My wife and I rearranged my office so that my desk now sits facing the window. The outside view from the second floor gives a panoramic view of the entire backyard and all of the natural wonder out there stretching out into the freshwater wetland. It’s quite a wonderful view, I can’t imagine it took me so long to realize how nice it was to see the outside world in this way.
Changing my desk this way now allows me to gaze a lot more than I did before. When my contract work becomes slow or boring it’s the best show on earth to me. The many species of birds, squirrels, and other critters that show up there ’round and about the feeder we have hung out there makes it far more entertaining than much of my other work. Watching how a squirrel attempts to gain entry to the feeding tray is always interesting.
The feeder is the best one we’ve found to keep the squirrels out. They would take over a feeder and hog all of the seed to themselves. Enter what I call our ‘Ft. Knox’ bird feeder. It’s large, with a round holding basin set upon a wide tray that the seed gravity feeds onto from vent openings in the bottom of the container. The thing that makes it impenetrable to squirrels is the cone-shaped top that sits on top of the whole thing with a wide hood well over the tray. It works quite well to keep the seed in the tray from getting wet when it rains and also at keeping the squirrels out.
I don’t know how many times I have sat and marveled at the skill and determination the little ‘buggers’ display trying to get to that tray. They’ve tried jumping from limbs, dropping from limbs to land on the tray platform. Watching them can be quite entertaining.
Every now and then, an inventive squirrel will try a new technique. He or she climbs down the length of chain suspending the feeder from the oak tree it hangs from. Once on the top of the hood, they slowly extend their bodies down the slope of the hood. Stretching over the top lip of the hood with their hind feet still grasping the chain, the squirrel just hangs there for a time.
I’m not sure if they’re thinking about their next move or if it’s rest time. Sometimes, the squirrel seems real adventurous. Instead of hanging there, they let go of their hind feet and drop completely over the edge of the hood. Watching one at this point is interesting because it almost reminds me of someone trying to do a flip. The squirrel tries a twist as it drops, all the while trying to grab the lip of the bottom tray as gravity pulls it to the ground with no success.
Failure doesn’t seem to stop them because they will try it over and over again. Sometimes I wonder if other squirrels are watching this whole display and then try to do better? How does all of this equate and compare to things we all do? It’s interesting how observing things in nature can give you different perspective on things.