Currently Listening To: Archers of Loaf, "White Trash Heroes".
Currently Reading: Alison Weir, "The Life of Elizabeth I." You know all these blithering idiots commanding lots of press attention about how career women are wasting all their time having careers and jeopardizing their chances of getting married and having babies before it's "too late"? Elizabeth would have had those ninnies in fits.
Backyard Wildlife (Boycott Nicole!)
For the last two weeks, I've been trying to attract hummingbirds to my yard. I fell in love with hummingbirds after visiting my mother and seeing them hover all over her deck drinking from the various feeders she has set out. They're tiny and cute and hyper and hypnotic to watch. Mom took me to a garden store and helped me pick out a cute little red plastic feeder.
I've followed as many of the recommendations I've found online as I could, but apparently I've got the Loser Hummingbird Rest Stop. For two weeks I've kept the thing fully stocked with fresh nectar I replace every two or three days per the directions. I've tied long red ribbons all over the deck railings (fluttering red ribbons are supposed to attract the birds' attention). The whole setup is as close to our tree as it can be. All I'm lacking are hummingbirds, who so far have studiously avoided my deck.
I did manage to attract an evil hateful squirrel that's been digging up a couple of my deck plants. I bought a container with a beefsteak tomato plant from Trader Joe's a while back. ("Beefsteak" has been a hilarious misnomer. "Weenie Slice of London Broil" would more accurately describe the plant's output to date.) At first I couldn't figure out why there appeared to be dirt from the plant kicked all over the deck -- the few storms we've had haven't been nearly violent enough to do that.
And then I noticed that the tomato plant and my lobelia plant were both sprouting an identical green leafy thing that bore no resemblance to what was supposed to be coming out of those containers. And I knew. The evil squirrel I'd seen lurking in our tree eyeing me and dropping peanut shells everywhere had been at work.
I have an aunt who absolutely hates squirrels. If she could she'd get a tank and squish every squirrel on the East Coast. She devoted several years to finding a bird feeder that the squirrels couldn't raid. I'd look out in her yard or on my mother's deck and make cootchy-coo noises at the squirrels. "I don't know what you think is so cute. They're nothing but rats with big bushy tails," she'd sniff.
Now I've joined the league of the squirrel-haters. I looked out on the deck on Friday night and saw one of them hovering over my poor abused tomato plant, holding some kind of nut in its mouth and getting ready to dig. It wasn't until after I'd banged on the glass and hollered at it to go away that I realized I'd lost my mind. The squirrel retreated to our tree and hung on a nearby branch eyeballing me, waiting for me to leave the window so it could get back to its evil work.
I can see this degenerating into a "Bill Murray and the gopher in 'Caddyshack'"-type situation before it's all over.
(Worse yet, the goddamn squirrel is a better gardener than I am. That stuff it planted in my tomatoes? That shit grew like wildfire. I can barely keep my impatiens alive, but the Evil Squirrel Weed absolutely thrived before I yanked it. Insult to injury.)