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mbumby
fretting about the mower, amused at the squirrels 
15th-Jun-2007 12:55 pm
T-Shirt
Mower saga continues
The hour-drive-away repair facility that is only open from 8-5 on weekdays has now had my mower for over a week. I'm stressing because they've not called, so I've not been able to get a local-to-them friend to agree to pick it up without me needing to take extra time off of work. I'm stressing about whether or not I should call them. I know I'm "too literal" and I don't know if "about a week" is something a normal person would understand to mean "probably less than a month", or whether, since it's been a week, I should bother them. Nor do I know if I would be perceived as a nag, and thus an appropriate recipient of punishment "oops, we just moved three more people to higher priority than you" or not.

I think I'll call at 2pm if they've not called me yet.

Squirrels and my bird feeder
A bit over 2 years ago, I retired the bird feeder that had been suspended from the tree. It was old. It had come with the house. I had no emotional attachment to it at all. (I don't remember if I left it in the garage, broke it down for firewood, or put it out atop the trash for either a person or the city to take.) Every day I filled it, regardless of how cunningly I attached it to the tree, it would be removed from the tree, carried across the yard, and upended. I suspected a coon. I bought a new, cute, wooden gazebo-looking, with a plastic cylinder in the middle, feeder and a hook to hang it on. Actually it's a double-hook, and I sometimes have hummingbird food in the other. With my busy-ness and absence, though, I've not been doing hummingbirds this year. Plus I'm still musing on how to keep the ants out.

Very shortly after I bought it, it broke, and a friend (thanks!) helped me rig a means to keep the lid on and attach it to the hook. Since then, various other pieces have broken off. I suspect the squirrels. Usually within an hour of me filling it there will be a squirrel upside down on the feeder gorging him-or-herself. The feeder would normally be emptied within a day.

I just bought a new feeder. It turns out to hold two to three times as much seed as my old one -- and has now been on the hook for most of a week and is not showing signs of being emptied. (It's still about 2/3 full.)

Just before I put it up I watched a squirrel on its way to the buffet. S/he climbed the metal pole-with-hooks, and once high enough reached out and climbed onto the top of the feeder. I was amazed. I don't think that pole is an inch across, and while it's not polished, it never struck me as being easy to climb. So when I filled the new feeder and put it out for the first time I added a little something. 4 to 5 feet of Vaseline rubbed on the pole.

This morning as I was leaving for work I watched a squirrel, somewhat forlornly it seemed, grazing in the grass beneath the feeder.
Comments 
15th-Jun-2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
Poor Squirrel :(
15th-Jun-2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
While my small bird feeder is supposed to be squirell proof -- if something too heavy is on it, it slides down over the feed holes, the squirells have learned that thye don't have to be on it, get their mouth to it to get fed; they only have to bat the thing, by hand or by tail to get some seeds to fall to the deck. I've learned not to fill it up, just put in enough for a day or so of birds, and if the SQLs get to it, the birds will clean up the fallen seed.

-Ryan
15th-Jun-2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
I found attaching the birdhouse by a bungie cord to the hook will confound a squirrel. At least for a while.
15th-Jun-2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
Hah! But I expect after not too long they'd be showing their children the great new toy they'd found.
15th-Jun-2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
They're evil, those squirrels. Vaseline won't keep them off for long. Just a few days and up they go.

I recommend something like: http://www.amazon.com/Bird-Feeder-Squirrel-Proof/dp/B0006IGZLY

We have one and the squirrels climb all over it, but they only get a few seeds here or there. Mostly they are relegated to the scraps on the ground. The squirrels did chew thru the wooden perch on ours, however, a replacement dowel was cheap, and soaking it in vegetable oil that was microwaved with a Tbs of red pepper flakes kept them from chewing up the new one.
30th-Jun-2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
Not forlornly! Or rather, it was probably only ACTING forlorn while actually hatching an evil plot for world domination inside its tiny brain...
30th-Jun-2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
*giggle*

If I could draw, I think I'd be working on a "squirrels in the white house" sketch now.
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