Thursday, June 17, 2010

Battle for the backyard birdfeeder

There's this squirrel and he is my nemesis. Actually, to borrow a phrase from my favorite 8-year-old, "He is my mortal enemy and I must defeat him." I know, the words sound quite harsh as I profess to be a tree hugging nature lover (when nature's not making me sneeze and wheeze). But it's true. This little, brown, furry creature who looks all innocent and sweet is the devil. And he hates me. Actually, it's more of a loathing, if I really think about it. And the feeling, I dare say, is mutual.

I know this all sounds rather nutty (and maybe even more than a bit trivial) but it's become an obsession of sorts. This squirrel is the leader of a Gainesville gardening terrorist group who must be taken down. There are eight in all - eight of the most incredibly creative little bandits who have ever taken over a backyard birdfeeder.

Here's the story in a proverbial nutshell: I set up a feeder in my yard so I could commune with nature (even though the construction workers are trying to pound it all away, but that's another blog). For the moment, I live on the edge of wooded bliss where birds of every kind flock to the feeder. They're so pretty. They bring me joy as I go about my day clicking out the words on my computer and keeping my homeschooled kid on task.

We co-habitated in harmony for weeks, if not several months. It was all so poetic. My husband would even come home at the end of the day and jokingly call me the blond-headed Snow White. (Hey, I've got the fair skin, so work with me here). Anyway, at first I thought the squirrels were absolutely adorable, all munching away on the yummy birdseed I purchased, enjoying what their feathered friends discarded onto the ground.

Then the critters got greedy. Actually, it was only one. Let's call him Sergeant Squirrel - Serg for short. So, Serg here decides he wants to get in on the action. He starts shinnying up the wrought iron feeder pole, hanging upside down and tossing out food for all his friends. Then they all get in on it until there's not one crumb of food or bird that will fight them for it.

I start getting defensive of my feathered friends. They can't fight for themselves, so I must fight for them. I buy what is called a "Squirrel be Gone" feeder. It works! I am so proud. Every time the grabby guy sits on the feeder it clamps closed. It doesn't hurt him, I assure you. Just pisses him off. I laugh. It's all so funny. Then Serg gets mad, real mad. He looks me straight in the eye as he hangs upside down bouncing on the feeder so long he springs it. Food flies everywhere. It's as if he's saying, "HA! What else ya got, lady?"

I will not be out done, so I buy ANOTHER Squirrel be Gone. Serg springs that one in less than 24 hours. Blasted bandit. Then, I have this epiphany. I'll grease up the pole. That'll fix Serg. I take my can of Crisco out there to the backyard and lube the feeder pole up good. Tee hee. I have a good laugh watching them slide down the pole like firefighters and my teen aged son shakes his head thinking his mother's lost her mind for good this time.

Serg accepts the challenge. He's going to find a way, I just know it. He has the will of a great warrior. Yesterday Serg even went so far as to waltz up to my backdoor, stare me down and taunt my cat Teddy.

Oh Serg, you're gonna be the death of me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Good fortune and cookies

A little known fact about myself: I pay really close attention to fortune cookies. You know, the ones you get when you order Chinese take-out. I know, it's ridiculous. It's not like they're made by hand with my life and times in mind. As my Beloved continually tells me, there are only so many fortunes printed out on these tiny little pieces of paper and then they're slipped inside these nasty tasting (mostly stale) cookies while on an assembly line and later packaged up for suckers like me to read and wonder... (The word sucker is mine, not my Beloved's. He calls me gullible).

Still, I think there's something to these tasty treats. Each time I pick mine with care and precision as if there's something I can and will take from it. Like last week:

"Willingness opens the doors to knowledge, direction and achievement." So true. And at this moment in my life I find this fortune cookie quite fitting. I push way too hard. Especially when I decide I want something really badly. I am like a blond headed pit bull with a bone, growling and not letting go when I get a hold good and tight. Needless to say, that makes me UN-willing to see the options right in front of my face. I only see one way and it's the ONLY way.

Yes, I know, this is so very UN-Yoga like of me. As I am told by some great masters (and a couple really good friends) our greatest strength is also our biggest weakness. I spend much of my time being positive and upbeat, telling friends and family that "it's all good" and all they have to do is relax and believe, yet I (the pit bull) keep gnawing on that same damn bone until I am sick to death of it.

So, I say to the universe full of fortune cookies, I am now declaring (on this blog no less) that I am open and willing. Just like the fortune is telling me to be. Whether it's homeschooling my son, seeking more yogic knowledge, or finding outlets for my written musings, I am open to anything good that comes my way.

The pit bull is being put down (metaphorically, of course. I am an animal activist of sorts, you know).