One of the things that has kept me relatively sane and mentally healthy is the bird feeders in my garden. I nearly collapsed last December when I was told by a pair of people who live here that I had to take all my bird feeders down.
Thing is, a week before, I left the house one day and bumped into a bloke with a pest control sweatshirt outside, looking very puzzled. He told me someone at the end of the block of barns I live in had heard animals in their roof and he didn’t know whether it was rats or squirrels.
I said, I can tell you it’s rats for sure, because last year my husband and I spent a fortune securing the drains from rats getting into and out of them, and this year they have tunnelled into the garden under the fence. I’ve never seen a squirrel here, I think because they are scared of the cars. But rats are inevitable on farmland. I showed him the garden, the bird feeders and the tunnel the rats had made.
So it was that I got generally blamed for the influx of rats by everyone. I was told by a bossy, nasty neighbour that I had to take all my feeders down, else I would get sued.
So, to keep the peace, I took the feeders down. I felt really lonely without the birds. Jim and I loved the birds in the garden, but he died here on 15th September 2020.
Then on Jan 1st, I put the bird feeders back up. Assuring everyone I could that rats only wanted fat balls, so I filled the feeders with nuts and stuff.
Now, the miracle I saw is that some birds have made a nest in our drain pipe, so I’m waiting eagerly for the chicks. I feel blessed, because we thought we had a nest in 2020, but it’s possible the local farm cat got it. He’s at least 18, he’s been wandering around the place ever since I got here in 2006.
The cat, Puddy Cat we call him, because we fed him too at times, can’t scale the drain pipe. He wouldn’t dare because the dogs would chase him away.
The nest is such solace to me in these terrible times, when I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I’m planning to move away soon, to a home in a village, and leave this place that is full of a bunch of people with big ideas and tiny minds.