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Monday, February 3, 2014

One for the Birds

I have seen a lot of winters {insert age jokes here} and in many places (Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Indiana - yep, moved a lot).  And while I'm not saying this is the worst winter I've seen, I'm definitely ranking it towards the top -- I think it's an age thing.  Yeah, I'll say it.  It's an age thing.  Cold, ice, snow, wind....repeat....cold, ice, snow, wind.  Not doing it for me anymore.

So, yes, for me, this winter is for the birds.  But, it really is for the birds.  This picture, taken from two storms ago (and I've lost count on our total number of snowfalls this year), is at the end of our driveway where the wintry trees and shrubs are home to several families of cardinals.  They will even stay put if we drive toward the garage slowly.

We have had our bird feeders out since the summer, but the winter activity has been fun to watch.  This feeder is just outside our family room window, allowing us a close-up view, and to the right is a miniature evergreen where the birds often "hang out" between eating. 

The two biggest challenges are keeping the feeders filled in the middle of or in between storms - here's hubby trying his best - and an ongoing battle with a family of black squirrels from our neighbors' tree.  The squirrels seem to think we are feeding them, and at any given time, we may look out and see one of them clinging to the feeder and chomping away, spilling seed to the ground.  Hubby will bang on the window - doing his best Clark Griswold or The Old Man Parker ("The Christmas Story") imitation - to chase them defiant squirrel found itself the target of a tennis ball this weekend when it didn't respond to the banging window. :)

Of course, the birds still enjoy the feed either way - from the feeder or on the ground.  But with this winter weather and greedy squirrels, birdseed is becoming a weekly staple on the grocery list.

If anyone has any suggestions for dealing with the squirrels, please let me know! We've tried WD40 on the pole and no, please, no guns. ;)  Meanwhile, we'll keep feeding everyone, I suppose and wait for spring!


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