Monday, March 21, 2016

Attack of the Danishes

Someone in the neighborhood has been religiously feeding the birds.  I'm not talking crumbs here, but huge stale danishes, bagels, and whole loaves of bread.  Apparently, the person buys more bread than she can eat before it goes bad, and then gives it to the birds.

I admit that I too occasionally toss small, old bread items off the porch, but I see the ground squirrels and rabbits drag them away to their dens.  The bread is usually gone within an hour.

However, in the case of this other person who is feeding the birds, I find myself suffering the consequences of her actions.  You see, the ravens pick up the bread items, decide that they are too hard for them to swallow, so they drop them in horses' water troughs.  My horses refuse to drink water that has been tainted by foreign matter, so I have to bail out these 75 to 100 gallon tanks with a bucket, spray out the gunk, sometimes scrub out the gunk, and then re-fill the troughs, only to have to do it all over again the next day thanks to the ravens and the person who throws a ridiculous amount of bread to them.

It's a tremendous waste of my time and water resources.

I can't tell you how discouraging it is to wake up in the morning and stagger down to the barn half-asleep only to find ravens with more bread in their mouths standing over the water troughs.  It's like being a mom and seeing your baby or toddler knock her oatmeal over in slow motion onto carpet.  Only I could probably clean oatmeal up off a carpet a lot faster than bailing water out of the troughs, so maybe that's not a good analogy.  The bread falls apart if you try to just pick it out of the water.  You get floaters everywhere.

Also, I can't help but think that if I weren't cleaning up this other person's mess every day, I could be out riding my horses.  I suspect I know who is doing it, because the problem began when she showed up in the neighborhood a few weeks ago.  I was told that she bought a one-way ticket here, because she's so sick of the snow where she lives that she doesn't want to go back home.  Well, I can't wait until the day she goes back home since her presence has been an ongoing struggle for me.  If I catch her around, I plan to ask her if she is the one feeding the birds, so I can explain the problem to her.  I'm sure she just thinks that the ravens carry these huge, stale danishes off to their nests and eat them.

The other day I was sitting in my bedroom next to a glass door, and I jumped out of my skin to hear a bang against the door.  I looked over just in time to see this danish ricocheting off the door and bouncing along the patio.  I'm guessing that a couple of birds were fighting over it in the sky and dropped it.  It felt like I was under attack and the birds were dropping bombs.

Other pesky critter problems involve gnats flying into my drinks and drowning, not to mention trying to fly into my eyes and mouth and nostrils.  I wake up every morning coughing and feeling like something is stuck in my throat.  I suspect something actually is stuck in my throat, because the gnats have their way with me when I sleep.

Also, my husband found the beehive that I suspected was on our property.  It was closer than I thought.  We have a metal pole that contains the wires to our floodlight screwed into the side of our house up in the eaves.  The screws and brackets keep popping out, so my husband tried drilling new holes since the old holes were stripped, and a bunch of tiny bees flew out from those tiny holes.  So, we have a beehive in the wall of our house next to the dogs' yard.  That sucks.  Fortunately, it's not Africanized bees.  These ones do pester us, but they don't sting us.

I'm not liking spring very much this year.  The first day of spring felt more like the first day of summer for us.  The nights are cool, but the days are pretty hot.  I've noticed that more and more people are getting out to hike, bicycle, and horseback ride in the early mornings to try to beat the heat.  I keep hoping I'll see the gila monster around, but so far the only reptiles I've come across are lizards.


TeresaA said...

that would be annoying. Plus that kind of processed food is not good for wild birds. I can't wait for the heat!

How Sam Sees It said...

The bad thing about the bread - it also attracts coyotes and javelina. I wonder if it is the same lady/people/person that was putting it out by my Mom? We put up signs next to the bread pile that said "YOU ARE KILLING OUR DOGS!" and "QUIT ATTRACTING KILLER WILDLIFE TO OUR STREET" and it stopped immediately. We never did have an incident, but we saw more coyotes and rodents than ever. We never did see who was doing it though.

Brenda said...

Unfortunately, the person probably won't care about the issues it's causing with the birds and the water troughs. People like that often have an attitude of "Oh well. It's not harming anything. So what if it causes you a little extra work?" Since it doesn't negatively affect her/him they're not going to care too much.

I'm glad your hive isn't Africanized, but I'd still be concerned.

Hopefully you'll see the Gila Monster soon. I need my picture fix! Hahaha

Crystal said...

Ugh some people just don't think. that would get really annoying for me too

Cheryl Ann said...

Feeding bread to birds isn't healthy AT ALL. Maybe you could put up a sign informing that person? I know our city park doesn't allow folks to feed bread to the ducks there... PERIOD. And, yes, it is irresponsible because look at all the other critters eating that JUNK! Ugh!

Linda said...

That's something you don't usually see--people feeding whole danishes to birds. All of my neighbors seem to have proper bird feeders. Very strange neighbors you have! I can't imagine it being hot since it actually snowed here today. I can't help but be envious of you for that...but not the gnats.