Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday doings at the manor house

Today I did some cleaning and was hoping the weather would be as warm as predicted, but come to think of it, 40 really isn’t all that warm – especially when, more often than not, the clouds are hiding the sun.

I polished the furniture and made it gleam. And then I swept and swiffered the wood floors. I vacuumed the old rugs, pretending that I was using my dream machine rather than the poor excuse for a cleaning tool that I own. {{{I don’t want to say that too loud, though, in case it hears me and completely stops working}}}.

Someday I’m going to own a decent vacuum. As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again!

For a good vacuum.


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That guy on the bike that you may or may not have noticed in one of the picture frames in the bookcase is my husband, taken about 20 years ago. When I look at it, I think I cannot believe that it was that long ago but it was. He was competing in mountain bike racing back then and actually scored quite high in the standings for the mid-atlantic area in his age group one year.


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Meanwhile, out in the backyard, my husband was busy too. I had no idea what he was up to while I was inside cleaning until he showed me when we were both finished.

: : :

At first, I thought he’d gone off the deep end. But then I began to think that maybe he had something in his ongoing battle against the squirrels who continue to raid our bird feeders. It wouldn’t bother him so much, but he spends good money on bird seed only to have much of it eaten by the little varmints. And the property here is covered with nut bearing trees.

Don't feel sorry for the squirrels/ There were enough nuts to feed an entire army of squirrels this winter. And some are still on the ground.


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Unfortunately, the system he’s come up with is not pretty at all.



In fact, our yard now looks like a hillbilly haven. (No offense to hillbillies).

Rather than have each feeder suspended vertically from wire off the branches of the trees, my husband decided to string one long wire from the side of the house to the dogwood tree, hanging each feeder from the wire and securing it in place with tape.

Crazy?


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Maybe a little.

But this is what they do when confronted with wire. They simply slide down, the little scamps.


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He just finished the project this afternoon and I think this wire seems way too thin for the squirrels to inch across.

But only time will tell.


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I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, there’s still time to enter my latest Giveaway.

Thanks for stopping by today ~
123 Signature

38 comments:

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

I hope it works...let us know!!! We actually enjoy our squirrels- they hang on the feeders and shake seed on the ground where the birds eat it...the reason we enjoy our squirrels is that a lot of them are white. I still get excited every day when I see them.
Wonderful photos!!!

Hilary said...

They're so incredibly tenacious and clever.. I don't doubt they'll figure it out. If they do, I don't doubt you'll photograph it.

texwisgirl said...

Oh I can see 'em now - balancing on their back feet with a small pole or umbrella, inching across 'til they get to the feeders...

I refuse to buy a great vacuum. I have better luck buying cheapo small Eurekas and running them for a couple of years until they die due to too much dog hair and dirt... :)

Deb said...

I need a new vacuum cleaner so bad...and I'm a hillbillie and not affended at all...lol...

becky up the hill said...

Squirrels in my neck of the woods..are rodents with furry tails. Overall my one squirrel proof feeder does work, tho my son said it looked like a small barbecue hanging from the apple tree. We had one smart rodent (squirrel) who used to jump on it so hard the seed would go flying, then he would hop down and eat it. I'm glad he moved!

JaneK said...

oh my goodness....I love the decor of your house. Those 2 vases especially and the colors....

as far as the squirrels...they are determined little varmits aren't they!

Pat - Arkansas said...

I do hope the thin wire-suspended feeders work. Clever idea. The squirrels in my neighborhood just gorge themselves on the seed I put out, leaving only crumbs for the sweet birds.

ELK said...

wow thats a lot of feeders Kate ...I know where i would like to live if I were a bird...lovely as always

Brynwood Needleworks said...

You're right, Kate. Those pieces of furniture are just sparkling! Which reminds me. Time to dust around here. This time of year, the pines are starting to bloom and we have pine pollen creating a tacky green film on every horizontal surface in the house!
Outside, too. My white explorer looks more lime green! I always love the rain this time of year.
Happy Valentine's Day.
xoxo
Donna

Devon said...

How funny! I have a three legged cat who hangs out under my bird feeders. The birds are safe... but if a squirrel ventures too near, he won't be so lucky!

Cloudia said...

Paging Rube Goldberg (as a squirrel)


Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>

Oliag said...

They are eating me out of house and home too....let me know how your rigging works! So far I have never seen anything that the squirrels can't figure out sooner or later....

Gail said...

Squirrels are very clever...

Barb T. said...

I love your husband's "anti-squirrel" feeding creative mind! I am going to say something tantamount to heresy here, but I despise squirrels!!! There, I said it!
They ruined so many of my feeders that I quit feeding birds. I might've said it here before, but the last straw was when they dangled off of my "no squirrel can outwit this feeder" feeder and chewed right thru the plastic to get to the food. We've had problems with them chewing thru pool screens and metal grating. I want nothing to do with the destructive beasts, and applaud your husband. I hope his creation works.

Kerri said...

You can really tell that yours is not just a house ... but a home :)

Hope the "squirrel defense" works.... keep us posted!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Somehow I doubt it's a hillbilly haven (no offense to hillbillies). It looks very dignified to me, even the squirrel--I mean bird feeders.

It's freezing here again today. I don't know who said it was supposed to be warm, but they deserve a spanking.

Country Gal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Country Gal said...

sorry about the delet but the comment page went wonky!
Fantastic post I laughed my head off lol Sounds just like here with the squirrels raiding the bird feeders. I seem to of solved that problem a bit by puting a bowl of whole peanuts and sunflower seeds out just for the squirrels they get full of that and seem to not go for the feeders, we have the same cage feeder as you do its called ( squirrel be gone) here and they dont seem to go on it as much as they did the other type of feeders, one day someone will figure out a way to keep squirrels off of the bird feeders but till then I guess we just have to let them get food to lol We buy 5 50 LBS bags of different seed the good stuff cause our birde here are picky every two weeks just to keep our feathered friends happy ! Have a great day !

Country Girl said...

Barb T.,
My sister wrote and told me what finally worked for her. And if this new contraption built by my husband doesn't work, I hope he tries it.
Squirrels dislike safflower seed, for some reason. So when she fills her feeders, she puts a couple of rows of the seed in between the regular seed. It has completely solved her squirrel problem and she hasn't seen one on the feeders since she did this.

~ C.G.

Jan said...

I love your blog! So nice to follow someone from the country, as I am. I have just begun blogging myself and am having trouble finding other girls from the country! Thanks!!

beth said...

we had to do the same thing at our cottage....
outsmart those little buggers....and we won. well, okay there are two intelligent ones in the group that found a way to our feeders, but the other ones have to wait for the seeds to drop to the ground.....

my dad feeds his squirrels with whole cobs of corns all around the feeders....and actually it works. rarely do they play with the feeders....

oh what in the world would we do with all of our time if weren't trying to be smarter than they are :)

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

i used to have big squirrel trouble...i just gave up and they won.... but this looks like it might work pretty well...

i enjoyed my afternoon with you and enjoyed seeing inside your home...

Teddy is LOVING to run on his new lawn. He just wore himself out last night...when he runs it looks like he is smiling...mommy is smiling...that's for sure. I just love seeing him so HAPPY !!!!
Happy to visit here today, my friend
Hugs to george
:-)

Kary and Teddy
xxx

Karen said...

Someone in our town hangs old bleach bottles in between the feeders on her wire too... I have no idea why this added step is taken and I ain't ask'n.

Mary said...

I'm thinking we are going to be seeing a video of squirrel tightrope antics soon... :)

And you are so good... my house definitely needs some cleaning, and it SO did not happen this weekend!

xoxo

Lili said...

OMGosh Kate! I had to laugh because Henri has the same battle with the squirrels here and a while back he rigged up a little redneck looking scenario here too. But it has actually worked. He suspended a couple of our pottery bats (which are essentially 10" round discs) above each feeder that are slightly tilted and the squirrels cannot figure out how to get to the feeder below them. Looks like your husband's thin wire plan will work too! Oh and by the way, your house is gleaming! Is it a Dyson that you crave? I know I do. xo ~Lili

michelle said...

I LOVE my Miele vacuum. They are not cheap but I will say I have had mine for 10 years and have never once had to have it serviced or fixed. I have a dog too and it is AMAZING at sucking up all that crazy fur!

RottenMom said...

Love the contraption!

We get deer at our bird feeders. They lick it clean most nights. I feel so bad for them, I'm sure they are hungry too. We aren't supposed to feed the deer in our residential area, but sometimes I buy them corn. Shhhhhhhhhhh, don't tell.

Happydog said...

Been lurking for awhile now but I just had to come out of hiding and thank you for your Kim Klassen link the other day for the 10 minute lesson on using textures. I'm working through a 365 Photo a Day project (whoo hoo Day 317!) and I had seen yours and many others use these textures but wasn't sure how to go about it, Kim's tutorial was great and I've been having some fun using the textures she so generously gives away. Thanks!

Country Girl said...

Happydog,

So glad to hear this. It's so much fun when you begin to understand it all, isn't it?

And no, RottenMom, I won't tell a soul . . .

~ C.G.

Dawn said...

Squirrel stories make me laugh ... my dad is constantly battling them!

mrs mediocrity said...

Oh my, I hope it works, and if it does, you should market the idea!

Bluebird49 said...

My brothers have been fighting squirrels for years--I think they just enjoyed the battle!

May seems "squirrely"--these wires--but whatever works!

Wish I could get in the "dusting/vacuuming" mood! Oh, I pray for a Dyson one day--but I think I'll be dead and gone before I get it. And I won't be worried about cleaning then.:)

Steph said...

Yesterday we counted 5 squirrels in our yard at once. I want to like them, I know they have to eat too but man, do they have to be such gluttons? Back to the drawing board....

sharon said...

I hope your husbands work pays off. Good luck at keeping the squirrels and bay. have a great Valentine Day.

The Japanese Redneck said...

Sneaky squirrels.

I cleaned a little bit. Just enough to make me feel better.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I hope it works, squirrels drive me nuts! LOL!!!

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your family! If you have time, please stop by for dessert! It's sinfully delicious!

Mary

Ellen said...

We have the same family of squirrels....they are absolutely genius at figuring these things out.....good luck. Safflower seed, huh?...we might just have to check it out...smiles
Happy Valentines Day!

Dori in Texas said...

We had squirrel issues and I finally just bought a HUGE tub of Vaseline and rubbed it all over the pole that the feeder was hanging on. It worked. The squirrels jumped onto the pole and immediately started sliding to the ground. Hilarious. They sat at the bottom of the pole trying to lick their paws clean.