After I fixed the bear damaged bird feeder, I filled it with a mixed bird seed. My intent is to feed the birds. The feeder sits empty all summer. I typically don’t reload until I think yogi is in for his long winter nap. The bears, when they wander through my yard with their super sniffers probe, then with more power than I can imagine, snap off the feeder or break the post, hosting my feeder. I’m just trying to feed some birds.

Once the snow covers the yard I get a concentrated group of customers. Blue jays, chickadees, nuthatches, pine gross beaks to name a few. My suet feeders get three varieties of woodpeckers. These are the birds I was trying to feed. Now the suet feeder during daylight hours gets pecked and gleaned in a most remarkable fashion.

Then, the sun goes down and the pine martens and fishers try to take the entire feeder and I lose two to three of them per winter to the hungry little buggers, but once again, the chow hall was for the birds. These suet feeders are nothing more than an onion sack I saved and stuffed with deer tallow. I suspend them in various places about the yard and at different heights. Suet, bird, bird eat suet, simple concept.

Everything’s fine until the four footed critters take notice. My seed dispensers get all the birds I want in the daylight and two or twelve hundred red squirrels depending. To get around the squirrels I have multiple feeders and at different heights all with can't fail squirrel repellants or barricades the patent issuer assures me will not let bushy tails pass. Just trying to feed the birds here.

Seed gets kicked out of the feeders from scratching jays and chickadees. The deer or mice glean this in the night. Many times I hit the feeders with a flashlight beam and a mouse scurries or if I’m lucky I get the black eye of the flying squirrel. Its abit hypocritical to like the night squirrel, and hate the day squirrel I know, but I can tell you no barricade is working on the day or night shift squirrel situation anyway.

Now this morning in the twilight with one degree above zero blinking on my digital thermometer I draw back the drapes slowly and let my eyes adjust. All of nature is still, gray, white. My forest is absent any color. Below my window is one lone mouse with paws full of yesterdays shelved seeds now earthen and down to his level. The swoop is ghostly and quick. My mouse is gone. The owl is wings, floating away in flaps, snow falls again from his feet and wing tips. My intent in all this was to feed the birds.

The trout whisperer

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