Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I have written this title before.

Why are you putting the dog food in a tree? How would you feel if I put the coffee maker on the roof?

Over the years my dog has had many occasions to puzzle over a variety of my behaviors, from the bafflingly inexplicable to the despicably unfair. From why do I go to all the trouble of carefully picking all the cat poops out of the box when I'm just going to throw them away, to why won't I let him do it and keep them from going to waste? He has always weathered my various transgressions of logic and compassion with grace and patience, but this time I think I might just have snapped his doggy zen clean in two.

I started to notice that neighbours on the end of my block always have a swarm of chickadees on the tree in their front yard. I'm a big fan of birds who have the fortitude to winter up here on the fifty-stupidst latitude, and there aren't many. For all their noise and mess, you really appreciate the sight of a crow or a magpie when it's the only living thing for miles not wearing a parka, and they are pretty much the only things you do see around at this time of year. Them and the chickadees. Now it's one thing for a bird the size of a guinea pig to tough things out, but it's downright awe inspiring when a critter with legs like guitar strings and less meat in it's shell than a pistachio nut hunkers down and takes it like a Canadian. I do so love and admire chickadees.

Geese, on the other hand, are despicable traitors. Don't even talk to me about geese. Enjoy Florida, you cowards. Hope you don't get heat stroke under all that fat you got from eating our grain during the short growing season. Geese are the animal kingdom equivalent of unwelcome relatives who overstay their welcome, drink all the booze, don't clean up after themselves and never offer to chip in for anything.

Okay. I wasn't going to get started on geese, but I did and now I'm done. It's out of my system now, and that's probably for the best.

Long story short, I decided that I wanted chickadees in my yard too. Careful observation led me to conclude that the containers hanging from the tree where they gather likely hold some sort of an attractant, so I took my little theory to an expert. My boyfriend. His qualifications as an expert are extensive: he has a really big yard.

My theory was confirmed. Those little containers hold a substance known as bird food. Fortunately my boyfriend is also an expert in another subject I'm largely ignorant about: grocery shopping. He's been in aisles I've never even heard of. He's purchased pasta products that contain neither macaroni or cheese, soup that takes longer than three minutes to cook and, yes indeed, food that was developed specifically for birds to eat.

It was right by the cat food. I'd bet money that stock clerk put family planning next to the baby food aisle, too. Listening to canned, 80's pop music forty hours a week can turn a mind to very dark thoughts.

It turns out that one of the favourite foods of these tiny, delicate little creatures is suet. I must say when I learned that my admiration for them increased exponentially. Why, they scarcely look able to intimidate a fruit fly, and here it turns out they dine on cattle! I'm not sure how they manage to secure this favourite food stuff in areas that are not equipped with pet food aisles, but if I'm ever near a cliff and see a cloud of them darkening the sky I'm going home.

So my dog and chickadees have something in common. Oh the joy that spread across his little doggy face when I unwrapped the stuff. Oh the spring in his step when we exited the house and took it out into his yard.

Oh the face that will haunt me in my dreams forever when we hung it out of his reach.

It's been out there for two days now, and the chickadees haven't touched it. Might have something to do with the hundred pound carnivore guarding it around the clock, coupled with the fact that there don't happen to be any steep cliffs around this end of the trailer park.

34 comments:

JenJen said...

Okay.
Another minute on the geese?

I was chased down by one. I was scared out of my mind.

Geese. Are. Assholes.

Bernie said...

Thank you for stopping by, I have just read a few of your post and they are really good, your funny!!!! Will be back to read more, stay warm......:-) Hugs

BLOGitse said...

geeses are a big problem in certain area in Finland....they are huge and many...
I like swans...they're beautiful!

Don't give up - maybe other birds like your dinner table :)

dogimo said...

I wonder what geese do for nursery rhymes? We humans go to Mother Goose, maybe they have some kind of weird human figure rhyming their nonsense for them.

Probably involving a lot of words that rhyme with "honk!"

TheFrogBag said...

*falls over laughing*

Ungrateful critters! Still, could be worse. I had a crowned crane take a big hunk of skin out of my finger today. Who knew so many birds liked to dine on flesh?

nick said...

Love your sense of humour! Good luck attracting the chickadees - they probably need a bit of time to decide this new offering is safe. And that they won't get gobbled up by the canine.

We don't bother to feed our birds. Even in the current sub-zero temperatures we expect them to marshal their inner resources and fight for survival. You have to be cruel to be kind, I say.

Keith (Mindless Pursuits) said...

Your posts always give me a smile. :)

As for the chickadees eating, it generally takes a week or two for them to really 'know' that the food is there (if you've just started feeding them), at least from my experience. Hardy little birds!

Hayley Egan said...

I agree with JenJen up there, Geese ARE arseholes... Some species just are, like the shetland pony. They can't help it.

otin said...

So your dog likes bird food and you like birds but hate geese? LOL! That is quite a strange situation!!

secret agent woman said...

Your geese spend time here each spring and fall. I love seeing them.

Many birds appreciate suet in the winter because they need the fat. But really, you can put out a suet block and a feeder with mixed seed and maybe increase the variety of birds who visit. I have found that within a year, the bird population in a yard goe s up drmatically when you suplly food. I think they tell all their friends.

Debbie said...

Our yard is full of birds this time of year. And we love the ones that come to the suet feeders the best!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

Geeses! just a big problem!
You sense of humour is priceless!
Loved your interesting comments on my blog!
It's going to be great to know you!
hugs hugs

Brian Miller said...

lol. i will not be surprise if you come home one day to find it gone from the tree...he's just biding his time as he figures it out...smiles.

f1trey said...

hehehe nice post!

miz_geek said...

Chickadees are great!

Here's a post with some pictures (near the end) of chickadees on a deer carcass. Not something I ever thought I'd see!
http://www.birdchick.com/wp/2009/12/birding-sax-zim-bog/

Fire Byrd said...

My dog is in complete sympathy with your dog. I mean why do I hand out bird seed and bread crumbs and then demand that she comes back in the house. Life is unfair if you're a dog.....
Yeah right! Not true of the one in this house who wants the birdseed.
Pigeons are the pits round here. Geese just fly overhead squawking!
xx

Picture Imperfect said...

"Take it like a Canadian"...

HAHAHAHA!!! This line is awesome, I love it.

Geese are ingrates aren't they? Little bastards. All they do is eat, shit, and go south for the winter.

I should be so lucky.

Crystal said...

lol. Great post. :)

Where the Fur Flies said...

I'm still a fan of geese, but I don't live near anywhere that the congregate.

Also, I've been trying to attract birds to my yard for a few years. I planted trees with berries, I planted sunflowers, and I left out bird feeders with bird food. So far, I'm getting no birdie love either. My next step is to try out the suet.

The Blonde Duck said...

I just like the word chickadee.

Megan said...

I was giggling like mad until I read the word "pigeon." Those things are evil. EVIL.

Eva Gallant said...

Oh, that was too funny! Love it!

UberGrumpy said...

Your boyfriend is a grocery shopping expert?

I think that's taking the whole 'new man' thing a bit far

linlah said...

Oooh la la...hunkers down and takes it like a Canadian, I too love the chickadees.

♥ Braja said...

Dogs are like that.

Janie B said...

Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I love visitors and hope you will come back to follow. I am enjoying your blog...very funny. I also love chickadees (and other birds). I have several bird feeders and houses in my backyard. It may take them a while to find your suet, but when they do, they'll keep coming back. Good luck!

kys said...

Geese are douche canoes (one word or two? Can't decide.)

I do home health and one of my families had a big farm. Including geese that roamed the yard depositing their nasty poo everywhere. They would come up to my car - surround it actually - and honk and hiss at me. It was like a hillbilly version of Cujoe.

blognut said...

Geese suck and, frankly, they serve no purpose that I can find.

And I love your dog. :)

@eloh said...

So here is what ya need to do...

STEP #1. Go buy a small bag of loose bird seed.

STEP #2. Fill your pockets with the bird seed.

STEP#3. Stroll on over to the neighbours who are hogging all the birds. All the while leaving a trail of bird seed leading to your house.

STEP#4. If the neighbours get wise and confront you... tell them you have always dreamt of being Cinderella and now that has happened to be happy for you and stop harshing up you life.

lifeissweet16 said...

Aw! Poor puppy.

My cats were never so excited as when the baby bird just learning to fly alighted on the windowsill they the cats have access to. (This access, of course, if through a layer of glass and screen.)

lifeissweet16 said...

Oh, and you're welcome to take your geese back! They scare me.

BLOGitse said...

THANK YOU!
for supporting me in my struggle for achieving justice for my rights to my pictures. RESPECT!

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I had no idea geese were such despised creatures. Where I live, I only hear the distant honking as they migrate in one direction or the other. Thank you for writing so well and so funny - you really help make my day! If I were the type to give out awards, you'd get one - no wait! Two. You'd get two.

Jazz said...

I'm always in awe of the chickadees too. I'll never understand how they don't just drop frozen from the branches. They love peanuts (shelled, in one of those metal silos with holes in it) and black sunflower seeds.

And watching them empty a feeder in a day, you gotta wonder which idiot coined the phrase eating like a bird - they seem to eat twice their weight every day.

About Me

My photo
Alberta, Canada
Quality blog entertainments delivered in a convenient, electronic format, and widely read by the sexiest, most intelligent, and wittiest people on the internet - all of whom practice exemplary personal hygiene.