It’s a rather quiet morning out there today. What I hear above the bits of birdsong is the incessant chatter of annoyed squirrels and chipmunks. Perhaps a neighbor’s cat is out there skulking in the bushes and the rodents are vocalizing their displeasure. I doubt it makes a difference to the cat.
I don’t know who owns any of these cats, but I sure wish the owners would keep their felines indoors. The cats in this country are responsible for the deaths of birds estimated to number in the millions annually. This, in addition to the countless deaths of other creatures. I have no way of knowing if any of this is true, but I have witnessed enough in my own backyard to know that I do not want my neighbors’ cats to roam free to wander into my yard.
These visiting cats hide in the flowerbeds and under the boughs of the evergreens and the thickets along the edge of the lawn. They watch every movement within the range of a head spin, at times appearing to be mesmerized by the activity at the feeders. Sometimes they are brazen and, poised in a crouch in preparation to pounce, they are in the open area at the feeders, lost in the focus of their goal—to catch a distracted, feeding critter.
No matter how many times I go out there shooing off the cats—and the birds and other animals by default—the cats slink just out of the range of where I stand and stare at me, likely wondering what my problem is. They return immediately, sometimes before I make it back to my door. Dang it.
I don’t want to dwell on a situation I can’t change, or one that will promote ill will toward me because I express my frustration at what I think of as irresponsible behavior on the part of pet owners. We really can’t blame the cats for being cats, but I do find myself misplacing the fury and disliking the felines.
Now that some steam has been released, back to the birds. As the morning moves on and warms up, the most excitement in the garden now is the hummingbird activity. These wee winged creatures are tearing up the flowerbeds, especially the bee balm, in constant chase of each other as any one of them approaches the flowers. They are also battling over the hummingbird feeders, of which there are about half a dozen hung at various sites around the house.
At times, there are a good five or six hummers giving chase or being chased. It’s difficult to keep an accurate count—they buzz around so fast. The battles are intense, and face-to-face. At one point, two birds engaged in a face off and flew in a straight line high up in the air, in what looked like a battle of wills. One finally wavered and swerved away and the other was in hot pursuit, but only for a short distance.
The “loser” doesn’t seem to stay away for long, however. In moments, it—or another of its kind—is right back trying to steal into the flowerbed or a feeder. At another moment, the “winner” left off chasing one, only to head back to shoo another of its kind out of the area.
A friend stopped by for a cup of tea, and we witnessed even more battles occurring between these feisty, feathery firecrackers. My friend had never seen so many hummingbirds at once and had never witnessed such aggression in them. She was just as captivated as I with the sheer determination the birds displayed at protecting or capturing a sip of food. What fun it is to share in these delights.
While some of the employees here at Marine Parts Express are dog people and others are cat people (Noreen is probably not one of these) we are all boat people and are here to help you find the parts you need. Call us toll free at 877.621.2628.
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Marine Parts Express is a division of Water Resources, Inc., a privately held Maine Corporation
Comments? Questions? Suggestions for topics for our blog or newsletter? Send them to
Marine Parts Express is a division of Water Resources, Inc., a privately held Maine Corporation.
For all your marine engine parts needs, call us toll free at 877.621.2628, or outside the U.S. at 207.882.6165.
August 11, 2011 / Noreen O'Brien / 0
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