It's been cold and snowy. And I have felt too lazy to trudge through it all to fill the bird feeder. So, I had the brilliant idea of putting it in the little space just outside the patio doors, where the overhang keeps the snow from piling up. And where we could see the birds more easily anyways. I figured the chipmunks, squirrels and bears are all hibernating, so no problem, right? Last night as we sat on the couch and watched an episode of The Office, we noticed a couple of deer outside the window. Thought nothing of it and went to bed. This morning the bird feeder had been knocked over, the lid taken off and all the seed was gone. The deer tracks gave away the culprits.
They also showed that one of the deer "took the stairs" instead of walking up the hill. Maddy called it the civilized one. She also says they checked out their igloos and she thinks one of them slept in hers. I don't know about that. They are definitely hanging out at our house, though. Mostly because the snow has covered most of the food around, but our front jungle hill of broadleaf evergreen leaves seems to be quite tasty. On Christmas Eve, DH and I walked outside to go visit a neighbor and startled a mini herd of them down there.
We saw two new birds in the last couple days, too. Yesterday, a Northern Flicker woodpecker was digging in the snow, trying to get to the ground for some food. It made Elsie laugh the way he flicked the snow out with his beak. I wonder if that is why it is called a flicker?
We also had a Carolina wren hopping about outside the window cleaning up the seeds the deer missed. He was a darling, fat little fellow.
As much as I complain about the wildlife eating my garden, I sure enjoy seeing them up close all the time. That is one of the things I really enjoy about living here. (Between the deer, rabbits, voles and the chipmunks, there wasn't much vegetable garden left for us this year.)