A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Good News and Better News

I had my second cataract surgery this past week and (good news) I now have 20/20 vision again.

Even greater news, I had my second cataract surgery this past week and nobody died. Okay, this may seem like I’m relating two unrelated events, but please recall what happened last month when I had my first cataract surgery. I came home from the surgery center to find a message from my brother that Mom had passed away that morning. This time, I received no news that any one I knew died on the day of my second surgery, so yay! I’ll take any victory that I can get at this point.

This week everything is blossoming. Our Bradford Pear tree has white snowy branches, the forsythia has golden yellow limbs, and the weeping cherry has bloomed with purple and lavender twiny strings hanging down in flaccid fashion.

(Tee-hee!  I said “flaccid.”)

I’m also very happy with the progress of my newly planted rhododendron, as Warrior Queen reported on her blog. I am trying to populate the back yard with flora that reminds me of plants my mother had in our yard while I was growing up, and yet not tempt the local deer population to gorge on my landscaping. Sadly, I made a miscalculation when I brought the rhododendron home.  

I googled this species of plant and found that deer do not avoid the rhodo.  Nay, in fact they look upon it as a feast. Sure enough, I googled further and found that one of these critters was enterprising enough to land a rhododendron cookbook on the The New York Times best sellers list (“101 Rhodo Recipes” by Bambi).* Naturally, I did not make this discovery until AFTER I planted my new $30 dollar garden investment in the ground.

Previously I thought I had read somewhere on the Internet (where everything is right, don’t you know) that deer don’t like rhododendrons. Or maybe I got my rhodos mixed up with another species of plant like daffodils.
Okay, okay, I know that it is a bit of stretch to confuse a rhododendron with daffodils, but please keep in mind: my 20/20 vision was not restored until this week.

And of course the rhodo plant will be the main entrée after the deer feast on the hosta salad bar.**  Hosta is another species I fondly remember bordering the postage stamp size garden of our Northeast Philadelphia row house. I have planted four or five around the base of our weeping cherry. Fortunately, I’m spraying both rhodo and hosta with a deer repellant, and so far, so good.

And hey, while I’m depriving the local deer population of a hearty meal, I might as well do my part to piss off the local squirrels too. In the 15 years we have lived here, we’ve filled a bird feeder near the living room window, solely so the local bird population can entertain our cats while they fill their tummies. 

Unfortunately, the birds are joined by the squirrels and deer (remember them?). This depletes a normal two week supply of bird seed in a matter of days. The aforementioned deer repellant has discouraged the deer not to suck and/or otherwise lick the seed out of the tiny feeder holes, but the squirrels proved more difficult.

I recently purchased a squirrel baffle for the base of our bird feeder. For those not familiar with this device, it is simply nothing more than a sheet metal hood fashioned in such a way that the squirrels climb up the pole or post and, instead of reaching around to grasp a paw full of seed within reach, they have to figure out how to climb upside down to the edge of the hood, then climb up the top of the hood. So far, they have not thought this through.

They could develop tiny suction cups on their paws and feet, or order two pairs of Acme brand suction cups on Amazon, but so far they haven’t been able to make either one of these choices. They also haven’t resorted to a third choice: hire a squirrel lawyer to issue a cease and desist order to me to remove the baffle.***

So, with any luck this spring, I’ll have great looking plants and grumpy wildlife in my backyard. I can live with that!

* Who knew that Bambi was so in touch with his doe side to write a cook book? And I always thought he was so…so stag!

** And, no, I’m not putting out croutons!

*** This begs the question: how does one tell the regular squirrels from the lawyer squirrels? Easy! The lawyer squirrels are the ones wearing fluorescent striped bow ties!

(Thank you for reading. Next week in this space: a review of Bambi’s latest New York Times best seller, “Humping Does!” Now that’s more like it!)


Blogger Ur-spo said...

Good luck baffling the squirrels.

April 19, 2015 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Raybeard said...

Looking good, then. Life is certainly full of little 'excitements'.

Congrats on cataract op 2 - even moreso being without depressing accompanying news this time.

April 20, 2015 at 1:17 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you Spo for your wishes. We'll do our best to keep the rodents at bay!

Thank you Raybeard. I forgot what it was like to see this well.

April 20, 2015 at 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was f'ing rabbits (Thumper) that decimated my hostas. The hostas must have hallucinogenic qualities to them because I once caught one happily munching away, and Thumper just stayed there, staring at me with its eyes half closed. Surprised it didn't scamper away like it usually does when humans come around but whatever was in that hosta had mellowed Thumper out pretty good. Now I have to put little wire fences around the hostas and since it now looks like Fort Knox I gotta wonder what's the point?

~ Freckles

January 11, 2016 at 10:01 PM  

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