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    Desperate Times Require Desperate Measures

    Okay, here’s the deal. I recently purchased a ceramic lighthouse birdfeeder. I have it hanging from a wrought iron pole at my bedroom window and there’s another finch feeder on the other side of the pole. The lighthouse is filled with general wild bird food which brings a variety of birds. What I didn’t expect were the squirrels who came to attack the lighthouse.

    The first feeding perches that the lighthouse came with were wooden. The squirrels completely chewed through them in order to get to the food. Then Herman came up with a great idea. He took a plastic coat hanger and cut off perch sized lengths and put them where the wooden ones were with rubber bands wrapped around the ends to keep the squirrels from sliding them out. This also did not work, as the squirrels figured out how to chew through the plastic as well as how to get rid of the rubber bands by chewing.

    Now I was starting to get out of control with frustration. I mean they’re squirrels, members of the rodent family, I should be smart enough to find a way to get around this. As of this morning, Herman came up with a brilliant idea. He went to the local country store here called Groom’s where they happen to stock lot’s of hardware as well as groceries. Since the squirrels cannot chew through metal (I am making an assumption here) Herman got six inch long carriage bolts which fit in the holes where the wooden and plastic perches had bit the dust.

    I was surprised that he put extra nuts on the ends of the carriage bolts that he called "lock nuts" to keep the squirrels from unscrewing the bolts to get in. Picture if you will, those little paws with little squirrel wrenches busily unscrewing the carriage bolts! Evidently, Herman was as bugged about this as I was. He just thought it through methodically before doing anything.

    Meanwhile, the finches and hummingbirds seem to go about their dining business quite well without any upset from squirrels. Must be squirrels have no fascination with a diet of thistle or sugar water. What is amazing to me is the fact that in the aisle of pet food and bird food they even have squirrel food! Why would anyone bother to feed these rodents? I’m sure there are people who find them adorable. And I for one wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to a squirrel. But I would not go out of my way to feed them either. I guess it comes down to choice, and I choose birds.

    As of this writing, I have not seen a squirrel attempt to move those bolts. I will definitely keep you posted on my quest to rid my bird feeders of squirrels.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"