In the beginning, there was a thistle sock for the finches,
and sunflower seed for the cardinals and chickadees and nuthatches and their friends,
and suet for the woodpeckers, all hung on a double hook on the deck.
And the hungry birds came and ate, through bright spring and summer and damp and dreary winter and autumn. The birds were happy and well fed and grateful,
especially when it snowed.
The Gardener, her Chief of Implementation and their offspring admired the birds and filled the feeders and took many pictures. But the suet disappeared faster than it could be replaced and so did the sunflower seeds, for there was a snake in the garden.
The snake wasn’t any problem, at all, but it’s a great picture. There was a figurative snake — SOMEONE who gobbled up sunflower seeds and suet, someone with fur and not feathers or scales.
(I think that squirrel is exhausted from stealing seeds all summer long.) So the Gardener in the Woods plotted to foil the thieves. She added hot pepper flakes to the sunflower seeds, but the thieves were undeterred.
She bought hot pepper suet, and won her first battle.
She bought a squirrel proof feeder and the thieves tore at until the seed flowed out like water.
She bought a squirrel baffle, but the squirrels weren’t.
She bought a squirrel feeder, and the squirrels ate that along with the sunflowers and suet.
While the squirrels were on the deck during the second year of battle, they discovered the tomato plants in window boxes on the deck and ate all the tomatoes too, so the Gardener in the Woods had no fresh, home grown tomatoes in 2011.
This wasn’t all the trouble in the paradise that is the Garden in the Woods. There was someone else, someone who thought birds were delicious.
So the Gardener in the Woods conceived a grand device after consulting her wizard, who is called Internet Research.
For those of you who are laughing, this is a MUCH BETTER picture than the original sketch. The original sketch and explanation were, fortunately, understandable to the Chief of Implementation. His comment was, “I think you’ll see Ninja Squirrels executing bird seed missions.”
So the Gardener in the Woods batted her eyelashes, and the Chief of Implementation climbed ladders and drilled holes and screwed in hooks and bought confusing hardware, and looked strong and muscular and handsome doing it all. There were several revisions to the design of the grand marvelous device. First the Gardener realized the number of bottles between feeders needed to be two for esthetic reasons. Then the Gardener realized the plan did not take into consideration the logistics of refilling feeders 20 or 30 feet above the ground. After extensive revision, the final device was thus:
And the Gardener rested from her labors.
Photo credits for all wildlife pictures go to my daughter who posts at http://cricketwerks.tumblr.com/