Tag Archives: feeding birds

Me and Tippi Hedren

7 Mar

Every morning, I go out and fill our three bird feeders – a large hopper-type by the stream, a ball shaped feeder by the den window, theoretically designed to let small birds feed while keeping out the large ones, and a second ball feeder outside the kitchen window. We also put peanuts in a length of PVC pipe for the squirrels.

When I go out, the only birds near the feeders are the little guys, sparrows, titmice, nuthatches, and the like, but if I look around, every tree has a contingent of grackles and starlings, waiting, waiting, waiting…As soon as the feeders are filled, they swoop down, flapping their wings at the other birds and clinging to the sides of the ball feeders, making them sway and spilling seeds all over the ground, where they push and shove each other, as greedy and pushy as a bunch of politicians, and just about as useful.

Someone once told me they had gotten a kitty litter bucket full of sour mash (I felt it wisest not to ask where) and spread it all over the ground. The big bullies loved the stuff, gobbling it down and getting drunker by the minute. When they were all well and truly sloshed, he gathered up a black trash bag of the feathered ba – birds – and took them to the State Park about fifteen miles north of here and just dumped them out onto the ground, figuring they’d be too disoriented to find their way back home.

In the meantime, I feel a real sympathy with Tippi Hedren.

Unatsi. Shnee. Neige. śnieg. Neve.

13 Feb

Whatever you call it, we have it.

Eddie snowWe got a foot of snow, starting at 8:00 last night, and it was still coming down when I got out of bed this morning. Between 7 AM and 10, we got another inch. Eddie is convinced that if the back door is blocked, then surely he can get out of the front door. Within the space of an hour he had been in and out three times, and gotten no further than the edge of the carport. As you can tell from the set of his shoulders, he is totally pissed. (This is the view from the front porch.)

I did see two squirrels outside the den window, and – I’m as crazy as they are – slogged around the corner to put out a dish of peanuts. The snow was still very soft and fluffy, and each time they hopped, they disappeared under the snow. Much wiggling and throwing mini-snow volcanos, while they gathered their feet under them, and then another hop.  (Notice the blue dish in the snow.) Of course, they ran away when I went out and by the time they returned, the Blue Jays had carried off the peanuts.

And then the starlings arrived en masse. It’s no wonder we run out of birdseed so quickly.

birdseedThe Squire went out and shoveled paths to both bird feeders, and then walked as far as he could down the drive.  About fourteen inches, a light rain right now, and more snow expected later this evening. A sort of winter lasagna.  The SHA has plowed the main drag, so we have a four foot ice dam at the end of the lane. Just thank God it isn’t blowing and drifting.

We may be here until Spring.

I had lined up three doctor’s appointments for tomorrow, and have already “officially” cancelled one.  Somebody sent me an email saying Harford County had declared a State of Emergency, with only 4-wheel and all-wheel vehicles allowed on the roads until late Saturday, so that pretty well takes care of that.

We don’t live in Harford County – half a mile outside – so we don’t get these robo-calls. I wonder if there’s a way to sign up for them?