We have been battling the bushy tailed beasties over my birdfeeders and flower pots over the last year, recently to the point of building and installing a feeding trough on the deck just for them. Yes, they can be a frustration, but they are very entertaining and give the dogs and the cat some fun as well. It seemed that since the trough went up we had settled into a regular routine. I fill the trough in the morning and sit with my cup of tea and watch and as a wave of squirrels starts rolling toward my deck across the tree tops. Though some are terribly mean and refuse to share with their fellows (which warrants a visit from a border collie), most share nicely and they have been good about leaving my pots and birdfeeders alone. Until two days ago…
I went out to the deck to slop the trough and low and behold my full “last night” birdfeeders were emptied and my hanging strawberry had been stripped of ripe fruit. Grrrr. I figured I had a rogue and that Rob and I would need to teach this rake some manners. The regular crew came for breakfast and I didn’t think anymore about it.
The next morning I got up earlier than normal and walked through the kitchen looking out the door to the deck without turning on a light. There on the railing was a masked bandit helping himself to great paw-fulls of bird seed. He then proceeded to the birdbath to wash his breakfast before eating it. The rogue had been caught in the act. Rob sat watching in utter fascination at this new creature come to HIS deck. Setting Rob on squirrels is one thing, having him tangle with a 30lb raccoon just doesn’t seem like a good idea, so needless to say Rob was not given the chance to try herding coons. By the time I got my camera, the thief had shimmied down the post of the deck and went on his way.
Okay, things are getting crazy now that I am feeding the entire wild population of critters in our little neck of the woods. The squirrel trough is now emptied at dark and the birdfeeders are brought into the house for the night. Hopefully, this will cause the bandit to go elsewhere for his midnight snack raids. Oh gosh, I hope he doesn’t decide to go fishing in my pond!!!
Summer is coming on fast here. We have been pushing toward the 90’s all week. Expecting severe storms tonight with wind and hail. Hope things don’t get too bad.
Finally beat the squirrels to some of the ripe strawberries; they were few but very yummy. The squirrel trough is working wonders and they haven’t been in my pots all week!! Of course I had to make a run to Wally World for more seed. But that’s okay. (posted a photo in my profile of the trough)
My best friend and two of the three Calif kids are coming for July 4th week!! Our younger daughter can’t make it because of summer college classes. (boohoo) I am so excited and have begun planning for the week. When I planted the petunia bed I was hoping they would be coming so I put in white, blue, red, red & white and blue & white petunias. I am still the crazy holiday decorator and the kids will get a kick out of it. I have been picking up little things here and there to decorate with also. Flags and buntings and patriotic garden stakes. I am going to replant the pots and baskets on the deck with red, white and blue this weekend so that they are well established for the party. I can’t wait to see my friend and the kiddos!!
The decks still are not restained! Every time we go to start on them it rains again. At this rate they will never get done. Got them cleaned and sanded but can’t stain until they are completely dry for a day at least. I am ready to give up and just paint away.
We took the black and white brigade for a long walk last night. Old Buddy is noticeably slowing down and that kind of worries me. He is a dear old soul and I knew at his age taking him into our pack would not be forever. At least he is loved and comfortable and will enjoy what is left of his life. Think we will go for a check up just to make sure he is doing okay. As long as he let’s me know life is still worth living we will let him enjoy what is left of it. (You can read Buddy’s story under my profile.)
The veggie garden grows and grows. I have one mater starting to blush! I can almost taste them as I check the plants for more fruit. I know it sounds crazy but I love the smell of tomato plants!! Lots of squash blooms and noticed a few cuke blooms last night. Got the rest of my bean starts out last night when I got home. Noticed that one bell pepper plants dropped three peppers. The whole stem of the peppers were yellowed and laying at the base of the plant. I am hoping it is only the result of the pounding rain we had and not something else. The banana peppers are all doing well though. Next year definitely calls for a larger veggie garden, that is all there is to it.
Harrison paid a visit this morning. He roosted on the tomato trellis and sat watching over my garden. I thanked him and wished him a good day before I left for the office. Couldn’t ask for a better scare crow or squirrel patrol than a red shouldered hawk!
The battles with the bushy tailed beasties over my bird feeders and potted herbs on the deck continued until this weekend. I had been putting feed and bird seed on the railing for them to try and deter the ravages to my herb pots. The mess they made with the seed shells on the deck was driving hubby bonkers. While I was out in the garden he went to work on a solution to our problem.
He built them a squirrel trough! It’s a six foot by six inch platform with a 1 inch rail all the way around. The whole contraption is hinged so that it can be dumped out for cleaning and has a guard chain so it doesn’t flop all the way down. The trough sits on long shelf brackets on the outside of the deck railing so any shells fall down to the ground. There is a steep slope down to the lake on that side of the house so no harm cleaning it out there. It works great!! I can fill it with enough feed and seeds to keep them happy all day and out of my pots!! The jays love it because they are too big for my bird feeders and the titmice love it because they can pick all the peanuts out of the seed. Everyone is happy, especially Hubby who doesn’t have to go blow the shells off the deck everyday.
Gave the maters a feed yesterday. I was up to 53 tomatoes but there are too many to count now. I love it!! Yummy! Squashes have blooms all over and the cukes are trying there best to start too. Pulled out the last of the lettuce and spinach, it was pretty much done and our last pounding rain did them no favors. Peppers are starting to get a little bigger. Now that we have sun and warm maybe they will think about growing, you can see the little peppers on the plants, they just haven’t done much with all the rain we have had. Going to put in more beans where the lettuce and spinach was, I have some starts that I will put out this weekend.
Got all the containers watered last night because we are up in the 90’s today. Thank goodness it is not humid yet. My daylilies I put in a couple of weeks ago now are doing wonderful; one that was about a three fan size is thinking about blooming, it is called “Go Figure”. The others are all late bloomers. I have a Masquerade Ball daylily that is getting ready to bloom, I put it in right before the freeze and it made it. All three elephant ears are up at the back of the pond. The leafs are huge and it really filled in that side in front of the garage. The new willow that took the place of the Japanese maple we lost is doing great. Lot’s of new stems and foliage.
And best of all my dinner plate dahlias are all about to bloom!!! I have had to stake a few of them they were getting so tall. But soon they will all be flowering. I will take some photos as soon as they do. The sunflowers have all bloomed. I think I will plant some more of those on the hill side just for the birds. They really are pretty.
The shade bed has really filled in. I was watering a container near there last night and notice this fungus growing on the mulch. Looked kinda yellowish and spongy. I gave is a squirt of the hose and the whole thing exploded in a big brown cloud!! So great, I can just imagine the whole shade bed is going to be covered with this fungus from all the spores I released by hosing the thing down. So how do I get rid of that????