The juncoes have gone, and been replaced by chipping sparrows, although the later aren’t nearly so numerous or likely to hit the feeder. The squirrels are trying to eat the deck railing. This baffles me. They’ve gnawed the corners round. Since I don’t know what they’re after, I can’t exactly stop them, and my landlady, animal lover that she is, feeds the squirrels even more than I do, so I’m just bemused. The flickers occasionally go nuts on the siding. Since it’s vinyl siding, they don’t get far, but the jackhammer racket of a northern flicker with a full head of steam will get you out of bed in a hurry, believe me.

One lone blue jay has discovered the feeder, but I have not yet caught him on film. The cardinals are becoming more frequent, but they’re skittish. I am trying not to lunge for the camera whenever I see them, as this only reinforces the fact that the deck is a dangerous place to feed, but I dunno how much actual memory is going on inside those brightly crested little noggins.

Today I’m preparing for the jaunt to the Dismal Swamp, cleaning out all the camera memory, buying Deet, and seeing what a cheap pair of birding binoculars runs. And of course, being me, there’s a painting going. My personal swamp’s in good shape–I finished the mini-comic, so now I just have to replace one page of Digger that was mysteriously lost (the jpg’s around, but the TIFF has vanished) and I’ll be ready to ship it all off to the ever-patient guys at Sofawolf. And I actually got an extra Digger done this week! Woot!

My potted honeysuckle is continuing its sneaking campaign of world dominion. I’m training it along the deck rails. It has engulfed a couple already. Unfortunately, for whatever weird reason, it never blooms. It didn’t bloom last year, it hasn’t bloomed yet this year. I have read that one must prune honeysuckle back after it blooms. I would be happy to. Hmm. I picked up some swamp jessamine, a native vine, and am hoping it can also be trained–there’s a whole lot of deck rails to cover. The part-shade clematis I picked up is growing with furious enthusiasm–I can’t quite SEE it grow, but it’s definitely adding an inch or more a day. SOON! SOON MY VINES SHALL CONQUER THE WORLD! MUAHHAAHHA!

Also, modern medicine is amazing. I am generally a five-Tums-a-day person, due less to stress than heredity. I don’t mind so much, because I need to get the calcium somehow, but my doctor, having visions of my esophagus looking like swiss cheese, gave me some samples of an acid reflux treatment. I took one. The next day I had six cups of coffee, one coke, two glasses of lemonade, and ate Mexican for dinner. My stomach remained as placid as a mill pond. I am deeply wowed.

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