a squirrely day

21 01 2009

Decidedly, 3 a.m. is too early to get up so I laid there for about an hour before I couldn’t take it any more.  It must have been the fact that I knew I had a 7:30 a.m. appointment to meet someone for coffee.  That is just too much on my mind now that when I’m here in the north – I don’t HAVE to go to work or be anywhere for that matter.  So anything on the schedule is a big deal.  

After coffee, I had some errands to run – stupid little things that I had to go to a bunch of different parts of town to do.  Then there was lunch – something half way decent for the Dr. since he leaves tomorrow for the better part of a month. He’ll not be encountering any spanish tortilla where he is going.  So we do certain comfort foods before and after these trips.  It only makes sense.

I was “reclined” on the couch, checking email and thinking about a nap, when I heard a racket on the front porch.  I ignored it at first but with such persistence I thought maybe someone was stealing half the plastic furniture (no big deal, I might add).  

With MLK day on Monday, we thought that our garbage day would be off by a day. We are the only idiots in the neighborhood and wouldn’t you know it – it was a recycling day too.  You’d be surprised at the amount of stuff we can accumulate on a bi-weekly basis.  But we missed it.  Now I know there was a greater purpose to be served.

img_3810A brown bushy tailed squirrel had helped himself to the Planter’s peanut container that had been in the recycle bin.  He was dragging it across the porch and when it would fall out of his teeth it would clatter around the porch.

img_38074I got the mouser involved to watch the fun.  (note: the can is under the chair in the middle and the squirrel is back up on the wall).

The squirrel very adeptly started chewing off the blue plastic snap-on lid and once there was a big enough hole…I knew where this was going…in went his head and it got stuck.  He jumped off the porch wall, head stuck inside the can and shook it off.  Kitty and I were laughing hysterically by then.  Well, at least her tail was beating up a storm.

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Next the clever rodent jumped back up on the wall holding the can in its mouth, only to continue the leap to the pine tree.  Once in the tree, he started climbing…till it all started to slip and he was hanging by this back feet.  

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img_38203They both had a soft landing in the snowy yard so there was no harm done.  I’ll have to go check to see if the squirrel just gave up on the bounty or if it is over on the neighbor’s roof which is a mid-way landing spot between big oak trees.

I’m quite sure that there was nothing left in there to eat.  I have half a mind to just find some nuts and toss them on the porch as a peace offering.  That was a lot of hard work for no reward.





billy’s birds and scary squirrels

12 09 2008

Early last spring, I got to my folks on a Saturday and found my dad out in the yard in his pajama pants, ball cap too big for his head, and short sleeved v-neck t-shirt head chasing around in the yard with a broom held up over his head like a crazy man.  “I’m gonna get them!  I’m gonna get them!,” he yelled.  “Gonna get who?”, I wondered out loud. 

Somewhere in post-retirement, Billy got into birds.  It was a great hobby – they collected beautiful wood carvings to hang in their kitchen, magazines and bird watching primers were always close at hand for identification and binoculars were amassed.  On the south side of the house there is a hugely overgrown honeysuckle bush – monstrously deformed and sprawling.  A personal aviary.

He had made what he considered the best anti-squirrel design for feeding his little tweeties.  But the fates, super-squirrels and/or a design flaw was really frustrating him.  Something was keeping his fine feathered friends at bay and by spying through the window, he had solved his mystery.  

The squirrels were eating all the birdseed.  So seeing that the broom routine really wasn’t cutting it (I could hear all the squirrels and their twittering little laughs making fun of him) we had to come up with an alternate plan.  Thank God for the internet or I’d still be in the library.  Of course, on line I could find hundreds of birdfeeders designed to be 100% guaranteed squirrel proof.  He’d have no part of it.  “That stuff is for the birds…”

Next we tried a scarecrow…motion sensored, glassy eyed big owl.  We set it up on the ground under the bush – and after a bit checked on it to find that those cheeky squirrels had knocked it over (not really but that’s what Billy thought).  He fanagled a way to suspend it from the bush making it look like it was  “flying”.  Again – a wash.

Soon enough the dementia demons had distracted him to the point that he forgot all about feeding the peeps.  For the better part of 3 months no one has been paying attention to the birdy buddies.  My conscience has been bothering me…it takes two minutes to fill the coffee can with the small tin can and walk it around to the far side of the house.  That was a priority for my visit this time (and to have our phone interview with social security).  I wonder how long it will take for them to come back.  I did leave about a half a loaf of moldy bread under the bush the other day and there is not a crumb left to show for it.  Proof that we have squirrels or birds coming back.

This new chore will get added to the calendar’s ‘to do’ list as soon as we understand what garbage goes in which garbage can…recycling is tough at 81.  She loves working in the yard and if I can keep her from chopping down the aviary and even if she doesn’t have Meals on Wheels goodies to share with the squirrels/cat/birds/raccoon or whatever is snacking, she can handle the birdseed.

Yesterday I was thinking about how many people have mentioned knowing my dad by his whistle and I haven’t heard it for years.  As I was thinking about that – I heard a cardinal chirp out.  No, I’m not thinking he’s come back as a feathered friend – that’s for the birds!