Word is out that this is the place to come if you are an animal in need of a meal.
I’m impatiently waiting for Diesel to come out of his den. I miss my little buddy. The recent blizzard not only confused the birds who had migrated back early but also frustrated me. I was rather enjoying being able to see the grass again after months of only seeing snow. And from the looks of the upcoming weather forecast, Diesel will probably be sleeping a bit longer. Wise chipmunk. Sad me.
I found a large plastic bin of peanuts in the garage the other week. This posed a problem. I hadn’t filled said bin with peanuts. One of my furry friends went through a lot of effort to chew a hole through the sturdy plastic jug that had contained the peanuts and proceeded to move them three feet to this bin. Not the brightest bulb in the box.
I moved the bin to the back deck, near the bird feeder, with the intention of taking the animal’s cache and putting it in the feeder, and promptly forgot about it.
My parents were over the other day. “Meli,” my mom asked, looking quizzically at the box. “What’s in the bin?”
The color of my face gave me away instantly. I sheepishly mutter, “peanuts.”
They are well aware they’ve raised a daughter who scarily resembles Elmyra from Animaniacs.
I proceeded to forget about the bin once again until the following morning, distracted by yet another crazy storm rolling through the valley. The river had flooded overnight and the rain was still coming down. I was at my computer when I heard an undeniable thwack! thwack! thwack!
OOPS. I knew right away what that sound was. Something was going after the peanuts.
Sure enough, a not-so-bright gray squirrel was standing on the lid, flipping it up with his teeth and then letting it slam shut, completely unaware of how gravity works.
The bin had about two inches of water in it already from the storm, and I could see peanuts floating around inside.
And then I saw two little paws press against the milky plastic from inside the bin.
I know it makes absolutely no sense to have mouse traps in the cabin, yet go out in the pouring rain to save a water-logged mouse from drowning. But I did it without thinking. I am a caretaker of this cabin and the grounds. That means helping out the mouse that was only in trouble in the first place because of my forgetfulness and my unhealthy obsession with feeding the wildlife.
Whether the squirrel was trying to get to the nuts or rescue a fellow rodent, I’ll never know. I like to think it was the latter.
In honor of the first day of spring, I converted a “fairy house” that I made last year out of scrap wood into a triple decker bird feeder treehouse, complete with a suet holder, peanut tray, and swing. (Still waiting for a bird to test out the swing.) Three different species of woodpeckers have already been regular visitors, grabbing hold of the log frame while taking a snack. All sorts of birds are loving it. So am I.
Each one of a kind “Treehouse Bird Feeder” comes with a suet holder and one suet cake.
Happy Spring! Don’t forget to stand your eggs on your counter today. Yes, this really is a thing.