Monday, December 23, 2013

FEED THOSE SQUIRRELS: A NEW OLD TIME TUNE

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I was sitting on the porch of our little cabin on the outskirts of Staunton VA’s historic district in late December 2013, and I stumbled onto this bunch of notes while watching the squirrels play on the feeders we attached to a little shed adjacent to our home. 

Here’s the first take, with only one or two squirrels.




Three or so squirrels ventured toward the feeders while I was playing yesterday, 22 December. 




I didn’t quite remember the way I worked the tune out on the first day so Take Two is a bit off the core of the tune as I tried to lay it down the first day.  (You can hear the train that passes through downtown Staunton in the background).

The squirrels are getting used to the banjo, or the filming rig.  I thought I’d do several more takes until we have the critical mass of squirrels we usually have jumping all over the feeders and using the shed as a play center.

Here's FEED THOSE SQUIRRELS without the squirrels. 

  


I'm still trying to get part B down just right.  The tune just came out while I was sitting on the porch and noodling around while watching the rascals on the shed.  Kind of catches their frenetic character.  I was going to call it FEED THEM SQUIRRELS but it sounded too Hillbilly.  So I stuck with the stiffer title which can sound like an instruction – and often is.  My wife Mary issues the reminders to keep the feeders stocked with peanuts and birdseed.  The tune is at least in part recognition that Mary did much to figure out how to attract wildlife – squirrels, deer, bunnies, and all manner of incredible birds (Cedar Wax Wings, Cardinals, at least two varieties of Bluejays, a whole lot of different kinds of woodpeckers, nuthatches, and other names that I don’t remember until I look them up in the several bird books we have lying around to help us identify newcomers.

The squirrels here have a pretty starkly white belly, and a tinge of red on the feed and face.  In walnut season, their little faces and paws are absolutely black from aggressively working fallen walnuts. 


I have some videos of hawks circling the homestead at feeding time, and much earlier videos of turkey buzzards passing through. 

For a guy from Brooklyn, this is wildlife.

Play hard,

Lew

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