Getting Ready For Winter Part II

Getting ready for winter continues;

On to the back yard. First thing I do in the back yard is set up my heated birdbath. It goes on the realistic looking tree stump drip bath that I use in the summer, which is right next to a small potted pine tree. Nice flat rock in the middle, plug it in, fill it up and we’re in business. I love having two heated baths in the winter. Brings in more birds and that’s the whole idea, right? I’ve had as many as 25 Robins on the pond bath and 15 on the heated bath at once.Next to go up is a portable 32-inch high cedar picket fence to close off the patio and bird feeding part of the yard to my three mini Dachshunds. They all love peanuts, suet nuggets, hulled sunflower and suet bits. So this fence keeps them from turning from wieners to sausages in winter and gives the birds a bit of a safer place to eat.

Barbie, Winnie, Reina.
Once that is done, my eyes and ideas wander to my big Russian Olive tree. (I know, I know, Russian Olives have taken a bad rap and I would never plant one, but these are old and beautiful and dying and the birds love them) The RO is a very popular site for my backyard birds. It also holds the bulk of my feeders. These trees house one of my suet feeders, an acorn shaped recycled plastic peanut feeder, a niger seed feeder, a caged tube feeder filled with a favorite blend and an oriole feeder. Oriole feeder? in the winter? Yep. After an amazing visit by a Streak-backed Oriole one December and a winter visit of a Western Tanager that loved jelly, my oriole feeder filled with grape jelly is up all year. After cleaning, drying and filling these feeders I’m nearing the end of my project. Only a couple of things left.Way back in the corner of my yard I have a big fly through covered tray feeder mounted on the corner of the fence. This feeder stays up all year, so it gets a good cleaning out, and I fill it with cracked corn and peanuts.Lastly, back near the patio I have a large forsythia bush, which has a brush pile behind it and a big flat rock in front. The sparrows, towhees and juncos love this rock and it gets a sprinkling of niger seed and a blend of millet and sunflower.

Whew. I’m done! While my mini’s are pouting at the fence, for suet nuggets, I’m cleaning up the garage, shaking off the seed, putting the car back and making myself a cup of hot chocolate.Time to set the binocs and bird books on the chair side table, have my Project FeederWatch list nearby, sit back, put my feet up and watch the birds come in.. aahh.. Oh! Wait! I forgot the mealworms! Back up, in the fridge, get a spoonful of mealworms (not in the chocolate, eww!), outside, put them in the tray by the window. There. Ok. Now I’m really done. Relaxed in my chair, sipping hot chocolate, restful, thankful, observing. Hey! It’s Robbie! How’d he know I just put the mealworms out today?But that’s another story…

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