill. "Aaah -- that's thirsty work". And off he went
(notice the bird feeder is totally empty!).

But it's ok -- we got the last laugh. In its new location, we can simply bring the bird feeder in at night, without having to scale a tree to get it down. Sorry, Rocky, but in today's economy, we just can't afford you as a guest!