Friday, July 2, 2021

Birds in the Belfry

Blueberry Bagel Salad: mixed Greens, blueberries, and blueberry bagel croutons, topped with chicken and drizzled with creamy blueberry Greek yogurt dressing. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #salad

 

I have birds in the belfry.
 
I don't actually have a belfry, but I have a chimney. And I definitely have birds.
 
Living in a house that backs up to woods is a joy. It's beautiful, peaceful, often serene. In the spring and summer the whole backyard boasts multiple shades of green. In the winter, the snow on the bare branches creates its own form of beauty.

And there is wildlife. I've pictured many of them in my recent blog post Multifaceted. We have, like most people, squirrels and rabbits. We also share our yard with deer, possum, raccoons, and voles, as well as snakes, coyote, and fox, to name a few. 
 
And we have birds, lots of them. Birds of all types and sizes and colors, from large Red-tailed Hawks turkeys, and owls, all the way down to little hummingbirds buzzing around my potted plants.
 
Living in a house that backs up to woods can also be misery. And expensive. Because animals can cause damage. We are constantly battling with voles for possession of our lawn. Step on an area where they've built their underground labyrinth and you could break your ankle.
 
But the birds. When it comes to destruction and expense, Alfred Hitchcock's got nothing on me and my birds. 

I wrote a post last year called The Birds and the Bees. I talk about my friends the bees and my nemesis the woodpeckers. How pretty these living jackhammers are, we've seen the the red-headed woodpeckers and the blue and grey ones too. But they're also destructive. And that destruction is expensive to repair. They'd poked holes in the lower part of the siding of our house by the chimney during mating season. It cost us hundreds of dollars, but we had the holes closed up and the siding replaced. Done. Right?
 
Birds in the Belfry | picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

 
Not even close. This year those woodpeckers got their revenge. Not only did they peck at the siding directly on the chimney line, but the sudden loud tinny echo in the house would scare the cr@p out of me in the late mornings while I'm preparing lunch. Without warning, the house would go from blissful silence to a sudden cacophany of metallic rat-a-tat-tats.


Blueberry Bagel Salad: mixed Greens, blueberries, and blueberry bagel croutons, topped with chicken and drizzled with creamy blueberry Greek yogurt dressing. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #salad
Blueberry Bagel Salad
 
Blueberry Bagel Salad: mixed Greens, blueberries, and blueberry bagel croutons, topped with chicken and drizzled with creamy blueberry Greek yogurt dressing. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #salad


And that's not all. They moved up the chimney. Way, way, way up. So high that when the contractors came to quote us on the repairs, they'd be much more expensive requiring a high ladder as opposed to last year's repairs which could be made standing on the ground.

Birds in the Belfry | picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

But wait, even that isn't all. Yes, there's more.

We were in the house one afternoon before the repairs had been made when our neighbor rang the bell. "Do you know you have birds in your chimney?" he asked. Yes, we knew about the woodpecker holes. "Not the woodpecker holes, who's living in them."

Living in them?

Yes, apparently birds had built a nest in that top hole, right on the edge actually, and my neighbor saw them going in and out.
 
Birds in the Belfry | picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

 
So now the repairs are on hold while we await the birth of the next generation of uninvited guests. 
 
Checkmate goes to those damn woodpeckers for this year.

Next year I may need to call in the big guns. Elmer Fudd, forget that wascally wabbit, I've got a new challenge for you.


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Blueberry Bagel Salad     

                                                     ©www.BakingInATornado.com


Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 blueberry bagels
2 tsp olive oil

5 oz blueberry Greek yogurt
4 tsp olive oil
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP poppy seeds
 
6 oz spring greens salad mix
1 cup fresh blueberries
6 oz grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup sliced radishes

2 chicken breasts, cooked, cooled, and sliced

Directions:
*Chop the bagel and place onto a toaster oven sized pan. Drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil and toast until brown. Set aside.
*Vigorously whisk together the blueberry Greek yogurt, 4 tsp olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and poppy seeds.
*Place the salad greens in a bowl. Sprinkle with the fresh blueberries, tomato halves, sliced radishes and toasted bagel pieces. Top with the sliced chicken. 
*Drizzle with the blueberry yogurt dressing and serve immediately.

19 comments:

  1. We had a hole in our siding I suspect woodpeckers made. There was a chipmunk living in it. Living jackhammers. Ours are downy woodpeckers, I think. Anyway, I sympathize. Too bad you can't bill (bad pun) them for the damage. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, unfortunately they don't stay in one place long enough for me to get their billing address.

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  2. The only thing I am not sure of is he apple cider vinegar.I had the pleasure of an invasion of ants in my RV one year. We were camping (not the right word when you have inside plumbing and a/c) by a lake in Georgia. While there we visited with relatives an aunt, no pun, suggested I wipe my counters with Apple Cider Vinegar. The smell was atrocious and the ants went away. I think the smell got them.
    Another question, what is a vole? I know about moles and the damage they do. I also know squirrels will nest in your RV. A story for another time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love apple cider vinegar (working on another recipe with it right now) but I have to admit I'd never wiped my counters with it. Since it's a little sweet, I'm surprised you didn't end up with even more ants.
      A vole is very similar to a mole. I think we actually have both.

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    2. I wondered but they went away. It could have been the Comet Cleanser sprinkled around the RV, suggested by the Camp Host.

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  3. That looks SO good! Thank you for posting. I'd just bought blueberry bagels today, and now have another yummy use for them.

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  4. I'd rather birds than...yeah, I've got nothing...
    Good luck. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, nothing a big old debit from our checking account can't handle {{sigh}}.

      Delete
  5. This might be one of your best recipes ever. I never would have thought about turning a bagel into croutons!

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    Replies
    1. Funny fact, it was the bagel that started me thinking and ended up being my muse for the recipe.

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  6. Not a problem I have had, thankfully

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  7. The wildlife does cause a lot of damage. Don't get me started about squirrels, which are wonderful when they stay where they belong, and that's all i'm going to say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I once caught a squirrel scratching a hole into my grill cover out on the back deck. No idea what that was all about.

      Delete
  8. Wow, your neighbors pay close attention. funny! hope you get the birds out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The babies are gone, the nest is removed and the siding is fixed. Unfortunately I'm afraid we'll be going through this again next year.

      Delete
  9. The woodpeckers usually are pecking away looking for bugs. Hoping you don't have termites or carpenter ants added to your list of critters! Recipe sounds really good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually the pecking on the fireplace is about the males making noise during mating season. Something I never thought I'd need to know.

      Delete

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