Birds, Bowl Wars & Other Big Bear Adventures

Above: MY bowl!

You know that GG is in need of some serious fun when she is seen shopping…and be warned, this is a ramble.

I am one of the few women in the world that absolutely hates shopping with a passion.

However, besides suffering from cabin fever, I do have a disclosure statement.

I do enjoy shops that appeal to the senses, or ambling outside in a bazaar or specialty market.

When it is a feast for the senses it is okay OR when it involves something animal related I can deal with it.

So, when neighbor Deb said she had to take a trip over to Wild Wings, I begged to go decided to tag along.

Although we were a bit early, Mike welcomed us in (as any savvy merchant knows, those early or late arrivals seem to always spend moola).

We hadn’t put smudge marks on the windows with our noses yet (although we did that later at Heidi’s Consignment).

Anyway, I have to admit that I am not the norm around these parts (hold the wisecracks) because I seldom feed wildlife unless it is stormy.

And, lucky for the birds, it has been storming.

Recently I had a bad experience purchasing a 50# bag of seed. It was old. Lucky for me, cold storage will help avoid the moth hatching issues…but the birds happen to like eating bugs, so it worked out.

Anyway, as a result of that purchase I eyed the proprietary blend that many of the spoiled birds around these parts prefer.

Now, feeding the birds has been on my mind a lot lately.

First it has been storming, but more importantly, my tube feeder broke–and right before the annual Backyard Bird Count.

So, as I pondered how to solve my problem, I was delighted to discover that Droll Yankees would replace a part to my tube feeder at no charge. This was nice because good bird feeders are not cheap.

In the meantime, as only a true mountain woman does, I fixed the sucker with a what-cha-ma-call-it pipe cap piece.

Ya know, I thought it might fit and it fit nicely when I screwed in at the bottom in the area adapted to allow the feeder to be attached on top of a pole–and it sealed up the problem.

The bossy birds were frittering around with joy…but once again, I digress.

Anyway, our mission was prompted by the tragedy of the week when three finches hit the window at Deb’s so hard that only two of the three survived. I happened to witness the event because I was visiting Katie (Shadow’s sister canine) after her surgery.

We needed to get those window bird altert stickers especially since I had another bird strike my window the very next day.

Also, I decided to join the campaign to support another local merchant.

In fact, I outspent Deb twice over.


However, I was pretty happy with my stash and Mike listened to my prattling on about why I normally don’t feed wildlife and how the birds are bossing me.

My pile included more bird seed since I figured that the old seed in the 50# bag was being eaten but wanted something nice and fresh and tasty to feed some other members of the avian clan.

In fact, I told him about how some of the birds around these parts are spoiled by his seed.

One of my former neighbors was always complaining about if he didn’t get the “good stuff” that all the birds went to the feeders at the homes of neighbors who did buy the “good stuff.”

However, my territory is filled with those birds who know I will feed them during storms AND since nobody else on the block (except Howard down the road) feeds them, they aren’t as picky as in some other areas. (Chris are you reading this?)

Anyway, I ended up leaving with suet, a new feeder, and the tastier seed.

Also, I told Mike about the squirrel wars and how I doubted there would be trouble with bears raiding my feeders-and he told me about another local who was spouting the same story–and who had called to report that a bear did, in fact, raid his feeders.

But, what I did not disclose, however was the story about the squirrel I’ve adopted as of today.

Puh-lease do not tell anyone about this as it will ruin my image as a wildlife professional…and forget I ever wrote about my previous squirrel negotiations.

Anyway, this squirrel showed up right before the last big snow storm. You know the one, where we got five feet snow.

I let him raid the bird feeder because he looked a bit beat up and because absolutely all the wildlife over here was having a hard time.

Anyway, I should have known he would keep showing up and I reverted to my old ways of chasing him off–until I got it.

The little guy is either really old or sick. I personally think he is ancient.

Squirrels are picky and so will throw pounds of seed onto the ground in their quest for sunflower seeds and other high caloric goodies.

This guy was no exception but today, when I walked up to the feeder and was less than a foot away from him, he did not bolt.

Unlike other mountain residents, the squirrels bolt away from me because I don’t feed them and chase them off frequently.

But, instead of running away, he let me approach, and I had a long chat with him. I told him I figured he was sick since he wasn’t running off as any sensible squirrel that lands on my deck does.

Since I was less than a foot away from him, when I looked deeply into this eyes I saw the sheen of age.  Worse, that he really was not doing so hot.

So, I left him to raid the feeder, at least for the moment.

Gosh I hope I don’t name him, and don’t tell anyone, but I also put out shelled peanuts and some other high calorie rodent food.

Since we were right next to Bear Mountain Trading, we had to go there too.

OMG, it is all Deb’s fault. She forced me on this shopping adventure.

Now, I love the store but I am happier when the merchants welcome me and interact.

IF that had happened we probably would have spent more money. Let’s hope they were having an off day.

Despite the disinterest, we had a blast moving through the store which is a feast for the senses.

Lots of goodies for the palate, nose, and eyes.

It is unfortunate that this little shop gets missed by a lot of people because they really have some fun things and I especially loved the hand tooled leather belts and wallets which I had not seen before.

We did spend a little money and then headed down the road to one of the other destinations of the day, Heidi’s Consignment.

When we arrived at opening time, the store was not yet open but we spied some great items in the window and pressed our noses up against the glass vowing to return because something surely was delaying them.

Deb had not been to Copper Q yet, so we headed over there in the hopes that the detour would occupy us and that Elaine or Heidi would open in the meantime.

The nice thing about that was that we discovered that Grez Zook has a great studio right behind the Copper Q (right next to Stalcup Home Services).

In case you have not met the guy, Greg is a talented photographer and artist who has lived in the valley for some time.

But what we really enjoyed was pressing our noses up against both business windows to snoop see the interiors.

Now one of the locals wrote that she liked the coffee at the Copper Q after my waffling on about the espresso.

So, when Jeannie asked if she could get me anything, I decided to try the coffee.

Sorry, I still stick by my previous coffee house snob remark.

However, what I did like was being asked about how things were the last time I was there and so I answered her question and so she made sure the cup was complimentary.

It is that kind of interest and attentiveness that brought me back and that will keep me taking new people into the business.

We also asked about the rest of the building. The back of the Copper Q has a kitchen and is going to be the area where the cooking classes take place. They should start up in March if all goes as planned.

Anyway, we finally did get to Heidi’s and it was open. Heidi said she must have missed us by only a minute or two.

Now, if you have not been there. It is a great little place filled with treasures discarded by others.

We spied a great little dinosaur in the window (actually it was quite a big dinosaur). That got us excited.

Go figure.

But, there is jewelery, furniture, fine linen (really nice vintage linen too), kitchenware, clothing (FABulous jackets), skiwear, art, and just a whole lot of things. I’ve seen musical instruments and some lovely odds and ends.

This was the first time I had entered into the very back room. Only the brave dare to open the door and enter.

The reward?

I discovered a unique bowl.

Now, not too long ago I bought a bunch of ceramic bowls at an art show but was horrified to discover that I could not use them for food because of the glaze.

So, I actually need a few bowls for that purpose and this one caught my eye.

It has flamingos in the glass and they are standing around a pool. The bottom is stamped, “FRANCE” but I liked the odd shape and design and thought it would work.

Before I could look for another bowl, Deb scooped up the only other bowl I might have snatched up!

Darn it!

She would not put her bowl down and I would not put mine down.

I tried and tried to convince her that I NEEDED the bowl she so tightly clutched in her hot little hands–but she would not hear of it.

My whining was to no avail.

Heidi just laughed at the antics as we made more discoveries in the shop and ogled over some of the unique goods–all while I clutched my bowl tightly.

In the end, Deb and I each departed happily with our bowls.

Now, we saw a few things we should probably own but that will require another trip.

AND since I am going to visit the dogs today, Deb better have hidden that other bowl…

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2010 and is filed under Business & Commerce, Mountain Lake Resort.

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