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One More Web Whipping In The Wind

January 28, 2014

     One of my tangled webs is my birdfeeder.  A nice example how such a simple thing can become rather complicated.
     I must admit that I had an ulterior motive when I first hanged the thing.  I have a dour, stolid and rather portly Schnauzer Poodle mix who, when we headed out to the backyard for his business, perked up and seemed to find his vigor when he spotted a bird or squirrel out there to run at.  He would freeze on the deck seeking prey.  When this was spotted there was the tense bit when he stared intently as if taking aim until his soul said ‘Now!’ and he would dash madly at the creature lusting for blood.  Our deck is so situated that he must circle some to come to ground and really get going so actually catching something was impossible, but he got a kick out of trying and I got a kick out of seeing it so, my first inspiration for the feeder was to attract game for him to chase.
     As I am a dour, stolid man, scrawny rather than portly, we don’t get out and adventure much.  He spends way too much time laying about while I spend way too much time seated at the computer.  A little excitement would do him good.  I also assumed that birdfeeder birds would be used to inept dog attacks and be in little danger.
     So things went for a while, both of us getting a tickle, but I found that when I let the bird feed run out and the cupboards bared until I made it to the store, my lifelong companion guilt would kick me around some more.  I had one more little responsibility to sweat over.
     This winter I went to fill it one day and discovered that the frigid weather had cracked the inner plastic sleeve severely.  Filled it anyway from the sack in the utility room and, as I carried it out to the tree, left a trail of seed from the utility room across the deck and then the yard to the tree.  About a quarter of the contents oozed out onto the yard as soon as it was hooked up and I knew I needed a new one.  Later, though, taking the dog out, I found the puddled of feed surrounded by little striated bird prints in the snow.  Amusing.  The next morning more tracks show that during the night rabbits had joined the feast and I was completely charmed. 
     Now I am committed to a wasteful enterprise mostly for the selfish pleasure I find in the patterns of spoor in the snow, the dog dancing a bloodthirsty circle snuffing up the scent of all the little killables and sneezing when he get snow up his nose.

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