Saturday, December 28, 2013

Feeding the Birds

Momma is quite mad about feeding the birds that live in our neighborhood. She spends a lot of time just watching the birds eat. Sometimes she even spies on them with her binoculars. Is that even legal?

Today she asked to use my blog to talk about feeding the birds.

Well, one must choose one's battles, so I agreed, provided that yours truly could do the narration and also be featured in the photos to add some interest for my regular readers.

Here we go...

Look above my head. Do you see it? It's a little bell made of bird noms. Well, actually, it also has what I would consider labranoms. Hence its location in the front yard which is off limits for me unless accompanied by a human.

Apparently it is the "black blob" photo time of year. A little retouching would be nice.

Out back we have The Eliminator! Master made the hanging contraption in an attempt to foil squirrels from emptying our old feeder. No luck. But the Eliminator really is squirrel proof, so no worries about that anymore.

Next to me is the bird water bowl which momma endeavors to keep clear of ice as much as possible (she says she will *not* buy a bird water bowl heater as that will mark the tipping point from backyard birder to crazy bird lady, the distinction seems quite arbitrary to me).

At least that bird bowl will keep them from pooping in my water bowl.

Moving on, we have the newest addition. I am VERY interested in this feeder. It contains nuts and berries held together by suet. SUET! As in rendered cow! Yum!

Wish those birds were a bit more sloppy with their suet.

Finches like thistle. They also have impossibly small beaks which means they can feast at the little finch feeder without worry that a big old blue jay will knock them off.

Thistle. Not a fan.

The Woody Woodpecker feeder (and more of that suet stuff). Turns out that Woody Woodpecker is not a very friendly chap. None of the other birds will eat when he's around, so he has a private station (complete with tail stabilizer for his dining comfort).

Sometimes, on a sunny day, that cow fat melts onto the ground. YUM!

Finally, in the way back, is the feeder that started it all. While nothing approaching squirrel proof, it does take them a while to empty it and they are such slobs that they scatter lots of seed on the ground for the birdies who prefer to eat at foot level.

This is also the primary feeding station for our resident hawks and many is the time that we find evidence of some unfortunate bird meeting its doom. One time we even saw a hawk wrestle a squirrel and it was not a pretty sight.

Birds are slobs.

And my reward for all that posing? You guessed it!


Momma is still struggling with photographing me in action, but she does try.

Where are my eyes? Fi and Abby mom, please help!

Dexter done!

P.S. From Momma - All my bird stuff comes from Wild Birds Unlimited. I'm lucky enough to have a store close by, but they also have an online store. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Routine or Ritual (with action video)

On a daily basis, there are many tasks which Momma performs in exactly the same way. She claims that she is establishing the routine of motor memory so that when she begins to lose her wits, she'll still have the wherewithal to manage basic activities.

However, I sometimes wonder if her "routines" are more akin to rituals. For example, her routine to be sure the coffee pot is off in the morning is to not only unplug it, but actually hold the plug portion in her hand. So deeply embedded is this that if she neglects to hold the plug, a tingling of the palm accompanies her exit from the house and she is compelled to return indoors long enough to complete the ritual.

Extreme? Perhaps. But she claims that these behaviors pale when compared to the routines of yours truly. According to her, I am more superstitious than a baseball player compulsively tightening his gloves and touching his cap.

Considering her derision of my methods, it shouldn't surprise anybody that I have heretofore thwarted her attempts to make my sacred routines available to the public lest she ignorantly ridicule them, thereby removing a bit of the magic.

That said, I was a bit off my guard the other day and she actually recorded my pre-walkie ritual routine, which must be performed exactly as outlined below in order to guarantee happy making perambulations.

  1. Barkies (this alerts the human that walkie time is at hand).
  2. Mad spinning (it creates the illusion that I am INSANE for a walk, but really it's just fun).
  3. Stretching (for night walkies, always save this one until after your reflective cape is on as it will pop the belly attachment with a satisfying crackle).
  4. Roaching (this limbers up the spine so you are ready for mountainous terrain and generates a static charge allowing floor debris to accumulate in your furs for transport outdoors).

Here is an instructional video. Enjoy!

Dexter done!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Holiday Surprise

Here we have my human nephew, Bobby. He's a nice little fellow and I'm always happy to see him. I even let him play with my stuffies.

And now he will be getting a big surprise from Human Great Granny and Great Grampy.

You see, whilst on a reconnaissance mission into the attic space of the Greats, Momma and my Human Uncle happened to find Human Uncle's old rocking chair, circa 1953, which makes it even older than momma, and they are going to give it to Wee Bobby.

What a cool gift, right? Well, it will be once it is safely at Bobby's estate, because you see momma had the bright idea of "Oh, Dexter, you can pose with the chair to show it off to everybody and I can also take some photos to use on next year's holiday card."

Well, if there is anything that momma has no patience (or aptitude) for, it is artfully created holiday photos.

As exemplified here where you can see lack of proper framing revealing ugly couch and pillow background (not to mention no-face flash back monkey in the chair).

I am not amused by neck ornament.

Or how about this one where she cropped out my labratail in order to get rid of the couch (monkey still no-face flashy).

Actually, I look fairly labradorable in this one. 

So I am apologizing in advance if either of these shows up on my card next year. One must choose one's battles. But at least you can see how keen the little rocker is and hopefully Nephew Bobby will enjoy it.

Dexter done!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Laser Eyes as Snow Removal Tool

Think you are looking at a Black Dog in front of a fire hydrant? Think again. 

Miss Mayzie got it right when she saw this photo on momma's FaceBook. 

I've been using my laser vision to keep the fire hydrants clear. 

Just one more public service from yours truly.

Oops, forgot to turn off my laser eyes. I think I just melted momma's gloves.

Dexter done!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Snow Storm brings Sabbatical to an End

It would appear that a small snow storm was all that was required to snap momma out of her blogging sabbatical. Good thing too, because I have a lot to report.

First of all, after eating my breakfast, I want everybody to know that I bravely went out at o'dark thirty in the AM all by myself to do my business.

Sometimes, one must just head for the light and hope for the best
You see, I am not keen to be out in the yard alone, especially in the dark, but I've been getting braver lately and I'm sure momma appreciated not having to accompany me when she still had on her jammies and slippers.

While the total snow accumulation was unremarkable, the temperatures took a warming turn which resulted in a nice one inch thick layer of ice all over everything.

Being a seasoned New Englander, momma knows that one must always clear as much snow as possible so she set to chipping and shoveling. The top layer was breaking up in big heavy sheets like a glacier, so it was slow going, even with my help.

Don't worry, momma, I will break this one up for you.

After almost two hours of huffing and puffing, we were finally finished clearing the deck, patio, and comfort paths.

One can always use a bit of grass for making rest stops.

Next we had to make sure the birds had enough to eat. All five bird feeding stations were filled to capacity, but momma felt that she needed to give the birds an extra boost. She claims these strawberries were too rotten for yours truly, but even still, I did feel a pang when she dumped them over the fence for her feathered friends.

I could use an extra boost too.

Not sure what I will be doing for action today. I can't play tennis ball because when I run in the yard I break through the ice.

Momma isn't supposed to walkie because of her hurt foot.

But I'm sure we'll think of something.

Perhaps a game of "hide the liver treat" is in store for me.

Dexter done!

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Blogging Sabbatical by Mango Momma

Dex and I are taking a little blogging sabbatical.
Fear not, nothing dire going on. In fact Pea, Master, and I are all very happy and healthy.
But after almost five years of blogging (with the odd break here and there), one is sometimes required to take a step back and regroup.

Mango Momma! Oh yeah!