How a bird feeder, Vaseline and a hungry squirrel can make your day

Published 10:58 am Thursday, February 27, 2020

There are some things in life that just make you laugh out loud.

A few months back, I was at Paul and Donna Ingram’s home.

We were in the midst of doing a photoshoot of the house for our Vicksburg Living Magazine.

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The interior of the home was to die for, and their view of the Mississippi River was not too shabby either.

And with floor to ceiling windows in the house, it was easy to enjoy the view.

I was enjoying that beautiful view when I noticed red birds at one of the couple’s bird feeders. I couldn’t believe how many of those little dudes were partaking of the seed.

I had thought about erecting a cute little bird feeder at my house, but after doing a little research on the Internet, it looked like a lot of work to keep them cleaned out.

Apparently, if bird feeders are not cleaned on a regular basis, mold and decomposing seeds and hulls can accumulate and make the birds sick.

Therefore, I tossed out the notion to get one. That was until I saw the Ingram’s bird feeder.

It was different than those I had seen on the web.

This bird feeder had a wooden frame with metal mesh that acted like a sieve, making it easy to pour in the birdseed.

And if it rained, the water could drain, which would help prevent the seed from getting soggy and moldy. The feeder also hung from a very tall pole.

I asked Donna where they had found the bird feeder, which they had at their previous home. It had been hand-made.

Well, so much for that.

I was hoping to find one for my house. It looked like it would not be a chore to keep cleaned out.

Nevertheless, I could not get that feeder and those red birds out of my mind, so I went to Home Depot and found a pretty good substitute.

The feeder was not nearly as big as the one the Ingram’s had, but it would do.

I also bought a shepherds hook on which to hang it.

It took the birds a couple of days to realize they had food at their disposal, but once they figured it out, they came to partake.

The only problem was, so did the chipmunks and squirrels.

So, I went back to Home Depot for a taller shepherds hook.

This seemed to have solved the problem until a few weeks ago.

Somehow these little rodents had figured out a way to shimmy up the pole, and they were taking turns stuffing their furry faces with my birdseed.

I immediately opened the back door and hollered at them to get out of the bird feeder. Of course, this scared them and they jumped out only to return a few minutes later.

As this continued, I became irate and once again I sought solutions on the Internet. I was looking for a way to keep Mr. Squirrel and Mr. Chipmunk out of the bird feeder.

I found several answers, and because I was a desperate woman, jumped on the suggestion I had on hand — Vaseline.

I grabbed the jar from the bathroom drawer and marched outside and liberally greased the pole and waited.

A couple of days later, I was on the phone with one of my daughters. As we were talking, I noticed a squirrel trying to make his way up the pole only to slide back down. He made two more attempts before giving up.

I had wondered if this home remedy would work and was elated when it did.

What I hadn’t expected was the entertainment it would bring. I was hooting watching that silly squirrel slowly slide down the pole.

Best laugh I’ve had in quite a while.


Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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