Fair Weather Friend

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Fair Weather Friend

Smarty Pants, Smarty Pants, where does he keep?
He hunkers right down with his friends for some sleep.

Smarty Pants, Smarty Pants, with the sun as his guide,
Arrives on my deck for some peanuts to hide.

But now who’s the Smarty Pants, my fuzzy friend?
I’ve tossed out the shelled ones to eat, not up-end.

Smarty Pants, Smarty Pants, comes and he goes;
Today he’s got frost on his whiskers and toes.

He knows me by sight, and will not run away.
Smarty Pants warms up a bright winter day.

junco junkie ©2017

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.

Newcomers

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It’s been an interesting few days in the winter garden. We’ve had some respite from the falling snow, and even  some lovely sunshine which made the snow sparkle and put a smile on my face.

Over the weekend we picked up some fresh finch food and a bag of pre-shelled sunflower and peanut mix. I had to dig a tunnel with my little red shovel to reach the hanging feeder (see “Snow on Snow” for image). It was partially filled with as yet untouched black oil sunflower seed. I dumped this out onto the icy birdbath that sits in the middle of my deck. The red feeder is now holding about 2 cups of the new mix, but nobody has shown any interest.

Conversely, the black oil seed on the birdbath has been a big hit. So much is this the case, that we now have some new regulars who have been giving the juncos a bit of competition. Mind you, the juncos know how to handle them. In fact, they’re not even that gracious with their own when it comes to getting food down their tiny gullets. It’s a bit like a bumper-car ride out there most of the time. They collide with each other in an effort to get the choice seeds and within seconds the bumped one hops back into the fray! The newcomers, who are a pair of lively little chipping sparrows, do not seem too disconcerted by this. Rather, they have adapted to the game almost instantly, often winning out.

Never a dull moment on deck!