Friday, 8 November 2013

08/11: TREE RATS .... AGAIN!

I've called a halt to the gorilla drawing and he's resting on an easel in the corner of the room ready for final inspection/tweaking next week.  I'll take some photos and post progress pics later.

I have started another drawing, this time its a 'human' on white paper which is quite a treat as colours are more true.  When working on black support the colours change subtly and yellows take on a green tinge etc so its quite a voyage of discovery

My new work is a young Italian girl, the daughter of our neighbour in Fuerteventura.  She's a beautiful child, in fact mum and dad are also very easy on the eye LOL so just hope I can do her justice.    Again, I'll post progress photos later - must crack on whilst the light is good.    I'm working in coloured pencil as, if the drawing turns out OK, I might enter it for the UKCPS International Exhibition which has been brought forward from Autumn to Spring in 2014.   Deadline for entries is 5 February which sounds a long way off, but with holidays and Christmas festivities etc., the time will fly past far too quickly.

BUT ... I keep getting distracted by the tree rats who show no respect for we humans at all.  When chased off the bird feeders they sit on the fence and thumb their noses at us.   One of them actually 'barked' at me yesterday.

Now that the berries are thinning out in the hedgerow at the back of our house the birds are using the feeders more frequently.  Sadly so are the squirrels.       The squirrel-proof feeders with reinforced feeding holes/perches have been trashed.  Although they can't chew through the metal, they've simply chewed the plastic tubes and popped the reinforced sections out.

 Three of them hard at work

This is the only undamaged one left now .... for the moment.

Once they pull out the reinforced plugs the little perches disappear as well so the birds can't use the feeders as they've nothing to sit on.

On the right of the last photo is one of the 'caged' feeders we bought last year at great expense.  A reinforced metal cage sits over the central feeder, the gaps in the bars are big enough to let small birds in but not squirrels.   BUT last year the squirrels worked out how to open the lid/door at the top of the contraption and help themselves to the contents.   We foiled them by using strong bulldog clips to keep the door shut ... so far they haven't worked out how to spring the clips.

I found a wonderful bargain online.   I have just ordered 4 more of the caged feeders at sale price of £18.89 incl postage.  We paid nearly that price for just one last year so am really pleased with the four.  They are the same make so should be strong.   

Can't wait for them to arrive so I can thwart the tree rats.    They will still be able to help themselves to fatballs as I prefer not to put those in caged feeders because they won't be accessible to the woodpeckers and other birds who are too big to fit between the bars.   At least the sunflower seeds and peanuts will be safe though.


Jo said...

Squirrels are a damned nuisance aren't they. We had one large feeder in our back yard with a metal baffle on the post so they couldn't climb up (one figured out how to throw himself over) and cut down tree branches so the couldn't jump over either. One squirrel qualified for the Olympic Long Jump.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

smart little rodents, can't believe some of the things they figure out and how much damage such a small thing does

Sue Clinker said...

I know ..... they are incredibly clever and resourceful but I hate the fact they clear all the seed feeders in one visit so the poor birds miss out. A blue tit takes 2 or 3 minutes to nibble away at each sunflower seed - the squirrels just wolf down handfuls at a time.

I have so many squirrel photos I really should draw one or two of them sometime LOL

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

lol you should! they are a pain, but would make a nice drawing with all the different shapes they can put their bodies in

Jan said...

We have them almost wipe out both our pecan crop and any peaches that manage to get even slightly ripe!

They make me crazy and almost wish we were hunters! If it wouldn't cause problems with the current administration, I'd invite the previous administration over - he always liked a good squirrel stew!