I was so pleased with myself for completing one half-assed engineering project that I decided to try another one. David gave me the birdbath for my birthday Monday, but he also gave me a bird feeder. For Christmas. The year before last. It's been gathering cobwebs in the loft because I couldn't find a tree limb to hang it from.
There are plenty of trees around here, but the limbs are either weak, or growing at the wrong angle, or too far from the house to let me get any benefit out of the feeder. I mean, if I'm going to feed the birds, I want to be able to watch them. The old oak on the back forty would have worked fine if I could have moved the house a hundred yards or so and rotated it so the window was facing the right direction.
So I decided to hang the feeder off the porch overhang. It seems so simple that I don't know why it took me a year and a half, except I didn't know if I wanted to attract birds to the porch, where I sit and read on summer afternoons. It just got to the point that it was there or nowhere.
Of course, I made a big production out of it. I had to move the wooden wind chimes to the other side of the porch, which meant screwing another hook into the overhang. Tools! I had to use tools! As a tool-o-phobe who lacks any pretense of manual dexterity, I find this intimidating. Somehow installing a simple hook involved a hammer, a screwdriver, a nail, a pair of pliers and a stepstool. I'm sure anyone else would have done it in fewer steps, but I got the job done. It was good enough, anyway.
Unfortunately, that was only half the job. I also had to put the feeder together. In this case there were three big pieces — the floor, the roof, and the plastic cylinder that holds the food — plus a pin that connects the whole assemblage together. Oh, and a nut and washer. This was almost too much for my poor skills, but they provided diagrams, plus instructions in a language that resembled English. I was never fully convinced that I'd put the thing together right, but so far it seems to be holding up.
The feeder saw a little action late this afternoon, when a pair of house finches started chasing each other in and out of it. I'm still waiting for the new birdbath's first customer, but maybe tomorrow while I'm gone the sparrows, finches and jays will discover it.