Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bird feeder events

I've been working at home often lately, and I find I'm enjoying it. I could not do my entire job from home, but with a great deal of super duper organization, I can get a lot done at home. It's nice, with limited interruptions and with finally getting high speed Internet access, it makes for a pleasant work day. I'm only going into the office now 2 or 3 mornings each week... having convinced my doctor that taking a leave from work until after my surgery in January was not a viable option. Year-end and 4th quarter close is the busiest and most critical time of the year for me on my job... no way could I just stay at home through it. Working from home seemed to me to be worth trying, and I'm happy with the result so far. I don't think I would like to have a schedule like this as a permanent thing, and I wouldn't want a "virtual office" (work from home every day). I feel a bit disconnected from my team right now, like I'm missing out on too much of the goings-on in the office. I'll just be happy when this surgery event is over and done with... and life can return to our family's version of normal.

So, anyway... while working from home at my desk, I've been enjoying the views at the bird feeder, the views and the sounds. Especially after the snow arrived, the sounds of the birds at the feeder seemed to increase. Lots of pleasant little chirps, whistles and songs. The other day, I suddenly noticed it was so quiet... no bird noises. I looked up, and there on the arm of the shepherd's hook from which hangs the feeders sat a small hawk. Well, small for a hawk, but a large bird. Not like the hawk we caught on the Moultrie game camera. It must have noticed me, and it was staring right at me. My camera was sitting close to me on my desk, so I slowly reached my left hand over to turn it on. The hawk continued to watch me, and as soon as my camera made that musical little sound it makes when it powers up, the hawk took off. It was pretty cool, though. I explained what the hawk looked like to my dad, and he said it was likely a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. I did a 'net image search, and sure enough, that's what it was. I even found this photo...

which is what my photo would have looked like had I been able to take it. Cool.

On another day, I finally got tired of trying to scare away the 3 big, fat squirrels from the feeder by yelling at them and banging on the window. They've gotten used to me, so yelling and banging no longer made them leave. I discovered that if I opened the window, they would take off, flying off the feeder. But then, of course, they got used to that. So I went and got my trusty BB gun...

after a few pokes in the butt, they learned. Then I just had to hold it up, I didn't even have to open the window to shoot at 'em. These 2 fellas were eyeing the feeder... and eyeing me...

and as soon as they got to it, I poked 'em with a BB. Pissed them off good and proper. It was very funny. One ran up the nearby maple tree from where he had come, and the other ran way over the yard to another tree. The first one sat up in the tree and chewed me out, flipping his tail at me over and over and over. I finally picked up my camera and recorded a video of him, and posted the not so good quality (ok, actually it's pretty crappy quality) result here. So it's pretty bad filming, but you get the gist.

And, yes, they're back and no longer afraid of my BB gun. With their thick winter fur on, it must not even sting them, because I shot one in the butt a couple of times and all he did was stop eating for a second. *sigh*

This past Monday morning, I was up and working at my desk well before dawn even started to break... as the sky started to lighten, I realized how much snow we had received during the night.

The birds begin arriving with the daylight, and it wasn't long before they had knocked most of the snow off the top of the feeder.

Sammy stayed home from school on a snow day, along with pretty much every other school kid in our area and beyond. Our middle of the mitten area in Michigan got lots of snow. We've received more since, and it's beautiful! We loves us a white Christmas.

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