My feeders are a pretty popular spot with the locals:
The regulars include a flock of mourning doves and one of chickadees; one Pileated Woodpecker (known as Alan) that perches on the exact same rung on the right feeder every time; another woodpecker (Charlie) that's fond of Nat Nast bowling shirts and hookers; and a male cardinal (below) and his mate:
I know the cardinals are an item because I caught them nesting in one of my shrubs this past spring. For the record, they don't practice birth control. Or restraint. Go Big Red!
Ever use a product that claims to repel squirrels? Better yet, ever use one that worked? I think the last "repellent" I dowsed the feeder and seed with was actually a mislabeled MSG for the ravenous Eastern Gray tree rodent. It also caught the fancy of our wonder mutt, Murphy.
I'll spare you the photo of dog-poop shaped birdseed. But, for the record, the squirrels ate that crap, too.
It's pleasant to occasionally turn to my left, away from the online records of my dwindling IRA and the regular e-mail correspondence from my two biggest spammers (Jay Markoff, president of MasterpieceBanner.com, and Groton Benton, seller of contact information for America's gynecologists), and unwind with the antics of my feathered friends and even those furry bastards.
Except for about once a month when I'm alarmed by a heart-deadening thump upon my sliding glass doors.
Upon hearing this, I'll get up, look out and -- sure enough -- slumped upon my deck like a pouting Citibank executive whose just been told bailout funds won't pay for his luxury retreat in Tahoe, will be a bird that flew smack into my sliding glass door.
Sometimes the poor things die on impact. Sometimes they die of fright after Murphy gives them a French kiss and presents them to me like they were a free bouquet from ProFlowers.com (hurry -- the contest ends Friday). Once in a while, they're just stunned and need a few minutes to get reoriented. That's when I get out the box:
This is Zeppo, my first rescue of the winter. He was lying on his side, eyes wide open, breast pumping hard for air. I scooped him up, righted him and held the dog at bay so he could fix his horizontal hold.
After about 10 minutes, he was still breathing, just not moving. I started combing my Rolodex for the number of my vet.
Unable to find my vet's number, which is good because I've paid the man enough to nip, tuck and de-giardia Murphy in the last two years anyway, I went out and shook Zeppo's box a bit to try to jumpstart him.
Sure enough, he hopped out, right onto my threshold. Then he sputtered a little further along:
Here's your closeup, Zeppo buddy:
Maybe I missed my calling in the veterinary sciences? Anyway, hurray for Zeppo and good lu-...
Wait, what's this? Right on my cedar planks.
Frickin' little turd!
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