@*^#&a;*)Great Blue Heron

     Ever since we installed our pond, I have been waiting for the critters to show up. This summer the deer arrived after four years of absence. They cleaned the yard of every newly planted Hosta.  A possum has dug up the lawn looking for grubs. Squirrels have planted corn seed all about the yard. Slinky the garter snake slithered into the rocks around the water fall.  A red tail hawk often swoops through the yard after a squirrel or dove. The place is a veritable zoo at times. 

      I thought things would quiet down now that the leaves have fallen and the flowers are all gone. Last Sunday morning, I sat having my coffee reading the paper. I could see the window from the corner of my eye when it happened, A huge shadow swooped across the window. At first, I thought is was the hawk. I jumped up to see if he nailed a squirrel. Nope. I looked up at the pond, there he was, Big Bird in person. A great Blue Heron had spotted the goldfish. Before I could say “Peg come see,”  the bird had a bulge moving down it’s long throat. He nailed my largest, fanciest goldfish. He saw me, and took off looking like a prehistoric pterodactyl.

I left to deliver Thanksgiving food baskets with my Lions Club. I got home a couple of hours later. Peggy greeted me with “he’s been back three times already.” Later, I saw him again, but as soon as I made a move for the camera he flew off. It is three days later, and we have spotted him at the pond every day. My friend Al told me he would stay until he has cleaned all the fish from the pond. I hope it freezes tonight so he will migrate south.

Dumb Ass Squirrel #!!&+*^(#?

        Squirrels are amazing animals. They are born in nests  high above the ground. They are accustomed to swinging in the breeze. I have witnessed them traverse a yard from tree to tree by jumping. Almost as if they were flying from one flimsy limb to another. They do it effortlessly. Squirrels are also very curious. They will explore everything they can, to find food. If they identify an object as a food source they will climb, jump, fly, crawl, or dig to get to it. You Tube has some amazing videos of squirrels traversing great obstacle courses to get food.

Corn Bungee on TreeUntouched CornBird Feeder With Squirrell Guard

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

At my previous  home, the squirels were very resourceful. They beat every effort I made to sabotage their attempts to raid my bird feeders. They go to the food easily  in a very short time. At my current home, I am one of the only residents on the block with squirrels. That is because I am one of the few with trees. Every year, in the spring a new crop of babies is born in the trees behind the house. During the year they disappear. Either the adults chase them away, or they are picked off by the Red Tail Hawks who sit and watch our feeders. I believe it to be the latter.

      At Christmas,  knowing the penchant I have for squirrel entertainment, my son presented me with a squirrel bungee.  It is a squirrel feeder attached to end of a bungee cord. I place an ear of corn on one end of the cord and hang the other to a fixed point.  It is simple, and the vision of watching a squirrel bouncing around while having a meal of tasty field corn passed through my mind. I also see myself with a huge grin as I watch him holding on for dear life while I drink my morning coffee.

      The bungee came with a twenty five pound bag of  field corn.  There was no room for it in his car, so  it stayed at home. I couldn’t wait for his next visit to try the new toy. I bought a bag of field corn myself.  Within a day, I had the feeder hanging in front of the kitchen window.  Any self respecting squirrel could get to it by jumping from our stoop to the window sill, and then make a short leap to the corn.  I could see it happen in my mind, except for one thing; it didn’t draw a single squirrel. A week later, I baited the corned-bungee by putting an ear of corn on the ground under it. The next morning the ear was gone;  plumb disappeared. The next day, I baited it again; the same thing happened.

      Meanwhile, everyday, I see the  squirrel sitting in the feeder munching away on sun-flower seeds. He has to jump four feet onto a slippery piece of six inch tubing that is there to thwart him. Next he climbs backwards and upside down  onto the feeder platform.  He performs  this complicated little maneuver in a split second. The corn-bungee hung in full view within five feet; totally ignored.

Plan B. Move the bungee to the tree next to the pond.

Theory: The squirrel will see the corn, climb the tree, and then shimmy down the cord to the prize. Or, he can jump straight up from the ground.

Rationale: The tree is far from the bird feeder, and lazy squirrels will come out of the tree to the corn instead of going to the feeder fifty feet away.

Result: Totally ignored.

Plan C: Ask for help.

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