August 10, 2009
The Squirrel Feeder
Birds, happily chirping in my yard were, for a while the music of the afternoon. My good friend, Carlos, had given me western birdseed and a copper bird feeder. And his lovely wife, Lori, my pal, knew I'd love the birdies and their sounds in my tree among the garden stalks and stems. It took a few days for the birds to notice the seed. And then, they were there with great gusto in big bunches.
My husband was none too thrilled about the feeder. He'd heard and read about how bird feeders can become vermin feeders and was no fan of the prospect of neighborhood squirrels or worse, the possums finding joy in the crunchy delight hanger.
I took care in hanging the feeder away from the trunk but the Red Bud is young and the branches still fine so, not too far out. I came home from one of my morning walks to the cheers of three kids who'd captured, digitally, and for all time, this plucky squirrel who was thrilled at the breakfast offering. He'd been hanging, feet on the trunk, paws on the food tray, from the tree. Before I could say a word about, shhh!, my son's best friend had posted the pic on his facebook account. And the word was out.
I walked out into the yard, certain that the squirrel would depart with haste at the sight of me. Instead, he sat there, having come down from his feet on the trunk position. I made noise. I walked closer. Nothing. He stood and looked at me like a defiant teenager.
Of course, I have the secret weapon. A big squirrel hating monster of a German Shepherd. He was more than happy to work for food, so he walked into the yard, and took quick note of the squirrel which caused the big fracas I'd hoped for. Up the tree, over the branches to the umbrella and then the roof of the house. Squirrel scolding. Dog barking. The jig was up.
At some point, the joyous sounds of the wildlife diner, the working dog working and the "you were right Dad, there really was a squirrel in Mom's bird feeder!" brought response and the well-considered gift was removed.
This did not daunt the squirrel however, or the dog. The squirrel regularly revisits the scene of the crime and, was recently seen up on the divider fence a mere two feet from my kitchen door. Still not afraid of me.
The dog doesn't go into the yard without checking the tree. Because it's summer and he gets to spend more time out in the yard he actually sits watch for hours on end.
After all of it, there a few beautiful birdies who come and sing for a supper that won't be appearing any time soon.
We move on, determined. I admire that determination.
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