Squirrels? Check. Birds? Check. Tomatoes? Check.

July 31 – How good it is to live out in the country where the crops grow well (with exceptions like not enough rain. I think we are about ten inches behind the usual amount already, with many more dry days ahead!) So we have to give the garden stuff more water through the hoses, but at least we DO have more than enough vegetables and can share with others.


[ All kinds of tomatoes ]

But this post is going to consist only of a few little birds and animals that have decided to share our garden produce with us—but THEY come first! Since the possums, some birds, and box turtles enjoy ripping off ripe tomatoes, eating what they want, and then leaving the rest to rot, I have started a new practice.

I now have chosen to pick almost-ripe tomatoes, along with a few others that were squashed together on the plant. Then I put them in a box on the kitchen counter, with the bigger ones almost ready to eat. Shall I feel bad when I take big bites from the latest tomato sandwich? No, of course, not! There’s always plenty more for those tomato lovers to eat!

Even though we don’t put out food for the birds at this time of year, some squirrels keep returning to look for some they buried when there was still an abundance on the feeder. As Dale and I watch their antics through the big front window, we especially enjoy the chasing and running around that goes on when those animals want to have a little fun, along with finding walnuts that some of their relatives have forgotten where they buried the nuts. I thought that food would be more enjoyable if we worked for it, but then, I’m not a squirrel who enjoys finding these treasures. If that little guy finds that we are checking out what he’s doing, he flies off at full speed ahead to one of many safe places. We can hear him chattering away as he runs.


[ Hummingbird food ]

Now to the humming birds. When David brought us some gifts for Father’s Day for Dale and my birthday, he brought out some very interesting things. When Dale took down the feeder to fill it with the a special Pennington Premium humming bird food (even enriched with vitamins and minerals!) we thought the tiny birds would be trying their best to be first at the feeder! We were wrong. Not one bird showed up until about four days later.

Ever since, we have watched the action around the feeder. One bird flies in, hoping to be number one before another arrives to take its place, but that one too is sent away from the feeder. In the old days we would have three or four birds sipping the sweet nectar at the same time, but maybe the ones who come now are part of a family which doesn’t get along well. Weeks ago, when the bright little bird was doing a pretty good job of courting. he would fly over to the mock orange bush and begin to fly in arcs, up and down, and around then return to the feeder. This went on until we wondered how his tiny body could fly and fly around the area.


[ Wren’s nest in the cactus ]

We surely have enjoyed watching our friend, the Carolina Wren, with her nest right near one of Dale’s biggest cacti. When I checked the area, all ready to take a picture, I jumped up and out of the place. Since then, maybe two weeks ago, we have seen the wren flying from one place on the porch to another, hoping, I guess, that we will let her back into her nest. Strange thing. That nest area covers about three feet from where the actual nest is, to the escape route to the end of the flower table. As we sit out on the porch in the evening, we see the bird moving from tree to tree and then back down to the railing near the nest. – CHRIS

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