OUT MY BACK DOOR – Marilyn Armstrong

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Out My Backdoor


I look out my backdoor a lot. It’s a small deck leading to a rather small lawned area that when we were younger and more socially active, was the scene of many summertime barbecues, the building of a tepee, and just handing out. The tepee is gone. The idea of feeding a hoard of people — assuming we knew enough people to create a hoard — is exhausting. Nonetheless, our deck is a big piece of the territory to which we pay most attention.

The birds and squirrels believe it belongs to them and resent our presence, so we tread gently when we are out there.

A winter Goldfinch at the finch feeder

Junco keeping company with our stone Toad

The three birdfeeders which have replaced the hanging fuchsia that used to grace the hooks have greatly changed the deck from a human place to a wildlife feeding station. I believe it’s far more socially useful feeding squirrels, the occasional chipmunk, and wild birds than it was as a place for morning coffee.

Cardinal on board

Times change. Since the arrival of mosquitoes carrying diseases previously unknown in this region, it’s hard to get really thrilled about being that close to where they breed.

One of our most frequent visitors, a Tufted Titmouse

Two feeders on a very cold morning

Even though the woods have been sprayed, the spraying reduces the mosquito population. It doesn’t remove it. I’m pretty sure it also killed a few hundred birds and other small critters too. Whenever humans decide to fix something, some creature pays the price.

Mist in a January woods

24 thoughts on “OUT MY BACK DOOR – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. Quite an uplifting view from the backdoor Marilyn 🙂 Having birds visit is quite a special treat.
    I hope they tell you when they are spraying poisonous chemicals so close to your house. Yes more than a few mossies were killed. Poisoned insect get eaten by birds, lizards and small animals condemning them as well

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  2. I read this with a smile and a heavy heart. You are so right, when humans try to do something good, they kill something else…. And yet, if we may be protected from ‘evil’, we ‘must do it’…. Or many diseases would continuously kill where we now can say, they were overcome with the new medications.

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    • I’m pretty sure they could have found a less-lethal spray, but they went with the cheapest because that’s the way we do it. Vaccinations and medical research doesn’t kill wild animals. And if the climate weren’t changing, those mosquitoes would not have been here at all.

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  3. How do you feed the squirrels. Do they just climb on your bird feeder? We use whole peanuts. Cardinals are rarely seen on South Florida. How nice.

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    • They climb on the big feeder, but not on the other two. We also just put food out for them, so we have far fewer squirrels on the feeder and more of them eating the food on the ground. Squirrels get hungry too, after all.

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  4. I love this and wish I had a tufted titmouse and a cardinal to watch in the morning. Beautiful a great response to the prompt. I hope you are wrong about the spraying … it made my eyes leak.

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