Smarty Pants

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Some time in early December, or even late November, the riot of bluejays we had coming to the yard nearly every day just stopped. So too, the trio of squirrels who were ferreting away the peanuts in the shell that I was tossing out every morning. It may be that the jays got tired of competing with the squirrels, or it may be that someone else had better food on offer at the time. Who knows? I was dismayed to lose the jays, but also felt the absence of those darn squirrels keenly.

I decided to put out the coil peanut-feeder. I filled it about halfway and hung it on the hook on my fence. I was expecting that the jays might be the ones to return, but no! It was our dark-haired friend, “Smarty Pants”.

I am one to give names to most of the creatures I see in my yard. That is not to say that I actually anthropomorphize them, I just like to be able to talk about them and distinguish who is who.

Smarty Pants came by his name because he was always the first one on the scene when peanuts were made available. “Paddy” and “Bingo” were just a bit slower off the mark and Smarty Pants was always up for a challenge too. He wouldn’t let a skinny wrought-iron pole deter him for having a go at a feeder, even if he did just slide down it like a fire-fighter.

So it was not a big surprise that he was the one to reappear the other day. We were delighted to witness his acrobatics from fence-top to feeder and watch his tail all a-twitch when he secured his edible goodies. Just look at those leg muscles! He is a top entertainer!

It’s been rather snowy of late, and SP hasn’t shown up today. I have the coil-feeder loaded up and hanging from the chokecherry. Perhaps he’s sitting out the inclement weather and will pop round again when it improves.

In the meantime, I have peaceful “Puff’n’Stuff” the dove, to keep me company.

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The Calm After The Storm

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The Junco Bunker

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Weather-wise, yesterday was a brutal day. Winds were high, snow was blowing, but my junco buddies were undaunted. These tough little birds just kept coming back, to dig furiously with their little back feet until the snow gave way beneath them to reveal the tiny specks of seed.

I donned my parka, hat, scarf, gloves and winter boots, to slip out the sliding doors with my cup of bird-food, not once, but three times. I had shoveled the deck as much as I could first thing in the morning, but the storm forced me to keep clearing space for the juncos, so they could land and dig.

Today, I cleared the deck at 7:00 a.m. The whole time, I could hear the peeps from a neighbour’s tree where a bundle of them were patiently waiting for me to finish.  As soon as I grabbed my shovel and went back inside, six or seven of them landed in the bare willows off the deck and began to alight on the snow to feed.

The sun has been out sporadically today which has been a delight and my friends have been coming and going on and off.  I am gratified.