Friday May 08th 2009, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Amaryllis,Wildlife

It’s a surprise. I don’t know a thing about it. I’ll distract you with an amaryllis photo (Lene, that’s yours in the white container, far left).  imgp7553The thing is all wrapped up in bird-themed wrapping paper over there, right next to the 25 lb bag of birdseed. I wonder what it could be.

Michelle was wondering out loud yesterday what the family should get me for Mother’s Day.  My friend Robin then sent me a link to one of her favorite stores when I mentioned to her that a birdfeeder would be really cool. Our next-door neighbors have one, with the result that I’ve seen a red-tailed hawk right outside our window here, and there was the never-to-be-forgotten moment when I pulled into my driveway, got out of my car, and there, perched at the edge of the neighbor’s roof at the closest point of it to where I was, quite close, stood a golden eagle. It looked at me. I looked at it. It looked at me.  Hmm. A little big for prey.  Came in a crunchy container, and it might get back in and you know how hard it is to undo that overpackaging with one’s talons.

So I wanted something that would help pull the outdoors up closer to my window, a little friendly competition with the feeder next door.

Robin’s link was to the local Wild Bird Center.  Michelle and I hopped in the car today and headed down to Los Gatos.  We were helped by an enthusiastic ornithologist who wanted to know what kinds of birds we wanted to attract?

“Pretty ones.”

She laughed.  Ooookay…  Obviously a fussy customer here.

I asked about the feeder I’d seen online that flips the squirrels off. No, literally. She told me the price of those (yowsers!) and that they have a $30 part that has to be replaced about once a year, and added, the squirrels learn quick to avoid them so then where’s the entertainment?  She doesn’t sell them.

Ah. Well, it was just a curiosity.  Besides, then I’d have to keep the feeder close to the ground and I’d be watching the little beasties anxiously like a mom whose 16-year-old just took off on their first solo trip behind the wheel.

She sold Michelle one that closes up the restaurant at the weight of a squirrel and is perfect for songbirds.

And I don’t know a thing about it till Sunday.  (Michelle wanted me to come with her to make sure the one she got would be one I’d be pleased with.)

I’m all a-twitter.  Heh.

15 Comments so far
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And I’m smiling…what a fun post. I hope your bird feeder brings you much joy! – and lots of pretty birds! 🙂

Comment by Abby 05.08.09 @ 8:18 pm

Well, if you are looking for pretty birds …

Am and I were at a restaurant overm by a golf course in Cupertino, and there was a bird feeder right outside the window where we were seated. Hummingbirds were zooming in and around it so much that we scarcely ate our dinners. Fascinating!

Fun time:

At a southern university, students in the psychology program were attending their first class on emotional extremes.

“Just to establish some parameters,” said the professor to the student from Arkansas, “what is the opposite of joy?”

“Sadness,” said the student.

“And the opposite of depression?” he asked of the young lady from Oklahoma.

“Elation,” she said.

“And you sir,” he said to the young man from Texas, “what about the opposite of woe?”

The Texan replied, “Sir, I believe that would be ‘giddy up’ .”

Comment by Don Meyer 05.08.09 @ 9:45 pm

Happy Mother’s Day, Alison. Hope you and the birds have a lovely day.

You have a kinder heart than some where squirrels are concerned. I have a computer nerd friend who hates them, so he wired a switch by his kitchen window. When he turns it on, it sends a mild charge through the bird feeder outside the window. He loves to watch the squirrels fly when he flips it. So far no injured squirrels, but lots of squirrel cussing and lots less bird feeder raiding.

I like your methodology better.

Comment by wunx~ 05.09.09 @ 12:15 am

Joy! Sounds like the shopping trip was a treat into and of itself.

Comment by Channon 05.09.09 @ 4:14 am

Obviously,you’re for the birds!

Comment by Dad 05.09.09 @ 4:22 am

I don’t want to put a damper on the whole bird/squirrel feeder, but my friend has the one where the squirrel steps on the perch and the food reservoir closes. Well, maybe we have really smart squirrels around here, but we watched as the squirrels used his back foot to hold the trap open and his front paws to scoop up the seeds. They’re smart little buggers! And it was still very entertaining! Good luck!

Comment by Jody M 05.09.09 @ 5:51 am

I’m so glad you got to talk to a dedicated ornithologist. I talked to one once before I made a rather worrisome trip to see a sick mom in Southern California in mid-winter. She gave me a chart showing what hummingbirds I could expect to see. I can still remember my surprise and delight at seeing my first hummingbird there.

I, too, have heard of really smart squirrels that foil the intent of the best designed feeders. I have an olde feeder I like so I generally use seed squirrels don’t like. They also don’t like Scruffy who loves to chase them.

Comment by RobinM 05.09.09 @ 7:46 am

Ah, lovely Los Gatos — the very mention makes me homesick — we lived there for almost 30 years — and would dearly love to go back

Comment by Bev 05.09.09 @ 8:29 am

May the birds who come to meet you bring you inspiration (not that you need any) as well as happiness:)

Comment by TripletMom 05.09.09 @ 8:44 am

Atwitter. Groan. But I’ll pretend I didn’t read this at all and exclaim suitably surprised and delighted when you post about it. Good distraction technique with the amaryllises. The candy cane is still alive? Nice!

Comment by Lene 05.09.09 @ 11:03 am

How fun! I love watching and listening to our birds. My dad has turkeys he feeds up north, they come and knock on the sliding glass doors if he’s tardy.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 05.09.09 @ 1:35 pm

This house had bird feeders when we moved here, but, whereas we saw bird feeders, our 4 cats saw golden arches. Sigh…

My friend Jeni has a hummingbird feeder in the garden outside her picture window. One day, while practicing recorder duets, we both stopped at the same moment, having seen a hummingbird just outside the window. When we stopped playing, it left. But when we started up again, it returned! Who knew hummingbirds like Renaissance recorder music?? 🙂

Comment by Shirley 05.09.09 @ 3:22 pm

We love our bird feeders. Note the S. We’ve tried the kind that have those closing levers for squirrel weight critters. They pried open the filler area, pried open the closing, etc. We tossed that. (We must have smarter squirrels than my parents, who live about 25 minutes away — and their identical feeder works fine.) Anyhow, we have our 3-cylinder feeder way out where it can’t be jumped to with a deflector above it. We get lots of songbirds and woodpeckers. Also some of the ground feeders, like cardinals, have figured it out. Occasional blue jays and crows. That has mostly black sunflower seed in it. We have a little thistle feeder for the finches (including the lovely goldfinches this season). And a hummingbird feeder which some years gets good traffic. There’s also a suet feeder with a cage that the squirrels can’t penetrate. We do NOT get hawks and eagles here, though my friend over in MD sees them quite a bit — but she’s not in suburbia. My sister says that you avoid squirrels by feeding them their preferred food elsewhere. (We don’t.) Or adding cayenne pepper. (Didn’t work. Must be they like spicy food.)

You know, this is the first of the annual Mom-gets-another-birdfeeder holidays. I know you’ll enjoy it.`

Comment by sjanova 05.09.09 @ 5:45 pm

So we can look forward to pictures of “pretty birds”?

Comment by Carol 05.10.09 @ 7:50 pm

“Too big for prey…came in a crunchy container…”

Oh,my goodness! You’re too funny!

That reminds me of a old Hagar the Horrible strip, where he is eating an hors’d’ouevre (sp) and says to Helga, “Hey, these are great! Crunchy with smooth centers! what do you call them?”

And Helga, looking slightly startled, replies, “Oysters…”

Speaking of things Nordic, did I ever mention that your Dad’s explanation of “Alidaughter” prompted me to reacquaint myself with Kristin Lavransdattir? There’s a wonderful new translation, and I’m enjoying it much more this time than I did the first time around. I think I will actually finish all three books now!

So nice to see that lovely picture of you looking so well and happy in your green shawl!

I am down 48 lbs as of this morning, which is reassuring, as I have been kind of “stuck” on one of those pesky plateaus for a few weeks. 🙂

Comment by Paula (mad angel) 05.20.09 @ 8:54 am

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