May 8th, 2005


Squirrel Agriculture

I have agrarian squirrels.

This is my only explanation for the fact that, while repotting and weeding, I kept stumbling over corn. Sprouted, growing, planted in the dirt...corn. I pull up a suspicious weed, and there's corn on the dirty end.

I have not been planting corn. James denies having planted corn. I am always impressed at what will grow in containers, but I suspect that corn is not among the ideal plants for a pot on a filtered shade deck.

The first few baffled me, and I was thinking it was some kind of bizarre fluke, but I finally realized that my nut-and-berry birdseed blend contains corn, (despite being neither nut nor berry) and the havoc I noticed in my flower pots some months ago must have been the squirrels cacheing corn (and later digging it up.) But they missed a fair number, spring came, and nature took its course.

This is probably how it happened with Homo erectus, too...

(no subject)

I am trying, slowly, to infect James with my interest in birding, or at least a vague understanding of why I like it. Mostly, this takes the form of "Look, wibbly! Northern flicker on the feeder!" James feigns interest well enough to seem polite, but not well enough to make me think he's actually interested, although he has learned to loathe the northern flickers for drumming on the siding at 7 AM. I suppose loathing isn't as good as interest, but at least he can tell what type of bird he hates, and one must concede that's a start. (I have no illusions that he remembers the name, but at least he know what they look like. I think.)

Every now and then, however, I get a ray of hope. There'll be a genuine "wow" or he'll tell me about seeing an eagle fly over the office (which is near a bald eagle nesting area.) Today, as he was leaving for work, I heard "Hey! What kind of birds are those?"

I was forced to say, as gently as possible, "Those are robins, honey."

We have a ways to go, but I'll get 'im yet.