2001-01-03
Dear Diary:

If ignorance is bliss, then for about 24 hours Paul and I achieved nirvana.

Yep, for about a day the spousal unit and I thought our cunning plan to move our birdfeeders out from nearby trees and into an open section of our yard would be enough to keep the gray squirrels out of the feeders.

Sure, the squirrels were nosing around the general area, but they didn't seem to be able to get at the feeders themselves. We began to strut around, confident our opening salvo had won us the Great Gray Squirrel War of 2001.

Little did we know the squirrels were merely toying with us, eh.

He was a squirrel on a mission and he would not be thwarted, eh. News of the early morning feeder assault came to us from our cat, Zubby, dubbed General Zubby for his crucial contribution to the campaign so far, having sent one gray squirrel to the big nut tree in the sky.

General Zubby was sitting in his perch in the kitchen window watching the bird action at the feeders when he began to make frantic sounds. We looked out the window and saw the daring commando making his move on the feeder.

You can imagine our distress, eh.

You might think it could not get worse.

Oh, but you would be so wrong.

Because as we watched the feeders, to our horror we discovered we have a fifth column in our midst.

The plan here was to keep the squirrels out of the feeder so there would be something for the birds. If you look closely at this picture, you'll see there's a blue jay sitting in the feeder. He is shovelling mass quantities of bird seed out of the feeder on to the ground to the waiting squirrels below. I mean, LOOK AT THE FREAKIN' SNOW UNDER HIM, IT IS A MASS OF SUNFLOWER SEEDS!

The idea here was to put up BIRD feeders to feed BIRDS. The idea was NOT to put up BIRD feeders so the freakin' BIRDS could feed the freakin' SQUIRRELS, thankyouverymuch.

With friends like this jay, who needs enemies? Frankly, neither Paul nor I can figure out why the squirrels bother to take the death defying leap from a nearby snowbank to reach the top of the squirrel guard and then climb up to the feeders.

Heck, the jay is perfectly willing to empty the feeder's contents down on to the ground for the squirrel's convenience.

Oh, and I don't know about you, but it looks to me as if the squirrels in this picture are doing some sort of ceremonial dance, and the one in the front looks as if he is praying. You don't think my gray squirrels worship blue jays, do you? Have I stumbled upon some animal version of the cargo cult?

Hrm. There is much to ponder here.

I think we can all agree that a lesser man would succumb to despair in the face of this kind enemy.

I'd be fibbing if I didn't admit that the commando attack, coupled with a betrayal by a trusted ally, has left my spousal unit bloodied. However, he remains unbowed.

Paul is mulling over alternative plans, including raising the squirrel guard to greater heights, or perhaps even dropping it. The pole may be too long and slippery for the squirrels to climb. Without the guard as a staging zone, they may not be able to get to the feeders.

Yes, there will be more cunning plans.

To paraphrase John Paul Jones, my spousal unit has not yet begun to fight.

--Marn

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2000, 2001, 2002 Marn. This is me, dagnabbit. You be you.