Perhaps in time the so-called Dark Ages will be thought of as including our own” — George Christoph Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

It may be difficult — if not impossible — to predict how our present response to fighting a horrific virus will be remembered throughout history. The stay-home approach has given some of us a taste of what retirement would be like: plenty of time with little cash to enjoy it. Stay-cations may be the “get-away” theme this summer, as we are relegated to a no-contact lifestyle — all for our own good.

Although we cannot go to the movies, a spectacular show has arrived in our neighborhoods and viewing is free of charge. The great annual bird migration is in full swing and, while some of our wintering, feathered visitors have moved north, others have taken their places.

With this in mind, I thought it would be enjoyable to set up a new feeding station in clear, close-up view of a sizeable hunting blind/camping shelter. The 7-by-8-foot “cabin” overlooks a swamp from its location atop a ridge and offers a look at different species of birds than that found in the backyard.

One old, recycled wood feeder was filled and fastened to a tree, but when I returned the next morning, the top was removed and a large chunk of wood had been chewed off the feeder. So, it was on to Plan B.

Plan B was to hang some type of feeder from a wire strung between two trees. From an empty, plastic juice bottle I fashioned a new feeder at no cost. With the aid of a propane torch and a hawk-billed, wood-handle knife, I heated the tip of the blade and melted some openings at the bottom of the jug. A perch was attached by means of wire fished through small holes in the bottom.

At the top of the feed openings some plastic material was left as hinges that were pushed into the jug, in an effort to minimize seed spill. The top was unscrewed and a small hole allowed it to be fastened from above through the cap.

Perfect. I thought.

However, one way or the other, the feeder was found on the ground and destroyed. Plan C then involved a duplicate feeder hung in such a manner as to foil the thieves of the night. Same result.

At least my idea of a suet feeder was still intact. “Was” is the operative word, because the cheap suet cage was also pulled down from its lofty position in a nearby tree; The hungry birds and I were beat again.

A strategically placed trailcam showed three suspects looming in the darkness: a large raccoon, an opossum and a feral cat.

The challenge is on! Now, where did I put that Plan D?

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