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» Friday, November 12, 2010Nature Girl
I was up at eight promptly intending to go out early, but instead was distracted by the new bird feeder. The birds had emptied the other two squirrel-proof feeders, but the copper one was still full. They only eat from it if there's nothing else there. Plus it's come unglued from its base; it was time to replace it.
The feeders are hung from a central pole on three arms; two straight poles that stick out at 45 degrees with hooks at one end, and a hangar like a shepherd's crook with a hook at the end. The copper feeder was on the crook hanger, the lowest one on the pole. This meant the new feeder would have dangled right across from the deck rail, in reach of the squirrel.
So, because I am a shrimp, I pulled the stool outside and rearranged the hooks; the crook is now at the top of the "stack." Now, while I was out there doing this, and filling the feeders, I was whistling like I always do, to let the birds know. I could see them fluttering in the trees, chirping to each other, and one occasionally would fly to the feeder, see me, and do a mad manuever to reverse course.
I was still on top of the stool, just having positioned the pole in place, when one of the brown-headed nuthatches flew to the topmost feeder. I froze in place. We were not more than eighteen inches apart, blinking at each other. A second nuthatch flew up, grabbed a seed, stared at both of us, flew away, but the first guy remained, looking at me, finally taking a seed.
Well, I couldn't stay there forever. I moved my head, the brave nuthatch flew away. But as I got down off the stool more of the birds came zipping by, so I finally retreated to the door (about ten feet away), and then everyone did come: more brown-headed nuthatches, the white-breasted nuthatch, sparrows, the titmice, a chickadee, even the male downy woodpecker. What fun to watch them run riot over all three feeders.
I had to go to Sears to finally get some new nosepieces for my glasses, so I did a couple of other errands, including stopping at Wender & Roberts to get James some compression socks (boy, what a nightmare that parking lot is) and driving down to the Atlanta History Center, where I knew I could get a copy of "Atlanta Now" (a "what's going on around town" publication) for November and December. This meant I had a very pleasant ride down what was the only good thing about working in Buckhead, West Paces Ferry Road. This is an old-money road with old-growth trees, and since the frost last week they had all "bloomed" pleasantly into lovely colors. One big maple tree at the edge of the grounds of the Governor's Mansion was layered dark scarlet and maroon, and there were gold and yellow trees dotted here and there. All this combined with classical music on NPR! Pity it was so warm...another day where it edged back into the 70s.