Sunflower Seeds and Bushy Tailed Rats

During the winter months, the Master Gardener and I feed the birds a combination of sunflower seeds and suet blocks.  We have a regular following of all sorts of birds at the seeds and woodpeckers at the suet blocks.  In the beginning, we had one of those graze at your own leisure feeders and found that the bushy tailed rats were getting fatter and fatter.  We bought one of those feeders that is "Squirrel Proof"  (OK, you can laugh at that one)  Mostly if meant that the squirrels probably worked as hard as the calories they get to ingest.  They finally found that if you climbed up on the feeder and jumped off of it, you could get a few seeds to fall out of the feeder and that is the way it went from then on.  Climb up, jump off, eat a few seeds and repeat.   

The problem with that story is that it is impossible to plant sunflower plants outside anywhere near the house.  They think the plants are their salad bar and the then dig up the seeds not germinated.  I built a pen to put the plants in but it is way out in the yard.  Oh well, Barb has lots of seeds to plant and  we will be blessed with a crop of good sunflower plants by fall.

I know we are the invaders of this place in the woods and try to be a nice neighbor to all the animals.  There are just a few things I just can't abide.  Outside animals and insects should stay outside.  I also object to the woodpeckers and squirrels eating the house.    Don't let anyone tell you that a squirrel won't eat asphalt shingles.  I had to have a ridge cap replaced when one chewed it off.  Leak city up there at the cost of about $400.00.  I probably would replace the problem today but I don't like to get up on roofs.  Especially the roof here where the ground is anywhere from 10 to 20 feet off the ground.  

Yesterday I took my tractor up to Dave's house and had a load of driveway rock brought in.  For the most part, the truck put it where we wanted it.  I need another load here for the new driveway round a bout and a load over at the rental property to level that drive out.  

Better get with the program.



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