In years past, I've run out the front door to shoo them away, nearly falling down the steps. I'm sure the neighbors thought it hilarious to see me chasing birds.
But this year, I outsmarted them. I made a scarecrow.
On wire hangers I put my torn red flannel shirt, too-tight-busted-zipper blue pants, and woolen gloves. I've seen birds sit on the old gray baseball cap perched atop the head, which is an upside-down plastic Trader Joe's cookie tub stuck onto a pole. (I'm totally into repurposing and recycling, etc.)
But those birds are smart. I watched one morning as a male Cardinal knocked the baseball cap off the "head." Five minutes later, he and two friends were scavenging seeds. I ran out, replaced the cap, and repositioned the scarecrow's arms. That worked. For awhile.
My fake figure scared at least someone: My sainted husband as he walked to get the morning newspaper.
Guess I should remember that only fools plant seeds in Northern Virginia on April 1.
Last year even snakes tried to feast in my garden. Here is one caught in the deer netting:
The deer aren't scared by people. I took this from the porch. He/she and three friends later munched on azalea bushes (which I did not tell my husband; I do the veggies, he does flowers).
This is why my garden has deer netting. But soon I'll be up early chasing birds and deer away. Sigh. Such is the life of the (organic) suburban gardener. But those wonderful spinach creations that I make daily--frittata, quiche, filled pasta (like ravioli), white pizza with spinach-- are more than worth the aggravation.