Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Better Than TV

4/27/20 Maple Leaf squirrel

Insufficiently distracted by Prime’s offerings, we recently succumbed to Netflix. Bingeing on “The Crown” has kept our evenings busy, but the best daytime entertainment is still our bird feeder. In a “normal” year, we would have taken it down by now, knowing that the birds have plenty of better food elsewhere. But this year, with fewer entertainment options, we’ve kept it up. The birds are already dining less often at our feeder, though, and we miss them.

They are, however, not our only visitors. On a recent afternoon, our yard’s resident squirrel gave us quite a show of comedic acrobatics as it tried to eat out of the tiny feeding holes. Swinging wildly from both the wind and its own weight, the squirrel kept falling off, but I have to give it credit for persistence. I wonder if it’s the same one that visited last year. . . we have a Squirrel Buster feeder that would keep it away, but I like this faulty feeder better for its entertainment value.

Though less full of pratfalls, the chickadees, juncos and finches are just as frantic as they compete for the pegs. I’ve sketched the bright yellow male American goldfinches before, but usually from the back where their striking chevron-marked wings are visible. This one stood facing the window long enough that I could capture him from the front this time.
4/23/20 male American goldfinch

And then there’s our daily neighborhood walks. In my recent post about the urban bunnies, I mentioned that they are relatively rare in these parts. Not so with raccoons; we spot them fairly often loping leisurely down the street or ducking under bushes. Once, while waiting at a bus stop, I had a lengthy stare-down with a mama and her adorable kits in tow. I know that they can be a nuisance (or worse), but they have never done me any damage or harm, so I like them. On a recent walk, I heard a sudden scramble as I approached a stand of trees, so I looked up, and two raccoons stared back at me.

If nature’s urban programming were more regular and reliable, we wouldn’t need Netflix at all.

4/28/20 raccoons of Maple Leaf


  1. You have such fun creatures around you for sketches. I only see squirrels here...but then I don't have a feeder to attract them.

    1. I don't see as many as I'd like to! But I always keep an eye out for them.


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