Thursday, July 26, 2007

To the birds

About a month ago, Dad and Brian put up this bird feeder just outside the window beside my bed in the sunroom. Mom keeps it stocked and because this particular window does not see any direct sunlight, I can watch the birds all day. Brian made this bird feeder several years ago, a primitive, but very enjoyable result. And I have enjoyed this, and we've tried to identify a few birds, etc.....
But of late, the bird feeder has become a big source of stress. The squirrels (whom I previously admired) are really just little scavenger piglets, who have no fear of anything, animal, human or otherwise. They make their way up that skinny pole, wedge their "pleasantly plump" carcas onto the shelf of the house, and commence to stuff their little faces with as much bird seed as possible until we manage to chase them off, no small feat. And while the little birds scrap with each other, it's at least a fair fight, not so with Mr. Squirrel, nothing can stop him. AND, we now have a larger black bird who spend a few days perched on top, but has since figured out how to hunch on the lower shelf and help himself, also scaring all the little birdies.
Sheesh, and I imagined a peaceful nature scene, I think I am really more suited to indoor nature, the realities of the out-of-doors never cease to raise my blood pressure.
Anyway...... it's Day 1 of Cycle 3 of chemo. Time for me to hunker down and get through, and this usually lasts through to about Day 5 - at which time I start getting Neupogen shots for my white counts, causing a bit more pain, etc.... Anyway, I will not likely be available. My usual survival strategy is to nap in between eating and sleeping. However, I will emerge, after a few days, hopefully unscathed, and I will check in next week.
My continued thanks for your lovely and thoughtful and beautiful responses on my blog, I hope no one feels obliged to leave a comment. However, I must tell you how much it lifts my spirits and my heart to read your kind thoughts.
Love to all, Joanne


Anonymous said...

HI Joanne,
I knew there was a reason I stayed in the city. Mind you we have new puppy so it's not always peaceful here either.
Hope you have some good music and movies to get you through this round of chemo and you have something to help the pain. I'll be sending you good vibes.
Looking forward to your next post, you really are a great writer.

Anonymous said...

I'm telling you Joanne , that little squirrel means something.....the question is just what?!!! lol You forgot to leave the memo......

FL said...

Darling Joanne..

Leaving a message is a privilege, not an obligation. You write beautifully, and I love the fact that I have been in your sunroom and can visualise all that you post.

It's hard for me to see squirrels as a pest, as we don't have them here in Australia and I delight in them every time I get to see them. You should have seen me in NYC the first time I saw a squirrel!! There must have been more than a few onlookers thinking I was definitely bonkers!

The last one I saw was in Toronto, not long after my visit with you. I was walking along a path through the University and saw about 5 squirrels darting around and "squirrelling" up and down trees. It gave me so much joy.

Here we have squirrel-sized cockroaches (well, almost) and harbour-rats. Ugggh.

So as much as I empathise with the frustration of the squirrels eating the bird food, I'm also smiling with the thought of them climbing up and down the feeding pole.

Good luck with this cycle. Hope you have good things to distract you.

love, Fe xxxx

apprentice said...

I know what you mean about squirrels. I'm lucky that Gus chases them away.

You can get squirrel proof feeders I think.

June is growing sunflowers, but the goldfinches are eating them the minute they open.

Hope you are comfortable over the next few days.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne, Please be assured that it is indeed a privilege (and never an obligation) to be able to communicate with you through this blog. We all appreciate the blog so much as it keeps us in touch with you and your family. We are grateful that you find the energy to keep us informed even when you are feeling very tough. You tell a great story of the birds and the "bully" squirrels trying to co-exist in your yard! In our yard, the jackrabbits are the pests. I did not plant annuals this year because they eat them as fast as I get them in the ground. In fact, a couple of them have been so bold as to sit and watch me plant, eagerly anticipating the gourmet meal ahead!! That sunroom! What a blessing to be able to enjoy the saga out your windows while resting comfortably indoors. We hope that this round is not too hard on you and that your counts stay high enough over the next days. Your very descriptive story made me chuckle - thanks for that!
With our continued love and prayers, Nick and Lorraine

Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne,
Well your latest commentary has definitely brought out the various challenges we all have with the pests of nature in our back yards. Mine have been the deer! They sneek in and feast when your beautiful flowers are just ready to bloom! Made me so darn mad I could really relate to hunters. This year for Matthew's birthday we had the kids make bird feeders. We then promptly nailed it to a fence post full of wonderful seed. It took a few weeks before the birds realized the feeder was there but once they did,we had such fun watching them feed. You know they are not very neat when they eat so now I have a whole bunch of sunflower plants growing all over my flower beds! As if I didn't have enough weeding already.

All the best to you with the next round, I will keep you in our thoughts and prayers as always.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne,
I am very new to this blogging thing, but I want to let you know how inspirational you have been to me. Your spirit is so uplifting. Your writing is beautiful and I really enjoy your book reviews.

I too have a squirrel story. We have a big fat one that visits our backyard and torments our small dog. We call him "Earl" and he waits in the tree until our dog is out and then he chases her around the yard. It is quite funny to watch as he sucks her into his game everytime!

I had a very nice visit with Kelly and so did my daughter with Holly.

Thinking of you and all of your wonderful family,

Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne:
Love to read your blog - you have a way with words, and I imagine you laughing as you write - it's great. Remember those "gophers" at Banff - I still have nightmares about those bold, fat rats - ick!
Hope you either sleep through the next few days, and watch a few good comedy's and we'll hear from you next week. You're always in our thoughts.
Love P & G

Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne, I love your descriptive story, you definitely have a way with words. In our yard it is the rabbits that cause problems. We have done some new landscaping in our yard and they love the new plants. As soon as I seen one I get the hose out and try to spray them, however this has not kept them away. Than I found out that my neighbour across the street is feeding them. How can I compete with that?
Anyways, we are enjoying hot weather in Calgary and I am sure that the new plants even look more appealing to the rabbits.
I hope that this round of chemo is better for you and that you feel a bit better after its affects have subsided. You are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. Sleep well and I will be in touch again soon.
Much Love, Loretta

Joan said...

Oh Joanne! I don't know which way you face when you're looking at the bird feeder from your sunroom. But is there a window that can be opened? Or the door? My mother-in-law keeps a huge watergun underneath her kitchen sink. I mean huge! It's there specifically so that she can aim and shoot at the squirrels in her bird feeder. It may only work temporarily but she sure seems to have a good time doing it. And it's the funniest thing for us to watch this little, grey-haired old woman loading up and blasting a water gun!

Wanna try?