Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Adamson's Monster

Over a year ago, construction completed on an addition at the rear of our house, and the contractor added a small but usable deck at the back of that addition.
I enjoy eating peanuts. Sometime during last summer I began putting the odd few peanuts out on the deck railings for the creatures who live in the neighborhood backyards - in particular, squirrels are quite taken by peanuts. Situations like this have a habit of escalating.
One reflection of the escalation is that I now have a 50-pound bag of peanuts in the basement (not for my consumption). The single black squirrel who used to visit to collect the odd peanut has now become at least two black squirrels and a grey squirrel.
Worse, their character and sense of entitlement has changed. Where once we would put peanuts out on our schedule, only to have them collected sometime later at some random time, I now find myself sitting over morning coffee and then suddenly seeing a squirrel staring in my window at me, glaring, clearly trying to get me to understand I have higher priorities than shaving and getting my caffeine level up.
About two weeks ago the whole situation went up another notch. Two BlueJays have discovered the plenty that suddenly appears in their landscape. The battle can be quite interesting, and noisy, as both creatures can produce some pretty raucous sounds. The BlueJays have an excellent strategy - they fly in, grab a peanut in the beak, fly off somewhere, and do something (I know not what), returning shortly thereafter to get more booty. The squirrels had much the same strategy in the past, but were rather relaxed. That relaxation is suffering under the avian pressure.
My goal is to get a picture of the BlueJays at work like that above of one of the squirrels. The birds remain much more distrustful of me for now, and are aware of my presence inside the window, waiting with my camera. They will weaken over time, I am sure, as they watch the squirrels, far less fearful of me, carting off the peanuts they know should be theirs!
I DO worry about the longer-run impact of this dependency. After all, look at France! It should be much more intense in the winter when snow covers the ground. I don't think any of these creatures hibernates. Watch for updates.


At 12:22 PM, Blogger rondi said...

Awesome picture.


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