August 9th, 2018


Country Life...,

We've more than a few varieties of wildlife in our vicinity.
Most of course are welcome, but a few can be bothersome.
Even though it's New Jersey, we've actually got a fairly dense bear population.

Our trash goes out to be picked up once per week - overnight on Wednesday for early morning removal on Thursday.
We've mandatory recycling, so that all goes in a barrel, and the actual "wet" garbage into a sturdy bag alongside.
There've been a number on instances of waking up to find the wet as a mess all over the road and lawn.
At first we blamed the bears but then realized that the true culprits were our local murder of crows.
They would come in, peck through the bag, and scatter the content.
[Bears typically grab the bag and run back to the woods.]

We didn't want to hurt them, but also didn't want to be getting up at 6:30 AM to put the wet out just in time for the actual pickup.
I came up with an idea, why not give them a bit of spice to go with their meal?
When the bag went out last night, it had a liberal dribble of siracha on the outside.
[The drawstrings were uncoated so that the trashman could lift it.]

We were awakened at about 6:45 this morning by the crows across the street.
They were having a very heated discussion among themselves.
They were absolutely not very happy.
But the bag was unopened, and no clean-up was needed.

Relaxing on the Deck...,

Ours is on the east side of the house - sunshine in the morning, but shaded a bit later.
We've raised planters with both veggies and flowers, and lattice that supports the morning glories beyond.
It gives a fair amount of privacy without being solid and ugly.

"M" likes to go sit and read in the afternoon.

Our feeders are on the far edge and the birds don't seem to mind.
It's pleasant to watch them.
[Among others, we've about six male goldfinches that frequent the thistle and sunflower feeders.]

But seed attracts other creatures as well, including squirrels - three grays, two reds, and a black.
They mostly leave the feeders alone but vacuum the debris that the birds have dropped to the deck.
They're actually useful because the birds can be picky about the mix and scatter what they don't want at the moment.

However they don't always observe boundaries, and "M" is vey uncomfortable when they get too close.
We needed to find a non-lethal solution.
She now has an armed garden hose very close at hand.
It's much more fun than a water pistol and they've definitely gotten the idea that "human" equals "bath" equals "maybe lunch later."

At least most of the time.