For the birds . . .

. . . and apparently the squirrels, the raccoons, the bees, the ants, the deer, and heaven knows who/what else.

It used to be such a joy to watch my birds feed: two hummingbirds and a finch feeder off the deck out back and one “squirrel proof” feeder out front for the big guys.

There is one chair in my living room where I can sit and see all of them. I don’t get much else done when I sit in that chair, but what a delight!

That is until last summer when my hummingbird feeders were empty, broken and spilled on the deck in the morning. I was stumped until one evening I was about to step racoonout on the deck when I saw this LARGE animal out there. Of feeder on deckcourse,

I screamed like a girl 😊 and it disappeared. At first, I thought it was a cat – the largest I’d ever seen. But then I thought about it. My deck is a second-floor deck without steps leading up to it. That means animals must climb straight up a post. So, I googled it. Yep. A raccoon was going after the hummingbird nectar. I was horrified, and not a little impressed, that it could accomplish that feat. After that, I had to bring in the feeders each night. Sigh.

Once I noticed a swarm of bees around one of the hummers feeders. They overtook it. Again, horrified. I read what to do but did the opposite. I didn’t want to poison the hummers but I freaked and felt I needed to act immediately. The hose didn’t work so I purchased one of those sprays that you can stand 20 feet away and zap them. I picked the middle of a very hot day when the hummers aren’t around much and I began to zap. It was scary. It took a while. It worked. When I was pretty sure I had zapped them all, I grabbed the feeder and promptly washed and washed it. I know, I know. I apologize. I shouldn’t be killing bees. Forgive me. I panicked!

The finch feeder is pretty much squirrel proof but it didn’t keep him from trying. It was comical until this year he (the squirrel) realized that if he got up on the railing and squirrel2stretched really really far, he could reach the hummer feeders. And if he tipped them, ever so slightly, the sweet nectar would drip out and not only pour into his mouth but down on the ground. I’m sure the ants were on the ground rounding up all their friends for the nectar party. I determined that particular feeder didn’t have a good seal (duh) so away it went. It doesn’t matter so much since I only ever have one or two hummingbirds, which makes me sad. But it is what it is.

squirrel3When I yell at and chase the squirrel off the deck, he calls my bluff. (kind of like a child. OK exactly like a child) He realizes yelling doesn’t scare him and neither does banging on the window. He’ll skedaddle only if I step out onto the deck. But then this once I got this picture of him hanging over the edge, hoping I’d think he was gone. His tail was the tell. Get it? Tell Tale! 😊

And then there is the front big-bird, squirrel proof feeder. I love having the cardinals, etc. dine there. The squirrel does make the attempt but always fails. I don’t chase him anymore. He’s obviously a slow learner.

But finally, and this is the kicker! I filled the front feeder to the brim one day. The next morning, it was empty! Empty!! I looked down and there were prints all around. The @#%&@ deer found it!

We’ve lived here 18 years and never had a deer problem. So many of my friends are sharing the terrible stories of deer demolishing their gardens, etc. I don’t have any gardens – only ones in pots on the second-story deck. I now apologize to all my friends with their deer woes, for all my silent snickering and eye rolling! 😊

The only flowers I have growing in the ground are large, blooming yellow Stella Dora’s out front and I always enjoy them.

After I noticed the empty bird feeder, I glanced over. Gone! All gone! I ran to the side of the house. Gone.

The deer are closing in.

All this bird feeding used to be fun. Now? Not so much. But I persist.

As for the Stella Dora’s? No solution there.

God says to “consider the lilies. . .” I’d love to, if I could find some!



One thought on “For the birds . . .

  1. Phyllis,
    I loved this story! And the pictures. I’m sorry about your hummingbirds and finch, but this story is hysterical!


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