New Friends

The nice thing about writing on my kitchen table, looking out over the top of my screen at our deck and the woods behind the house, is that occasionally I make new friends.

We have deer, lots of them, adults, manly deer with antlers…

..and new ones, not so steady on their spindly legs, that still have their spots. Our deer and I have a great relationship. I let them live in the woods behind our house and, in return, they keep our bushes trim. (If you’re ever in the neighborhood, we’re the house with the bushes that have been eaten down to little nubs.)

There’s a red fox that follows me sometimes when I run, in the dark, early in the morning. (I wonder what he’s thinking.) And there’s a raccoon that comes up on the deck now and then, walks right up to our windows and looks in at us.

Most of all, there are lots of birds who come to visit our bird feeder on a regular basis, and squirrels who eat what they can of the seeds that fall to the deck. Recently these guys have shown up.

No, this isn’t the bird feeder which was the genesis of my blog name. Hummingbirds watch Food TV and like simple syrup, not seeds, so I got them their own feeder. It’s faded, but they still think it’s a flower.

And here’s my Goldfinch. In person, especially in bright sun, he’s electric yellow.

Mrs. Goldfinch showed up a few minutes later…

..but, judging from their body language, I’m not sure how well they’re getting along.

And we have a chipmunk.

If you’re interested, I’ve named him “Adrian,” as in “Adrian ChipMONK,” after the character played by Tony Shalhoub in the award winning series, for the way he (the chipmunk) overcame his fear of the much larger, more aggressive squirrels to compete for deck space.

A couple of baby squirrels have shown up in the past few weeks. (I know, I know. I need to fix that nail, but then I’ve been telling myself that ever since I pried it up last winter when I shoveled the deck so my birds and squirrels could find food.)

The other day, a hawk tried to pick up one of the baby squirrels. He made a run for it, the squirrel did, but wasn’t very fast and hadn’t learned to be as bold and clever as he would be some day. I went out and chased the hawk away, thinking the little squirrel needed help. He was barking, making that noise squirrels sometimes make when they’re upset about something. It seemed like the right thing to do. I figured the hawk would find something else to eat, somewhere else. My little squirrel won’t live forever, but it wasn’t his day to die.

So what, you thought I was kidding about the raccoon?

Now you’re probably thinking I live in the woods, in some rural place, maybe on a reserve where they film Disney movies. Turns out I live in the suburbs, between to major cities, with a traffic, “honk honk, beep beep,” millions of people and more concrete than trees, which probably explains why I enjoy hanging out with my woodsy friends whenever I can. They’re my buds. Sometimes I wonder if they think they’re hanging out with me. …Nah, it’s because I feed them, isn’t it?

-wf

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