Friday, July 07, 2006

No place for fancy around here

Raise your hand if you love the Smith and Hawken catalog.

(I'm doing it, too.)

Keep your hand up if you've ever bought anything from that shop (or gotten it as a gift) and had it actually attract the animal it was supposed to. For instance, a bird feeder, birdbath, etc.

For the record, my hand is now down. Why? Because there is just no room for fancy when it comes to wildlife.

They do not care that you spent $50 on a prissy seed contraption that matches your fence/house/patio furniture. Nor do they care that said feeder is made of recycled milk bottles or has shatterproof windows.

Instead, they prefer ugly sacks and plastic flowers.

I'll admit, during the many times I've sat back and imagined what my ideal garden would look like, it never once included a pathetically fraying mesh bag swaying next to a rickety fence or a red plastic hummingbird feeder with fake flower blossoms and a twisty tie hook. However, those visions have always included many chirping finches and hovering hummingbirds, so I'm now making some compromises.

The creatures are teaching me an important lesson here: No fancy in the garden, please. We do not care for your copper leaf adornments, blown glass receptacles or cumbersome sitting ledges. We prefer practical methods by which we can dispense massive quantities of food into our tiny bird bellies.

And, because I'm a slave to the creatures, I cave in. And, because I cave in, there are one hundred finches piling onto the niger seed feeder and two very competitive hummingbirds duking it out over the recently refilled and rehung cheesy plastic feeder, complete with plastic flowers.

Moral of the story: If it costs more than $10, don't expect it to attract any birds. Apparently, they're cheap dates.


  1. Ha! Same holds true with dogs and cats. Why play with a $15 mouse or rubber ball when crunched up paper is so much more fun? For your garden, you might try getting crafty and make some of those shapes (cardboard even) covered in peanut butter and seeds. I've always thought those would make fun gifts too. I posted them on my blog several months ago.

  2. yes. same can be said for small children. wrapping and tissue paper are always better than what's inside!

    we have some hummingbird feeders, but i have only seen one or two ... ever! i would love to see them all the time.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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