Sunday, December 12, 2021

Don't buy this

Recently I purchased a plastic bird feeder for "clingers" from Wild Birds Unlimited. Today I dropped it a total of two feet. Despite landing on soft ground, the bottom broke off. When I bought it, the salesperson warned me that the top hook might break off but the manufacturers would replace it. I should have taken that as a warning. I don't want a replacement, just my money back.

Today I cut back the 'Betty Corning' and 'Avant-garde' clematis. The strong winds we've been experiencing lately cause them to bang their tuteurs against the house. A bit disconcerting after dark.

For some reason, mice have been getting into the house. My SO teases that it is because my yard is so wildlife friendly. I don't care how many rodents there are outside, but I draw the line when they breech the walls of my domicile. One of the cats caught one in the house and maybe one in the garage. I have caught three in traps baited with "butter bark". I hope that is all there is.

In my next lifetime, I hope to have a clear view of the horizon or at least a more natural one. Until then, this is the best I can do to capture lovely sunsets.

The temps just won't stay below freezing around here, perpetuating mud season. I use a Bissell Crosswave to clean my floors and am shocked each and every time from the amount of dirt it picks up, even after I have already vaccuumed. I clean the dogs' paws with a Paw Plunger, but it's getting worn out, as am I.

Sunday, December 05, 2021

The happiness of bluebirds

The bluebirds found the mealworm feeder in one day; ditto the sparrows and starlings. The starling population seems low these days. Either their migration patterns are different this year or the mysterious avian illness that struck songbirds this past summer reduced their numbers.

Lately I have been giving myself permission to just sit in the recliner in the den and watch birds. The bluebirds don't chase away the competition at the mealworm feeder but definitely hold their own. Sparrows will eat almost anything, including the "bark butter" and the seeds from pampas grass and volunteer asters. I watched a blue jay peck at a redbud pod to eat the seeds within. There are now ground feeding juncos and nut eating nuthatches, and the occasional hawk flies through the yard, sending the rest to safety. While walking the dogs, I've seen crows pecking at fallen walnuts. There are mourning doves in the neighborhood and passersby at the pond. So much to see if we but stop and look.

I've complained about the 'Golden Spirit' smokebush not blooming much, but it did this past summer. And now the dried seed heads look rather striking. Unlike the purple leaf smokebush, this specimen seems to hold onto its seed heads.

Several years ago I purchased some fleece leggings from a seasonal store at the mall. It turns out those leggings are windproof, so I wear them when walking the dogs. Today, despite the stiff breeze, I was able to do a little yard work (cutting down the false indigo) in comfort. There is no bad weather, just inadequate clothing.