One of the things I love best about living here is all the wildlife. Even Mr. Waddles. When he’s not backing up and shaking his money maker, skunks are awfully cute. Snowshoe rabbits, chipmunks, normal squirrels, flying squirrels… everywhere you look there’s something amazing to see. Although I’ll have to admit I emitted a fairly loud yelp the first time I ever saw a flying squirrel. I was sitting next to the window, enjoying an adult beverage and watching Project Runway, when all of a sudden a flying squirrel hit the bird feeder hanging right outside with a huge bang. They only come out after dark, and they’re huge. Big eyes, bushy tails… fun to watch when you’re expecting to see them. Not so much when they take you by surprise.
When it got cold out, we hung up a bunch of bird feeders. Apparently word spread quickly, because now we’re operating a 24-hour, All-You-Can-Eat diner. Sunflower seeds are the best seller, followed closely by suet blocks. I had no idea the Northland was populated mostly by woodpeckers. There are hundreds of them. Literally hundreds. And now that it’s spring, they’re all claiming their territory by pounding on things. Luckily for them they’re super cute, and aren’t attacking the house. They attack the suet blocks instead.
So first came the birds, then came the deer. When it was -50 out, Gene wanted to make sure the herd stayed healthy enough for him to shoot one or two come hunting season. (While I disagree wholeheartedly with that last part, I’m all about keeping the herd happy). So now I start my day by scattering corn and deer grain and filling the bird feeders. I put peanuts out for the Jay birds, and god help me if I don’t get those peanuts out by day break. I was late one day, and woke up to the loudest screeching I’ve ever heard. I looked out the kitchen window, and there were about 30 angry Jays perched in the pine tree, yowling about the terrible lack of service.
To forestall anymore avian complaining, I make sure to stock all the feeders come morning. And the deers have adapted to the schedule; they show up like clock work. Without fail, just after sunrise, I’ll look out the window to see the younger deers come bounding happily down the driveway, making a beeline for breakfast. The adults come at a more dignified pace, and they all hang out until the feed is gone. Then they come back at dinnertime. So far the record is nine at one time. I’m not sure how I’m going to keep them out of my garden, maybe by putting so much feed down they won’t be hungry for delicious fresh veggies?