You would think that if a back garden is full of wonderful nuts and suet and mealworms and such, that the squirrels and magpies and wood pigeons would be happy. Plus the stray cats that wander through the garden. There’s always some cat food or fox food out for them and the foxes and badgers. I feed everything that wanders through my house or garden, two feet or four or wings. I try to keep them all happy so that (1) my cats can see them from the windows and enjoy the spectacle, (2) I like to watch them all, and (3) if they are full, maybe they won’t eat each other!
My fish pond provides water for almost all the animals. I have seen cats, squirrels, pigeons, jays, crows, starlings, and foxes drink from it. Most of them are quite content to not bother the fish who I think have gotten smart enough to hide under the lily pads when there are shadows lurking above. Around my pond I have a number of garden gnomes. They aren’t super special gnomes (my two antique gnomes live close to the house so they don’t get knocked over), but just your average gnomes with a few of them holding solar lights. There is a ledge around my pond and none of the gnomes are standing on the ledge but are all slightly back from the ledge and on the deck itself.
Apparently this is not a safe place no matter how far back I put the gnomes. For several days I have seen a vague red shape at the bottom of the pond but the water isn’t quite clear enough most days so I couldn’t tell what it was. Today I suddenly realized, as I counted my gnomes, that it was one of the solar gnomes, sitting on the bottom of the pond, doing an impression of a frogman with a lantern! Shades of evil squirrels or pigeons or cats or whatever. Some four footed creature has knocked a gnome into the pond again! This happens ever so often which is why the gnomes are moving slowly away from the pond each time I fish one out again. Dang it because it was a solar gnome too and his lantern will probably never light again. Those little four footed demons who, for some inexplicable reason, must hate sharing the pond space with inanimate objects that smile at them. The only way to get one into the pond it so nudge it forward until it touches the ledge and then push hard to get it to topple over and into the pond. And for some amazing reason, the gnomes always land on their feet so they are standing in the pond beneath the surface waiting for rescue. Poor gnomes. This one took several days to rescue.
But I am generous in nature and spirit and will not punish my four footed freeloaders because they still are fun to watch. I’d just really like to catch one in action to see who is pushing the gnomes into the pond and how exactly they are doing it. There is some evil lurking in the back garden.