Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bears and Birds, Oh No!

Let me tell you a bit about the "retirement community" we live in. Sometime in the 30's a woman left her farm and some money for a place for retired Presbyterian pastors. From the main farmhouse and manager's cottage, this has grown to 9 cottages. All individual, looking like Any Street, USA. We are in the country, near Owego, NY, on the Susquehanna River, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

Sometimes we do things together, usually we are busy with our own stuff. I think we are tired of the very public life we have led for so long and are quite happy to all just be "regular folks". I find it especially nice not to have to live up to some unstated ideal, not that I felt like I really managed that. We share a garden space, but that is way up at the other end of the row, nearly 1/4 mile away. I think I will do containers for what little gardening I feel like doing this year, except for making it prettier.

Our birds and cats are VERY unhappy. Sometime last night a bear came through and decimated the seed and suet. I guess hibernation has come to an end. The cats won't go off the porch and are very nervous. I assume they can smell the bear. I hope that is the end of it. I must say, keeping our stuff out of the wildlife's mouths is practically a full-time job. Good thing we retired.

I was going to taste some Twining's Darjeeling for you all today. Instead I grabbed the Earl Gray next to it. I wondered why the Darjeeling smelled so flowery. So I shall try again tomorrow!

Aha! The marsh marigolds are blooming, the mustard is turning the hills yellow and today I noticed that the forested hills are almost as colorful as they are in the fall - much more muted, but there is a lot of bronze, some red, willow yellow near the streams, bright bright "spring" green, the black of evergreens, some pink and white from shadblow and redbud and dogwood. Apple, pear and cherry add their colors, too. Altogether lovely.


Rosemary said...

My sister lives in West Chester County, NY (think neighbors Martha Stewart and Bill Clinton)... she said they had a bear on their newly built deck, eating the bird food. The poor birds are the ones to suffer as they have stopped feeding them so as not to attract any more bear! You're right - hibernation is over!

Marlena said...

Here, it seems that they only raid when they come out of hibernation - there's so much else around. We are in a heavily wooded rural area, so that makes a difference. I am sorry your sister had to quit feeding, however. I have one feeding station up, but i have to buy another suet feeder or visit the neighbors and see if they have a stray one that's ours.