Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Wednesday Vignette: The value of persistence

When I moved the bird feeders in my garden after two dead trees were taken down, it took only a short while before the birds became comfortable with the new location and came back.  It took only slightly longer for the squirrels to return.

The seeds are so close, yet so far

That feeder looks just a smidge closer

He makes a grab for it but his weight on the side supports pulls the seed prtals closed

Pulling it closer doesn't help

Defeated, he gave up - for awhile

Since that first sighting from my office window earlier this month, Mr Squirrel has perfected his seed-stealing technique once again and now hangs upside down from the upper portion of the two side feeders without applying any weight or pressure on the supports used by the birds, which would close the seed portals.  He feeds comfortably, at least until he gets dizzy or loses his grip.  He hasn't figured out how to get into the large feeder in the center, though, at least that I've seen.

There's no beating a persistent, hungry squirrel.  Speaking of persistence, my husband finally acquiesced to my "suggestion" that we buy a Ginkgko tree to plant in the area formerly occupied by the dead mimosa tree.  We don't have it yet as the local garden center won't get these deciduous trees in again until they begin to leaf out but I plan to place my order sometime in January.  Meanwhile, I have to content myself by imagining my new tree.

It helps that the neighbor directly across the street has a few of them

I hope you're being persistent with your safety precautions through this holiday season.  Best wishes for a pleasant, if subdued, Christmas.

For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

36 comments:

  1. Looks like you have the same time of feeders that we have. The squirrel was so upset when we first put them up that he or she was literally hurling him or herself at the windows, and even the door. lol I put a small dish of food out for the squirrel but once Dexter took up residence on the front porch the squirrels stopped coming around. I'm sorry to hear that your squirrel has figured out a way around the closing portals. I swear they can figure out anything. Do you have a baffle on your feeder pole?

    The JC Raulston Arboretum had a "Chi Chi" gingko that was magnificent in autumn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have a baffle on either of my two feeder poles and should probably add them, although nothing seems to stop a determined squirrel indefinitely.

      Delete
  2. Squirrels are so darn smart! I'll never forget when I was in Floriday visiting family watching one sit on a big Live Oak limb and peel an orange so he could eat it. Merry Christmas to you, too, Kris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our squirrels steal oranges too, Barbara. I have a photo somewhere of one sitting in the nearby ornamental pear tree eating an orange. I also have a photo of one poking his head through the side of a pumpkin he'd tunneled through - it was terribly cute, if annoying at the same time.

      Delete
  3. How wonderful to be able to enjoy those golden leaves. There is a small tree at Kirstenbosch in their fossil garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to know that the gingkos are thriving in a garden so close to ours, Diana, as it bodes well for success in our future.

      Delete
  4. Squirrels can we so persistent, much to our chagrin!
    I love gingko trees, unique and their fall color seems lit from within. Good choice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a little frustrated that I have to wait awhile yet to get the tree but at least I won the commitment!

      Delete
  5. What a view that pesky squirrel has! I find it quite cute, but then I don’t have to contend with animals like that, only a few neighbourhood cats, which are infuriating in their desire to use my garden for their own needs.
    Congratulations on the ginkgo success. I’m sure it will give both you and your husband a great deal of pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a LOT of troublesome critters here, Jane - squirrels, opossums, gophers, rabbits, raccoons, skunks and coyotes! I keep my own cat inside as coyotes will snap a cat up in a second but there's a savvy neighborhood cat who visits regularly, yet manages to avoid the coyotes.

      Delete
  6. I love Ginkos but they grow very slowly.Very slowly- Be prepared for that. If I was going to plant one at my 'level of maturity' I would splurge on the biggest I could find such as a 24" box and hire someone to plant it.
    Those damn squirrels ! I use a platform feeder and usually only put seed in it when I am around to chase the little buggers away. I only put in about a cup at a time and the birds usually finish them off before Mr.Squirrel shows up. Then I leave it empty for a couple
    days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I've read that about ginkgos, Kathy, and I'm planning to get the biggest specimen I can find to start. At least it probably won't hit its mature peak while I'm alive, saving me from another of those frustrating "view conservation" debates.

      Delete
  7. Yes, squirrels are entertaining, aren't they? I noticed that some of the other folks mention using a baffle, which is what we do. There are effective baffles and not so effective baffles, and the placement can make a huge difference. We seem to have found a good baffle and placement, and the squirrels can't get to the feeders. It probably helps that they have plenty of acorns and hickory nuts in the backyard. A Ginkgo! Now that's exciting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My squirrels have been harvesting unripe guavas and trying to bury them around the garden :( I need to look into baffles but still I expect they'll find a way around those too.

      Delete
  8. Oooh, nice! Ginkos are such fabulous trees! Squirrels are pretty amazing, aren't they? My stepdad who is an avid bird feeder/watcher, lamented that he wished his gradstudents were even a fraction as persistent as the darn squirrels. Made me laugh, so now I think of that every time I see acrobatic rodents dangling from feeders they are trying to exploit. Who knows, maybe your squirrel will put on an extra Christmas show, just for you and dear hubs? Merry Christmas, Kris!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merry christmas to you too, Anna! Squirrels are indeed very focused. The one that "owns" the feeder pole outside my office window seems to have collaborated with the birds to empty the 2 side feeders in record time. Luckily for the birds, the central feeder is still two-thirds full but another trip to pickup seeds may be required in the near future.

      Delete
  9. Ginkos are fabulous for buttercup yellow autumn leaves. I would laugh more at our squirrels' antics if they wouldn't steal all my walnuts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "My" squirrels are welcome to all the guavas they can eat but I do wish they wouldn't try burying the unripe fruits all over the garden. It's bad enough that a good portion of my bird seed goes to fill their bellies.

      Delete
  10. Squirrels certainly a nuisance. Living on a street lined with 75 year old oak trees, we have an abundance of them. I stopped fighting with them a long time ago. They monopolize my main feeder, but throw enough food on the ground for the birds to eat happily beneath. My main problem with squirrels is that they are the ones consuming most of the food, thus it doesn't last very long. I go through about 300# of bird food from Thanksgiving through March. You are most lucky that your wildlife probably has year round sources of food, especially with your beautiful and vast variety of plants.
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Kris and a healthy new year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 300 pounds of bird seed! I'd be upset too, Cindy. You're right that we're lucky to have other sources of food for birds - and squirrels - year round.

      Merry Christmas to you!

      Delete
  11. Squirrels never give up. They just go away and think of devious ways to annoy you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so true, Lisa! Years ago, I bought a book entitled 'Outwitting Squirrels'. The author's final conclusion was that you can't, at least not for long.

      Delete
  12. Make sure you don't get a female Ginkgo, tho I'm guessing the trade probably doesn't off them. The fruit can be really messy and smells awful. But the seeds inside are actually a delicacy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks shycat. Yes, I've been duly warned about purchasing a female tree.

      Delete
  13. Those squirrels are hilarious! It's fun to watch their acrobatics and I think you get your money's worth. Happy dreams of Ginkgo, and Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Well that just goes to show that squirrels are just the same the world over 😂 Wishing you a peaceful and joyous Christmas Kris! 🎄

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Canny thievery must be built into squirrel DNA, Anna! Best wishes for a happy Christmas to you as well!

      Delete
  15. I saw a squirrel preventer that seemed to work--it was a dome on the pole below the feeder. Squirrels cannot get past that. The pole must be away from trees/shrubs far enough that the squirrel cannot jump from a nearby shrub to the seeds above the dome. Here we cannot have seed feeders because rats. Can't say I want to feed squirrels, either.

    Ginkgos are magnificent, but they get really big--will end up topped in your neighborhood unfortunately. Huge old one a the Huntington we always like to go admire.

    There are a couple in the neighborhood, so glorious in their gold fall color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Ginkgos get really big given sufficient time but they're also notoriously slow-growing. In the 10 years we've lived here, the 3 across the street have grown by inches, not feet. I figure that, by the time the tree gets anywhere near its mature height, I'll be long gone - and maybe that stupid view conservation ordinance will also be a thing of the past as well.

      Delete
  16. I love watching the squirrels in the garden. They always seem to work it out!

    ReplyDelete
  17. LOL-- this made me giggle. My dog would go nuts if he saw a squirrel playing with the bird feeders. This was so cool to see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A dog would help a lot in keeping squirrels away no doubt, Angie!

      Delete
  18. What a smart squirrel. It's fun watching them. The new tree looks great, nice to see how it grows before getting one. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More importantly, Anca, seeing it up close helped convince my husband that buying one of our own would be fine!

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!