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By Lacey Gardner

Wiser’s Wramblings-Warm-Up

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A must read to find out more about, “…. a nude sunbather by the river.”

By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

As I write this, I am still waiting for some additional information regarding Deer Run Campground and as I recall more and more that I want to share I think I will do a somewhat abbreviated Wrambling’s for today and then perhaps a longer piece later or over the weekend. It might even turn into a multiple chapter writing as the memories flood back in.

One of the short comings of making “bullet lists” but only with snippets or abbreviated comments, is the ability to, or lack thereof, recall of what your note meant.

As I listened to the scanner since my last writing, I heard something that I wanted to remember to write about. I know it had something to do with a controversy regarding what each of two parties had reported, as in “He said, she said” so I made the following reminder note to myself: “they said, He said, No! She said.” For the life of me I cannot recall what the “rest of the story” was.

Feeders have been very active lately. Not the unanimated food containers, but those that partake of the nectars and nibbles. It appears that we have a bumper crop of new offspring based on the fledglings that are now actively visiting the feeders. They are all capable of feeding themselves now, but as “kids” (and husbands) are wont to do, some will sit at the table and beg to be fed. In their confusion, or out of desperation, the siblings even turn to each other, expecting the other to feed them. Our resident Cardinals have held their own in the reproduction department as there are a half dozen new fledglings visiting the feeders. Cardinals do have a tendency to be “ground feeders” by nature so they spend a considerable amount of time hopping around on the deck picking up scraps.

We are often asked why we are so successful in attracting and keeping our aviary friends and I have usually replied that we give them a varied menu. I think another attraction is that we provide “landing and perching zones” in the form of old tree branches left over from pruning’s or breakage. The birds swoop in, initially landing on a branch, and then hop to the feeder of choice. When fledglings come, they will land on, and sit on, or in, the branches “shivering” in anticipation, sometimes two or three at a time, begging to be fed.

The Raccoons continue to be a real nuisance. We have done our best to discourage or thwart their visits, but the population seems such that there is no end in sight. Prior to last night we had 11 documented visits by different raccoons. Last night saw a destructive visit from presumably the 12th one. We had stopped putting suet cakes out so as to limit the visits of the gluttonous Red Bellied Woodpeckers. In a moment of weakness and having a new feeder with the suet cake holder still intact, we put a suet cake out. When we looked out this morning there were chunks of suet cake on the deck and railing and the suet cake holder had been pulled nearly off the new feeder. The picture that accompanies this, hopefully, will clearly show the destruction. It took strong hands to pull the staples holding the suet holder in, but those hands had to be small enough to have reached through the openings in the cage wire, without damaging that.  

I often second guess our putting out copious amounts of jelly for our visiting migratory birds. We will continue to do that as long as we are able, but one possible less than desirable side effect is the flurry of bee activity shortly after we start putting the jelly dishes out. The bees absolutely swarm to the feeders. First a few, and then the word spreads and they hover non-stop. I don’t recall ever having been stung by any. After all, why would they bite this sour old thing when they can chomp on the sweet jelly. The “back of the mind” concern I have however is; If the bees are eating from the jelly and not the nectar of the flowering plants in the area, isn’t that detracting from the cross pollination of the flora by the fauna, and more importantly perhaps, the garden vegetables and other such things that require it?

Words spoken figuratively and taken literally. When you say “sock it to me” you shouldn’t have just handed a package of new socks to your wife. She did!

I guess it is with gratitude that I see millions of dollars pouring into our infrastructure repairing bridges specifically, but as I contemplated that upon reading of yet another in the local paper, I began to wonder. A twenty-year-old bridge has been earmarked for replacement. Ok…cars have pretty much lost their usefulness over that span of time so why not? But, If I recall, that bridge that is being replaced was initially put in to replace a bridge that had been in use for over 100 years. Given the scientific and technological advancements and improvements made in recent (20) years, shouldn’t the time spans be reversed?

Scanner calls add to my daily sitting and resting experience and add to questions in my mind. One call from the other day was regarding a report of indecent exposure, “from a nude sunbather by the river.” The frequency of another series of calls results from ambulance response calls to a doctor’s office in Wellsville. The frequency, and the fact that it’s always to the same doctor’s office makes me curious. I don’t hear those related to any other doctors office in the area. Part of my catch and release program of visitor critters came into play again the night before last. I have accepted the suggestions that skunks are better to have around your yard than many other critters. Let me clarify and then I will expound on that. I set the cage traps for “other” critters, not the skunks. A month ago, my catch and release resulted in my catching a skunk in the trap. I have a pretty good record of being able to release a caught skunk without being perfumed. On that occasion few weeks ago that didn’t work so well and I did get a light dose. A couple of mornings ago there was a pretty good sized, nearly all white skunk in the trap. Recalling my previous experience, I was extra cautious. I always start a quiet relaxing conversation with the trapped critters to try and put them at ease. I approached the trap quietly and cautiously beginning my soothing banter. The skunk curiously looked up at me but remained in a restful, reclined position. I draped the “moving blanket,” aptly named I might add, and didn’t seem to upset “Peppy” too much. I opened the trap door on one end, the skunk waddled out, and ran over the back bank. I escaped “scent free.” Bet you were expecting a different ending, weren’t you?

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