October 25th, 2011

coffee beans

The Birdfeeder Saga (or, Sometimes The Universe is Just Out For A Laugh)

So,when we first moved here we got this tray, or platform, birdfeeder - it literally is no more than a wooden frame with a mesh bottom upon which birdseed is laid for the birds to feed upon. This birdfeeder was nailed to the railing of our deck, there in the corner, and it sat in its place happily for damn near nine years now, under rain, and snow, and sun, and squirrel assault, scratched up and fading and starting to smell, a little, because of all the times that rain fell upon uneaten seed and the soggy messes got left there just long enough to clog the mesh - we did emergency cleanings every so often with boiling water poured over the cleaned-off mesh, as many times as it took for it to start looking "clean" again or as clean as that old feeder would ever be in its current incarnation.

We took it down recently because it was becoming unspeakable, and set out to replace it.

Let me put it this way. We went to every pet store and birdseed place in this town. These days, apparently, a simple tray feeder is PLUMB out of fashion because NOT ONE OF THEM HAS ONE. Seriously. I walked into store after store and asked after birdfeeders and was pointed to shelves that had hanging feeders, and hopper feeders, and window-feeders (they have little suction cups you park on your window and the birds come and feed right there at the glass... in theory...) and seventeen different kinds of hummingbird feeders, but when I asked about the trays I got anything from apologetic shrugs ("everything we've got is out on display, ma'am" - as if I was an idiot child who had to be told not to be difficult, that I should not ask for the moon, that I should be satisfied with what the Universe is offering me...) to blank ignorance ("TRAY feeder? What exactly do you mean?")

I swear to you that a few years ago tray feeders were coming out of the WOODWORK here, you couldn't walk a birdfood aisle in a store without tripping on one. But they seem to have gone out of fashion, apparently. We looked online and there are some to be found there - including an option we liked, with a roof attached, which wuold probably help in keeping said seed drier and less prone to turning into soggy messes in the rainy season - but we would have really liked to buy LOCAL, if nothing else then because postage is expensive and it would probably cost half as much as the feeder itself to have it shipped to us from, oh, I don't know, California or somewhere - why on earth was it so hard to find something like that here?!?

The Universe was having its little joke on me, trotting me in and out of stores and leaving me surrounded with hummingbird feeders I did not want, but I finally made one last local stop yesterday (before we resorted to buying the feeder online someplace) and went to a tiny little birdstuff store which I'd never been to before. It had a little back yard attached and it was full of wild birds, which kind of spoke well for a store that specialised in wild bird food and feeders and things - and lo, looking in through the window of the store, I could see it on the floor right there in front of me, PRECISELY the thing we were seeking, a tray feeder with a roof upon it.

Gleefully I marched to the front door, and pushed at it... and it failed to open.

I took another look. The sign said, "sorry we're closed". Their opening hours then explained to me (and I swear I could clearly hear the Universe laughing fit to bust in the background) that the store was closed on Mondays.

Really. It should NOT be this hard to buy a birdfeeder.

I suppose I'll have to go back this week. If the Universe hasn't finished its little joke, I am likely to discover that the thing I saw in the store through the shop window was the last one of its kind that they had and they sold it to somebody else ten minutes before I got there. I would not be in the least supriised.


I have Stuff To Do and I am running behind. Play nicely. Remember that you still have a week to enter the Halloween contest.