Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)
TITLE: THE WOODLAND CHRISTMAS FEAST
By Judith Keller
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The humans love to prepare and watch the Christmas Feast just as much as the woodland critters and birds enjoy eating. Activity and spirit is high as the Gray Squirrels chase the Chipmunks. The Blue jay’s heckle is the loudest as they intimidate everyone else for time at the feast. Mourning Doves prefer eating their meal off the ground enjoying the smaller seeds from the table above. Mountain Chickadees dart in for a seed or two and prefer to eat their meal in peace in one of the local Ponderosa Pine trees. Usually at night the deer will visit for their share of the feast – the left overs are tasty and there are occasional apple cores purposely left lying around. Elk have come into the arena looking for the long-gone salt lick.
Basic dinner supplies come from the local seed and feed store. The unsalted peanuts come from the variety store. There is an occasional special prepared treat stirred up with suet or bacon grease. The humans make sure plenty of water is thawed and available. No sugar and water servings are needed during this winter- season feast.
After watching one bold Chipmunk jump and jump while trying to climb up to the table top, special arrangements were made. A small, rugged branch that is just the right length to angle from the ground to the table top is attached to the side of the base. Sure enough! The bold little fellow has made many return trips to the center of the feasting table.
Bobbity the bobbed-tailed squirrel is bolder than most critters. When he comes to the human door and peeks in through the glass or jumps at the window, someone will open the door so he can reach in and grab a carefully placed peanut.
Many of the larger nuts are stored in the snow or occasional patch of bare ground by the Squirrels. The Blue jays like to steal them from the storage area – didn’t we hear of the Blue jays being called ‘food robbers?’
The woodland feast is the highlight of the morning and continues on into the evening…even night hours. The occasion is a delight for all local area creatures.
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