Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Drinking Horn of Thor

We have two good-sized trees in our small backyard. Under one of those trees, two bird feeders hang from a hooked metal pole. One feeder is stocked with the usual mix of small wild bird seed and the other with sunflower seed. We host finches, nut-hatches, robins, an occasional bullying jay. In branches overhead, a pair of gray squirrels has built a nest and taken up residence.

It's a good suburban life for a squirrel. Oh, there are a few neighborhood cats but they're fat and stupid, and if you've got eyes on both sides of your head and are paying the slightest attention, they're not much of a threat. We awaken to the sounds of squirrels scampering across our roof, making heedless leaps from roof to tree, and spiralling down one trunk and up the other with abandon.

And there ... not quite close enough to tree or fence to chance the leap, not quite low enough to reach from the ground, hanging from a slippery metal pole that takes all your finger and toe strength merely to climb ... juuuuussst within touching distance of one tiny claw if you stretch as far as you can ... is the bottomless buffet. Nirvana.

I'll be traveling on business for a week and doubt I'll have a chance to post. Take care, and don't forget to check back.


D.D.Degg said...

Okay, now you've done it Brian.
I'm going to have to insist on you
including a life drawing on every one
of your posts.
I have enjoyed your self-caricatures
and background art from Mom's Cancer,
but that squirrel is wonderful and
I'm going to need more.

ronnie said...

What D.D. said. I especially loved it because we have a grey squirrel who has been with us for years and who pulls almost exactly the same stunt to get to our bird feeder - except he has to do it hanging upside down by his back paws. I'll try to get a photo of this for you - it's quite a sight.

He's also wrecked a large number of bird feeders by knocking them down and breaking off the perches or breaking the feeders themselves while doing this. So this spring, while shopping to replace the latest one, I said to Husband, "This year I'll show him. I'm going to buy a squirrel feeder so he'll leave the bird feeder alone!"

Husband said, "So you win, huh?"

I said, "Yeah! Showed him."

I don't have the time to post comments nearly often enough, Brian, but please know how much I love and appreciate this blog.


BrianFies said...

Thanks, guys. It means a lot to have you checking in. I drew the squirrel with a brush pen, which is a tool I'm still trying to learn my way around. I'm starting to find it very frustrating, which I think means I'm getting somewhere.

Ronnie, I think my wife and I have had the same conversation, although I haven't bought a dedicated squirrel feeder yet. I'm happy to let them eat all the "bird" sunflower seeds they want. They need the exercise and I can always use the amusement.