Saturday, May 31, 2014

Conflicts of Interest

Outside my studio window, hanging from a tall pole, is a bird feeder, 
with baffles above it to repel squirrels, and a lid that twists to close. 
When the red squirrels found a way to get by the baffles and twist the lid open, 
we added bungee cords to thwart them, and it worked. 

For a while.

What we didn't anticipate was the new crop of acrobatic gray squirrels 
who are still small enough to squeeze their way through the bars and get at the bird's sunflower seeds.
 One of these days, just like Winnie the Pooh, they're going to eat too much to get out. 
They haven't damaged anything yet, and they are so cute 
that I haven't mentioned it to the hunter in the house. 

Mum's the word.

I suppose there will always be small conflicts of interest when sharing space with another species.
  Frogs make use of the flower pots...

..and deer make themselves comfortable nearby, eating the day lilies and roses. 
Though we like to think of them all as our animals near our house, 
they may well think of us as their humans living in their woods.  

After all, their ancestors were on this hilltop long before the house was built.

The creatures are usually content to stay outside, 
but we've had snakes, a hummingbird, lizards, and frogs in the house, and even a chipmunk.

I awoke one morning to see a chipmunk within arm's reach at the side of the bed. I inhaled sharply and for a split second, we froze, starring at each other. When I bravely held my ground, he catapulted across the room and tucked into a the underside of a cabinet. It was impossible to tell how he squeezed in there, let alone get him out. So we waited.

By bedtime, concerned about the chipmunk's welfare, I put a little water in the bottom of the Jucuzzi along with a few sunflower seed sprouts.  The next morning, most of the sprouts were gone, and what remained was a big mess. I should have set out napkins.

It was dinner time the next day before we saw little creature again, dashing across the kitchen floor. We opened all the doors and backed out of sight.  We're pretty sure he made it out, because that was years ago, and he hasn't been seen inside since.

Just to be on the safe side, we've changed all our locks.

Linking with Saturday's Critters