(videos and pictures towards the bottom, but first I have to prove my case about NOT being Snow White)…
Okay, okay! I like snow for the most part, and am not even complaining about the multiple large fluffy layers we’ve been covered in lately despite feeling like I am having an affair on the side with the snow blower, with as much time I spend with it lately…and the shovel. And, yes, I admit I like forest critters. I like to wander around in the forest. I even like apples…
BUT THAT DOESN’T MAKE ME SNOW WHITE! IT DOESN’T!!!
Blech, I’d have to like, wear a dress and act all helpless female. I changed the light bulb for my dims on my driver’s side on my Subaru ALL BY MYSELF and used tools and everything. All. By. Myself. I added air to all the tires, checked the pressure with a gauge, and used the air hose nozzle at the gas station (thanks folks for still providing that amenity for free!) all by myself, in the dark back area of the gas station and in the cold. So cold my fingers went through numb into pain and I was using two hands and then my mini multi-tool that lives in my purse to get the last air nozzle cap off the last tire. But I did it all by myself, and the “tire pressure warning” light went off when I was done.
Ok…Admittedly, changing the wiper blades turned into a 2 day war last week. And I sort of lost the first battle because again it was COLD and DARK in the big box store parking lot when I went to take the old ones off because I had just purchased the new ones. I couldn’t see where to press, pry, poke or whatever the old ones (I’d not changed them yet, so I didn’t put those on), and my trusty multi-tool couldn’t be of much help if I couldn’t poke or pry in the right spot…and trying to use my thumb nail to pull, pry, press, and well, gouge at the spot that literally (and maddeningly) said “OPEN” on it caused me to say something four lettered, and suffer a bit of pain at the thumb nail. A quarter-hour later when I decided to try again in daylight and maybe, with luck, when it would also b a tad warmer, and when I could see, I got back in the Subaru. (Which I’ve named Forest Knight/Forest Night/Night Forest/Knight Forest–I can’t decide which but it’s a black Subaru Forester and I like them all). Once I’d turned the ignition on, and was letting the engine warm up before departing for home, I took off my little knit wool glove and was surprised to see blood. I’d leveled up from “Oh, I broke my nail” to “OWWWW, I bend my nail back and tore it a bit” but had assumed the pain was just because stubbing a finger hurts more when its cold… I’d actually pulled a tiny bit of it away from the nail bed enough that when I got home and trimmed the lose torn off hangnail portion, I had a bit of the nail bed exposed.
So yes, I did lose that battle of “I can be an independent adult and do simple maintenance on my vehicle” in such a way it not only cost me frustration but bit of blood. However, I re-engaged with the opponent the next afternoon and managed to, using the multi-tool awl piece, poke and then pry off that blasted “OPEN” tab on some sort of demonic locking boot/cap thing over the normal slid it in the U shaped end of the wiper bar and click it in place… WHO MADE THIS THING AND WHY!?! I’d like them to open them in the dark and the cold!!!
And in my triumph, I put on the first wiper, and set the wiper blade back in place along the windshield… and thought “Fu…Fudge! That looks awfully short…” Yeppers, I put the passenger side, and 18 inch, on the driver’s side (why isn’t it passenger’s or driver side? maybe it can be said as driver side? whatever, I am going to say it…) on the driver side, which is 24 inches. “No matter, I just put these on, and I know which little tab to push while sliding it back off, piece of ice cream cake…” Which did go well, it was just when I clicked the actual 24 inch blade in place that I was holding it in apparently the wrong position with my middle finger on the left hand because it pinched hard enough to elicit another creative word of four letters in my mind, and leave a tiny but deep-in-the-skin blood blister and a shallow surface flap avulsion the size of about three 12 point Times New Roman ‘o’s if you combined them and made them a square… which bled pretty well considering it was cold and that should hinder bleeding. So much that I decided to reduce the mess and stuffed my finger into the flap for opening an unopened feminine napkin from my emergency stash. It actually only left a few smears of blood on it, but I didn’t have any paper towels handy and didn’t want to drip all over. But then I managed to easily remove and replace the passenger side wiper blade.
So there, I’m not helpless, and I am determined and can do some stuff for myself. I’m NOT an old school fairy tale princess!!! I’M NOT…
Just because there are a few habituaed chick-a-dee’s which come to our feeders, especially now we have so much snow and it’s been pretty darn cold especially when you’re the size of a tiny golf ball and have naked legs and sleep outside, and have enough mass that if I remember right, three of you can be mailed with 1 first class postage stamp. Anyway, just because they’re habituated and stuff, that doesn’t make me Snow White.
I happened to, just for kicks and not expecting any positive results, put some bird seed on my mitten and hold it out as a bird feeder while I was filling the feeders a few weeks ago. Chick-a-dee’s have always been pretty bold little birds in my experience. Yes, they’re one of my favorites for many reasons, including the many fond memories of growing up with so many on our feeders as a kid, and seeing them in the trees and hearing them and always feeling rooted in a sort of memory of home because of them. They’re so cute. And sorta fluffy. And they’re so perky. But they’re not exactly nice to each other… they’re definitely fierce in some ways. But that boldness helps them exploit a resource: bird feeders. Even when you’re filling them, chick-a-dees often will come investigate on nearby perches, and not infrequently actually come to the feeder, snatch a seed, and leave. Sometimes they’ll scold you with one of the “danger present” calls, warning others you’re there and potentially a threat even while they snag a seed from within hand’s snatch (not that I’m fast enough if I decided to try to grab one! Plus they have such tiny bones, I’m pretty sure if I contacted them in such a grabby manner, I’d break something–not cool!).
Since we have a couple seed feeders in the tree in our front yard (one of which at the time had an ‘economy blend’ which was mostly millet–which nothing currently eats, I’m hoping later the pigeons or morning doves will eat it, but the chick-a-dees, blue jays, nuthatches, and various woodpeckers totally turn their bills up at it, so don’t waste your money on it if you want to feed those birds–but at least one other had plenty of black-oil sunflower seeds), as well as having three different suet-cake cage holders, there were plenty of options for bids to come get seeds and not have to deal with me. When we have chick-a-dee flocks at the feeders, I often see four or five at once, sometimes up to eight, and occasionally up to 12 at once (counting ones I’ve tracked their direction when leaving while simultaneously having another incoming from a completely different direction). I think we get the larger bunches, it’s probably two or maybe three different flocks coming in to eat, and happening to be here at the same time. Sometimes they have a nuthatch or woodpecker or both arrive about the same time. So quite often there are several birds waiting to get to a feeder, and a few others already eating in the branches of the maple tree holding the feeders (which by the way, I keep having to hang from higher and higher branches as the snow engulfs the bottom of the tree–I risk my eyes now every time I go to fill or move the feeders because of all the twigs). And it’s really cool, because when I go out to feed or scrape the snow out of the perch/seed access areas of the feeders, they quite often do their fluttering, perching, chirping, flitting, and seed grabbing right around me… it’s like being inside a fish tank sort-of. So, one day, I put some seeds out on my mitten.
I’ve tried this in the past, and I remember having little to no luck growing up. I may have, after months of trying regularly, had one bird land on my hand, I can’t remember.
So I was super surprised, almost stunned, as well as gratified and grateful, when one landed on my mitten within minutes, grabbed a seed, and left. Insanely, it came back about three or four times, although it might have been two birds I can’t tell apart.
I’ve been out there feeding them from my had a few times now, and as far as I can tell, I have the best luck when there is a large number of chick-a-dees in the tree/near by other trees. I’m not sure if that’s because there are a few that will switch from waiting for an inanimate feeder and just use my hand to skip the wait, or if it’s only because a large number of birds makes it more likely that the individual birds which will land on my hand are present. I am sure there are at least two individuals which will land on my hand, maybe a few more. A lot consider it, then decide not to, and will either fly to the open bucket of bird seed and get one from there, or will just go to a nearby feeder or to the ground for ones dropped by other birds. I’ve felt bad, because the second time I tried feeding by hand, I didn’t wear mittens. I had one bird land, take a seed, and leave, followed about a minute later by, I think a different bird. The second bird landed on a twig next to my hand, pecked at my pinky tip and fingernail, and gave up in favor of a plastic bird feeder. A while later, a bird landed in my hand and took a seed.
So here are the pictures and video from one of my more recent adventures outside with them. Ryan hasn’t tried this yet, I’m not sure he wants to have to stand waiting in the cold, but he and the neighbor across the street have started shaming me with the nickname Snow White…. ewwwwwwwwww-uh.
I can’t even say I’d rather be Fiona, because her bird blew up…I can handle the green skin and orange hair–that’s kind of fun, and she looks great even in the stockier nocturnal form she gets, but nope, it’s not worth blowing up birds.
If I have to have a cutesy princess reference, how about individualizing it to Snow Rainbow? Rainsnowbow? …Snowbow Bright? Crazy Bird Lady? And before you say ANYTHING about those yellow smiling, frowning, laughing, crying or whatever faces you put in texts, and their main character princess in their movie, I’m still not convinced that those things aren’t vastly over used. I mean, seriously, my phone comes equipped with about 4 versions of sushi, a jocky riding a race horse, a race horse with a saddle blanket but no saddle and no jockey, a naked horse running, several churches, other places of worship, a bunch of hopsitals…. at that point, seriously, just write it out. Facial expressions are hard to put to words, but I don’t need to send pictures of a lock with an old-school ink well type pen on it… Anyway, at least that princess went rogue just a bit, and didn’t blow up birds. And I nearly swallowed my tongue when I discovered they spelled Addie with an ‘ie’ in that movie!
I was super stoked when I was able to sneak my cell phone from my pocket and get video and pictures! I had intended to try to sneakily text Ryan to tell him to get pictures from inside, and not to come out until he had a few because they sometimes spook when people walk in the driveway. Then I realized I could just take the pictures and video myself, and was happily able to do so. Aiming was a little awkward, but not impossible. And I LOVE the flutter noise they make when they move from branch to branch. I was happy to learn when I went back inside to warm my hands back to flesh temperature, that Ryan had noticed my luck, and gotten his own camera out (as you can see above).
Sigh, I don’t care if they keep calling me stupid princess names, I’m still going to hang out with the birds. I think someone else in the area has tried hand feeding so they already have gotten used to it, or maybe it was just so cold and snowy that instant food with little competition sounded worth risking landing on my hand. They took to it surprisingly fast.
Just after Ryan stopped recording, I had one land on my shoulder while one was already in my hand. I’m not sure what it actually did, but I could hear the little claws against my coat, and sort of feel something against my hat and hair–it probably was investigating those for interesting surprises while it waited, then hopped down to my hand. I had one land on my hand and try to eat the fleshy bit of my finger, but at least this time it moved in and actually tried the seeds, too.
Thanks for watching, my finger and thumb are basically healed so hooray for that!