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Monday, June 30, 2014

Weather Forecast and Birds

We've been having some dry weather since Christmas, and that's unusual.  This is the time of year somebody in the sky turns on the sprinkler system and forgets to turn it off.

Rain mixed with snow is forecast for most of the week.  This morning I thought about what happens when we have this kind of forecast.  Immediately Bob says "I've got to get gas for the car."  Why?  Knowing him, the tank is at least half full.  Besides that, where are we going?  These are the kind of days people like us need to stay inside.

While he was out getting gas he was going to go by the grocery store and pick up some things we might need, and lay in a supply of chili from Wendy's.

At 7:30 a.m. it was still dark outside.  Now it is very gray and overcast.  This adds to the angst.

I don't expect to get much snow but I do expect it to rain most of this week, the rest of the month, as well as February, March, April, May, and part of June.

It's this kind of weather that makes me long to feed the birds.  I can't imagine a bird starving here but I want to feed them for my enjoyment on winter days.  I've never been able to come up with a solution.  There just isn't a good place to put up a feeder here, but yesterday I came up with something I hope will work.

I never tire of the moss that grows here.  You can see the edge of the patio that was a lot greener before I swept it.  Off the patio is some pretty little moss.  Makes me smile.

I put out a flag to let the birds know I was open for business.

Then I went to the store and bought these hangers and the small feeders.  Note the feeders do not have a lot of seed in them.  There's a reason for that.  It's almost impossible to keep seed dry here during the winter.  My chair is just inside the door so I figure I can put out small amounts and add more as needed.  It's easy for wet seed to mold and clog the holes.

No, I'm not crazy.  That is a hummingbird feeder.  There's one breed that lives here in the Willamette Valley the year around.  Occasionally we've put out a feeder and I do remember going out every few minutes to wipe the snow off so the hummingbirds could get to it.

(Bob just called me to the window and we have a hummingbird at the feeder.  That didn't take long.)

I am under no illusion this arrangement will keep the seed dry.  My best hope is that it will help since they're hanging under a covered patio.

And I put out a source of water.

So far the hummingbird is the only customer we've had but the feeders went up late yesterday afternoon. 

Now about that nice plump gray squirrel that crosses my patio multiple times a day.  When I went to the store I contemplated getting a squirrel feeder and putting an ear of corn on it but my experience has been that they will rip the corn cob off and take the whole thing, feeder and all if necessary.

I did buy a small bag of squirrel food and will put a handful out everyday.  I'll explain to him the system of sharing, he gets his and the birds get theirs.  I'm sure he won't want to make me unhappy.


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