Category Archives: Delaware County

Articles about “things” in Delaware County

Great Squirrel-Proof feeders

 

Brome Standard feeder

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Last fall I bought my first “squirrel-proof” bird feeder – a Brome Standard. It’s rather small but a good size for the expensive No-Mess seed from Wild Birds Unlimited that I put in it. The feeder has a center post that is adjustable to increase/decrease the weight of birds that can use the feeder without the ports being shut off. That’s very effective for keeping the nasty grackles and starlings away. I use a seed catcher below the feeder to minimize waste. The Doves are good at cleaning up the fallen seed. This feeder has done a good job at stopping the squirrels.

My main feeder was a wooden hopper style that hung on a high shepherd’s hook with a squirrel baffle below. The squirrels easily jumped on top of the baffle, then climbed up the pole to the feeder. They would empty it in a day!

So I began researching the various larger styles of “squirrel-proof” feeders. Surprisingly several of them were dangerous to birds – even causing their death – because they got their heads or feet trapped by the moving parts if heavier birds or squirrel jumped on the feeder. I checked out the Brome Squirrel Buster Plus which seemed to be effective without worry of hurting the birds. It can be hung freely from a tree limb or installed on a special pole system.

WBU Squirrel Buster bird feeder

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I opted to buy Wild Birds Unlimited version of the Brome system – made by Brome for WBU. Brome doesn’t sell the poles but WBU does. That way I was assured the poles would be the right size for the feeder. I added the seed tray to prevent mess underneath and allow birds to feed on the tray. The little red cup holds mealy worms.

The gray squirrels can jump from the ground up to the seed tray, but when they pull down on the circular perch, the port holes close. So far they can only eat the seed that birds flip out of the port holes. If I were a taller person I would

Squirrel on Brome feeder

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have bought another pole extension to raise the height of the tray, but reaching the feeder to lift it off the pole to fill is currently at my maximum reach. So the gray squirrel wins! Red squirrel haven’t been on the feeder at all.

I’ve had to play around with the weight adjustment pole since there are 6 feeding ports. When 4 or more finches sit on the perch, it tends to be enough weight to partially close the ports. So far the birds seem to love the new system and took to it very quickly. Finches, sparrows, chickadees, titmouse, Downy woodpeckers, cardinals, red-chested woodpeckers have all been at the feeder. They seem to enjoy not having to share with the squirrels.

two Brome squirrel-proof feeders

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This system is NOT inexpensive but I think it will eventually be a cost savings. Where the hopper feeder would be empty in a day, this feeder has needed filled only once a week! YAY!!

HAPPY BIRDS … HAPPY LIFE!

Don’t feel too sorry for the squirrels. They still have their unshelled peanut box!

12th District Election Results by County

On August 7 Ohioans in the 12th District voted for a House Representative to replace Pat Tiberi who resigned in January. We first voted in May’s Primary according to whichever Party ticket we wanted. Republicans and Democrats each had numerous candidates for their ticket.

The Republican Primary winner was Troy Balderson. The Democrat Primary winner was Danny O’Connor. These two would compete again in the August 7 election to determine which one would serve until January 2019, thus completing Tiberi’s term. This special election was the only thing on the ballot in August. So we went to the polls, checked in, then clicked one or the other’s name and hit SUBMIT button. In and out in just a few minutes.

In November’s mid-term election, we’ll once again have to vote for a 12th District Representative to serve for two years starting in January 2019. So we’ll be again choosing between Balderson and O’Connor. Because of that voters may not have bothered to vote August 7.

There are 3 complete counties and portions of 4 counties in the 12th District. Six of the counties are mostly rural: Delaware, Licking, Morrow, Muskingum, Marion, Richland. Of course, Franklin County is metro city. Balderson easily won all 6 of the rural counties. O’Connor only won the small section in Franklin County. In total, Balderson received 101,574 votes (50.2%) and O’Connor received 99,820 votes (49.3%). A Green Party candidate received 0.6% of votes.

12th District August 2018 Results

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The results remind me of the 2016 Presidential Election where most of the U.S. is red but the population centers in New York and California are blue. That’s why the Electoral College is important in order to give people in less populated areas an equal say in government. Too bad we don’t have an electoral college for counties!

The above results are the “Unofficial” count. The absentee ballots and provisional ballots are to be counted and total results verified by August 24. There have been rumors around about dead people voting and of course, comments about fraud in Franklin County. Secretary of State Jon Husted addresses that in this SOS Article. It’s informative!

It’s possible that one candidate could win the August election but the other candidate could win in November. I’ve read some reports that said 90% of the Dems voted but only 40% of Republicans did. With much more at stake in November’s election, the Republicans are expected to come out in force. In November, Ohio will vote for a new Governor, and a strong U.S. Senate challenger, Rep Jim Renacci, trying to unseat long-time Senator Sherrod Brown. And of course, we’ll again vote on the person to be a House Representative for the 12th District.

So get ready and grab your popcorn!

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Aug 24 UPDATE: The final tally is in and Troy Balderson has won the election with 104,328 votes to Danny O’Connor’s 102,648.

Trump Rally in Lewis Center

I finally checked off a Bucket List item. Saturday I got to see a U.S. President! President Trump came to a local school a few miles from my home. So, of course, I had to go! One of my granddaughters joined me. It was a hot day with heat index in low 90s.

The doors were to open at 3:30 with the President appearing at 6:30. We arrived at 11:00 to begin standing in the queue. A gal in front of us counted the number of people in front of us. She counted 120. (Today I read in a local paper that officials estimated 11,000 were ultimately in line.) We were in the line until sometime around 3:30 when we FINALLY got into the cool school after going through the TSA security check! The heat was brutal!

This media photo shows the extent of the line later in the afternoon. We were on the opposite side of the building so had no idea the line was this long.

Trump Rally, Lewis Center

During the 4-1/2 hours in line we shared fun conversation, umbrellas for shade, and eventually ice packs which quickly melted. Two gals drove over from Dayton. Another gal drove from New Holland. A senior couple were from Westerville. And two early 20s boys drove down from Mansfield. All were excited to be at a “TRUMP RALLY”!

Fun Pic with Prez TrumpThere were gobs of vendors selling #MAGA hats, Trump shirts, Trump buttons, and of course #CNNsucks shirts and buttons. There was a life-size cardboard Trump that we could take a photo with. Of course, local politicians were there to ‘be seen’ and hopefully gain some support for their campaigns.

Once we passed the TSA check, we went into the gym to pick our spot. There are people that direct you where to stand or sit. We chose to sit. I’ve stood at a rally before and know that I’m too short to see over taller people holding their cameras in the air. We got great seats up the bleachers but directly across from the podium. IT WAS GOOD TO SIT!

A neighbor texted me that he saw me on TV. A local station panned the audience then zoomed in on the area where we sat.


Crowd at Trump Rally

Then we waited …….. As the gym filled up the temperature increased as the crowd increased. It wasn’t as bad as outside but it eventually got pretty miserable. (I later chatted with a neighbor who is a fireman/EMT and he said there were between 20-30 emergency runs for people.) To cap it off, the President’s plane was late so he didn’t arrive until 7:15.

Finally President Trump is on stageTrump speaks at Lewis Center rally

The whole day was quite an experience. Lots of nice, polite, friendly folks having a great time waiting to see our President. Aside from seeing the President in person, I also saw Rep Jim Jordan – who got two standing O’s; Rep Jim Renacci (running for Senate); AG Mike Dewine (running for Gov); and even Press Secy Sarah Sanders! One final testament to Conservative-minded people was that we weren’t allowed to take our shade umbrellas in the school so everybody just dropped them in a spot on the ground. I thought I’d have to buy a new one. When we left the event, all our umbrellas were still in the pile. No one had stole them! I was impressed. #OhioProud

Chipmunk Eats 2 Red Salvia Plants

Last year and this year I have planted two Red Salvia plants on either side of the large Lemon Licorice plant. Last year they grew well for awhile then started losing leaves and eventually lost the flowers. I thought I maybe watered them too much. But I planted them again this year and made a point to keep them on the dry-side.

Well once again I noticed the lower leaves of one plant began to disappear. Then I happened to look out the patio door and saw the chipmunk chomping away. I didn’t realize they ate plants, but since salvia is a member of the sage family he may find it tasty.

The next day both plants were completely gone except for the stems as shown in the last of the video. Oh well, I’ll pick another type of plant next year!

America’s Independence Day

Today we celebrate Independence Day on July 4th. I am so glad I live in this great country. No other country on earth is like America. My ancestors moved here in the mid-late 1600s from Germany and Ireland. I’m so glad they did. One of my great grandfathers was a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. I had relatives that served in WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam. I was born during WWII. Although my parents lived in rural Ohio, my father went to work in an airplane plant in Detroit, coming home every couple weekends. My sister, who was 18 when I was born, worked in a factory nearby making military parts – a real Rosie-the-riviter. Her boyfriend (and eventual husband) was serving in the Navy in the Philippines. I grew up going to the local parades which had a strong military influence. At school we always said the Pledge of Allegiance first thing before class began. I consider myself a #PROUDAMERICAN.

The Flag flies all year on my house as it does on several of my neighbors’ homes. However, on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veteran’s Day I display many small flags to show my devotion to my country. I’m so grateful that I have the FREEDOM to do that! #MAGA

Independence Day 2018

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Landscaping Can Be An Obsession

When landscaping our yards we tend to select plants and colors that we like. I’ve done that, too! My colors are dark green, Chartreuse, burgundy/bronze, yellow/orange and white. By keeping with a theme, it allows me to move plants around when dividing overgrown plants or putting them in a more desirable location.

The East side of my home gets a lot of hot cooking-type of sun until about 2:00 in the afternoon. It also gets less rain since the house shields it. So on this side the plants need little care and minimum water. I had landscapers add the large stones to help with erosion from the slope. There are various varieties of sedums

East side - dry area plants

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including the popular Autumn Joy Sedum which honey bees LOVE! There is a Dappled Willow shrub in between two of the Golden Globe arborvitae. I severely prune it before winter then it regrows to 8-10ft each year, reaching the top of that window. The burgundy Barberries are medium-sized so don’t require much pruning to keep them small.

Sunny West Side plants

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The West side of the home gets 2-3 hours of afternoon sun. I planted 3 full sized Barberries years ago. The Hostas were originally planted when there was a Cherry tree at the corner for shade. I have to keep them watered during the heat if there is minimal rain. I’ve divided them a few times, giving some friends. The Vicary privet was planted by the builder 23 yrs ago. The Blue Spruce to the right is a Bakerii Dwarf Blue Spruce so it has remained 8-10 ft.

Trees for privacy

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The Back Yard has been in for many years. The Viburnums have now reached about 12ft and are a wonderful privacy screen. The birds congregate in these shrubs. The Norway Spruces are VERY tall now as is the Callery Pear. The plant in the lower front left is a Varigated Virginia Creeper vine. It is on a 3-section metal fence that hides the A/C.

New plants fronting spruce trees

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The space in front of the large Spruces has been a problem. Over the years I’ve tried three different types of plants in this area. None has survived or thrived. This Spring I tried again with plants that “may be” more tolerant of dappled shade from the pear tree. The new plants L-R are: Sweet Flag, Fireworks Fountain Grass, Coral Bells and Bonfire Cushion Spurge

Newly planted back of house

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I’m still working on the area next to the back of the house. Since I lost two of the Ninebarks to their powdery mildew problem and needed to move the Ligularia to a larger spot, I’ve had to select different plants. Late last summer I put in two Cinnamon Ferns. Two years ago I put in a Vanilla Spice Summersweet. I’m still trying to save the one remaining Ninebark. I added the Creeping Jenny a couple weeks ago to eventually provide colorful groundcover and help with maintaining moisture.

pyracantha

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This Pyracantha is many years old now. It’s huge and is a refuge for dozens of little birds. I no longer get the pretty orange berries in the fall because the mass of birds knock the berries off before they have a chance to mature to the orange color. It does have pretty white flowers in late Spring.

I wanted to somewhat conceal my back steps so I selected Karl Foerster Reed Grass  to grow in front of it. I put it in last summer so this year is its first to grow as planned. Per

Karl Foerster Reed Grass

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the photos I’ve viewed on the Internet, the fronds start as white then turn yellow then rust. It has a columnar growth and “per the photos” shouldn’t outgrow this space.

Backyard overview

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Every year I say, “now I’m done”, but who knows if this is the year I’m REALLY done!