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Sweet Berries and Mounds of Cream
5:24 p.m. - 2007-02-05

A flock of birds has taken up residence in our front tree, leading to a drastically trashed front sidewalk and walk in front of the door. Either one of us has to go out there and hose down the sidewalks every day so that unwary visitors do not track birdy diseases into my house. This is my reward for reading the Jason recommended book, 11 Blue Men, lo these many years ago. This book is about medical detection puzzles, one of them being psittacosis. So now I find myself hosing down the sidewalks to avoid the same fate.

He just cleaned it yesterday, but today the whole thing was trashed again including my poor car. Now this may seem minor, but this can eat away the finish on your car, as I have seen. I remembered a contraption I saw in a gardening catalog, so I decided to make one myself. It is a metal cutout of a cat's head with marbles inset for the eyes, and when you hang it up in the tree or on your plants, it is supposed to scare the animals and birds away, since they see the gleam of the eyes and decide to land elsewhere. I made one up using posterboard, metal tape, and those marblely things people put in aquariums, then I climbed up a ladder and hung it in the tree. We shall see how it works, but I fully expect to go out there and see it covered with bird poop.

I used to use a plastic snake in the backyard, a very realistic rattler, but the only thing that scared was an unwary plumber who came across it and nearly had a heart attack. He had walked out to the deck to check the roof line for plumbing vents, and had stepped up on the deck bench, only to scream and leap off again. Luckily, he wasn't hurt, and I managed to stifle my burgeoning laughter so that I would not get sued. But I still think of it fondly.

I have a big hurdle coming up in the South Beach diet. A Birthday Dinner is coming up for January and Evan, and strawberry shortcake will be served. I must not eat it, I must not eat it, I must not eat it. Or maybe just a little.

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