A Report From The Sidelines Re: Neighbor Vs. Birds

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 10.48.29 AM

 { Image Source }

[Note to readers: we live in a neighborhood with homes built on wooded ravine lots.  With many trees.  In which birds build nests, as they are wont to do.  These are facts.]

• • •

The neighbor woman who lives behind us has upped her anti-bird campaign.  She’s still out to chase all the birds away from her property, but she has a new tactic.

Now, in addition to her shouting and noise-making, she has begun to place bright shiny silver & red metallic streamers in her trees.

• • •

She wanders around her backyard throwing these streamers up into the air near tree branches.  Then when a streamer gets caught on a tree branch she loosely ties it to the branch, leaving yards of streamer fluttering in the wind.

This means that when the sun shines and hits the moving streamers, her backyard has bright lights randomly twinkling.  It reminds me of an old-fashioned used car lot, which I guess she thinks is a turn-off for birds.

• • •

I find this new behavior alternately entertaining or annoying.

What entertains me is that her neighbors on the property immediately beside her have put a large bird feeder on a shepherd’s hook.  They’ve positioned the shepherd’s hook in such a way that she’ll see the bird feeder ever time she steps outside onto her deck, but they cannot see it from their deck.

Don’t you just love passive-aggressive behavior?

• • •

However, what annoys me is that when the streamers are twinkling their brightest the light from them is strong enough to be noticed on our TV screen.  Inside the house.  Across the ravine.

Meaning that if we happen to be watching something on TV, our show has little sparkly red dots of color superimposed on it.  It’s kind of like stroking out without going to the bother of having a stroke.

Now how strange is that?

Pondering A Neighbor’s Nutty Behavior

You know how sometimes when you’re walking along a downtown city street and a person, who is nuttier than a fruitcake soaked in rum, starts shouting nonsensical things at you from the other side of the street?

Well, here’s my suburban equivalent of that city experience.

# # #

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 3.28.24 PM

Woman on other side of street pointing at passersby as she shouts for no discernible reason. 

{ Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection 

# # #

I was sitting outside on our deck, mid-afternoon, reading a catalogue, enjoying the mild October weather.

When BAM-BAM-BAM the neighbor woman who lives behind us on the other side of the wooded ravine started clanking metal objects together.  This went on for about a minute.

I was startled, of course, so I looked up from my reading to see what was going on that required this much noise.  I saw nothing out of the ordinary.

So I went back to reading my catalogue.

# # #

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 9.31.23 AM

Me outside my house heading toward the deck to enjoy a bit of fresh air.

{ Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection 

# # #

But that was not the end it.  About a minute after she stopped clanking metal objects together she yelled to no one in particular: “Don’t. Feed. The. Birds.”

Then I heard her stomp into her house and slam shut the sliding patio door, leaving me to ponder what the heck she was talking about and who she thought would hear her.

It also made me realize that I needed to thank my lucky stars that the nuttier-than-a-fruitcake suburban neighbor lives way over there on the other side of the ravine.

Far away from me.  Forsooth.

# # #

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 9.28.19 AM

My nutty neighbor decreeing from afar that which we are to do henceforth.

{ Source: Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection 

# # #

Almost Autumn: This Change Of Season Suits Me

This past Sunday morning was the first day in months where the temperature was below 60ºF and the humidity was low.

Delightful. Refreshing. Clear.

DSCN3534 - Version 2

I was able to drink my first mug of coffee while sitting on the deck all by myself.  Experiencing the stillness of the early morning centered me in a way that makes me feel whole.

Hopeful. Capable. Calm.

DSCN3537

It wasn’t until I looked up into the trees behind our house that I realized how soon it’ll be autumn. And that I wasn’t alone out there on the deck.  Two birds, way up high, were keeping me company.

Cheerful. Balanced. Orange.

DSCN3539

Autumn is about letting go of what used to work and enjoying what is. I’ve found over the years that I can embrace its message because I’m open to new ideas and seem to have an aptitude for adjusting to what is.

Creative. Grateful. Aware.

DSCN3541Meaning that in about another month this tree, next to where the birds were sitting, will be a showy mess of fall color.  And when it is I plan to be engrossed in new projects and a healthier way of life.  Hello Autumn!

Determined. Grounded. Focused.

Project Hummer Is Not Going Well

DSCN2685

– • –

I’m sad to report that my grand plan for turning one corner of our deck into a small hummingbird garden/feeding station is not going well.  It’s not for lack of cuteness, I tell you.

– • –

Here’s what I’ve done.

√  3 pots of annuals: 1 dark red geranium, 1 hot pink calibrachoa, 1 fuchsia portulaca

√  1 sturdy wrought iron shepherd’s hook attached to side of deck

 1 hand-painted hummingbird feeder with red plastic pretend flowers that allow the hummers to drink, but thwart the bees

√  1 32 oz. hummingbird nectar concentrate, chilled in our fridge, then mixed with fresh water using an old Pyrex glass measuring cup to insure proper proportions

– • –

No, it’s not me that’s causing trouble with the hummers.  It is, I’m sad to report, Fuzzy the Squirrel and his partner in crime, Khaki, who are causing Project Hummer to fail.

Apparently the sweet nectar in the pretty feeder is too much for them to pass up, so they’ve found a way to tilt the feeder on its side allowing the sweet nectar to dribble onto the ground below where they can enjoy it at their squirrel-y leisure.

– • –

This means that until I figure out a way to keep Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid of squirrels away from the hummingbird feeder, my grand plan is on hold.  And all those amazing little hummers who live behind our house in the woods will have to feed themselves on the 22 pink or red or peach rose bushes that surround our house.

The little birds will survive, but I won’t get the fun of seeing them drink up each day… all because two sneaky, uncooperative squirrels have found the best nectar bar in town.  Humph.

I’m Twinkling Here, Said The Crow

~ ~ • ~ ~ 

DSCN4067

“Twinkle, twinkle little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.”

~ traditional English lullaby [from a poem by Jane Taylor (1783-1824)]

~ ~ • ~ ~ 

DSCN4070

“Twinkle, twinkle little bat,

How I wonder what you’re at!

Up above the world you fly,

Like a tea-tray in the sky.”

~ Lewis Carroll [or the Mad Hatter, if you will]

~ ~ • ~ ~ 

DSCN4073

“Twinkle, twinkle little crow,

How I wonder what you know!

Up above the deck so high,

Like an ominous evil eye.”

~ Ally Bean [blogger extraordinaire who likes to rhyme]

~ ~ • ~ ~ 

PLEASE NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that the stupid birds in these photos are not crows.  These birds are something called TURKEY VULTURES.  So, with the help of Zen-Den, I have rewritten my verse to accurately reflect this fact.  Here goes:

“Twinkle, twinkle turkey vulture, 

How I wonder what’s your culture.

Up above the deck so high,

Like an ominous evil eye.”