We have one bird feeder. Just one that I fill with hulled sunflower seeds because they do not leave a mess. Out here, we don’t get much in the way of junk birds. Very few starlings, no pigeons. We do have chickadees, juncos, bluejays, cardinals, Carolina wrens, titmice, robins, mourning doves, catbirds, various sparrows, and the red-tailed hawk that hunts the feeder. The largest seed consumer is not any of those birds however. It is the half-dozen squirrels that populate our yard. Squirrels are singularly clever and rarely daunted. I am not sure why the squirrel is not treated with more respect. BEcause they are the McGuyver of the animal kingdom. No matter where I put the feeder, they figure out a way to get to it. Hanging on sideways, upside down and sometimes by two little paws, they push their way into the small holes that grant access to the seeds. I decided to test their agility and cunning. I sprayed the feeder pole and the feeder with PAM cooking spray and waited. Matt got to see the hilarious moment when the squirrel tried to shimmy up the feeder pole only to slide down with a perplexed look of “what the…?” They soon figured out to avoid the pole. The feeder is about two feet from a high brick wall that anchors one end of our patio. It is probably about eight feet high. The next plan of attack was to jump from the wall onto the top of the feeder. But I had sprayed that with PAM too. The first few times any of them tried, they slipped off. Now the squirrel cleverness begins. The feeder is decorated with metal leaves that are not attached to but pressed against the sides of the feeder. One wily squirrel grabbed a leaf and pulled it out for something to latch on to. And it worked. With his little paws grasping the leaves, he turned himself sideways and dug in. The fact that they were slippery did not seem to matter because he was able to wrap his paw around the leaf, his claws clipped around the metal. When things like that happen, you just have to give them their due.
Dinner: Lidia’s pork chops in caper sauce with potatoes and broccoli rabe.