Since my husband deployed it seems as though I have been fighting my own battle on the home front. I have been harassed by bunnies, which were eating everything in my flowerbed. Then it was the squirrels sneaking surreptitiously over the fence like tiny grey ninjas, savagely decapitating my row of corn. I also have a scary lizard that is living under my front hedges and dives into the leaves every time I walk past. Okay so this particular creature has not actually reeked any havoc, but he is a large lizard and I am not really a fan of having scary lizards living near my front porch.
As if all of that weren’t enough I am now faced with an even greater threat. Our house is being ravaged by a gang of thugs! I think they call themselves the “Red Headed Gang” as that seems to be a common denominator in their appearance. That and the fact that they are all birds. That’s right the gang I am speaking of is a gang of woodpeckers. Feathered nemeses seemingly engaged in a turf war over our house. This gang is not egging our home, or spraying the fence with graffiti, no what they are doing is much more sinister. They are destroying our fascia, you know they wood trim on the house. I know it is them as I have caught them in the act on multiple occasions. They sneak in find their mark and without warning I hear knock, knock, knock. The first time I heard it I was in my office and I thought someone was knocking on the door. It did not occur to me that we have a glass storm door, which was locked, and no-one could actually get to the wood door to knock on it, so I sauntered in to see who it was only to find no-one there. Yet, I continued to hear the knocking. I followed the sound and found it was coming from the master bedroom, or at least the roof above the bedroom. I looked up, although I am not sure what I was expecting to see and my first thought was crap we have something in the attic. It continued with its knock, knock, knock, until it dawned on me that it was probably a woodpecker and that hopefully the woodpecker was outside. I hurried through the house opened the door and sure enough there was a smallish red headed woodpecker having lunch on my house. As I stepped outside he flew away. Good, problem solved. Not so fast. A few moments later I was back at my desk typing when all of the sudden I heard the knock, knock, knock yet again. He sure was a persistent little fellow. Once again I went outside and he flew away. He did not return that day. So I had hoped that I had discouraged him.
The next day I was sitting in the living room when once again I heard the woodpecker at the back of the house. I did some research on-line and read where woodpeckers don’t like owls. Great I would get me an owl. I drove to Target. Not having any luck, I went next door to Home Depot and bought their last owl. Mr. Owl is a big handsome guy who looks quiet real. I filled his bum with kitty litter to help weigh him down, positioned him on the corner of the deck and left him to do his job. He did it rather well as for several days I enjoyed piece and quite. No woodpeckers and as a unexpected bonus no bunnies either! On Friday I even went so far as to post on facebook that Mr. Owl seemed to be doing his job. Well it seems that woodpeckers must read the social media because no sooner than I had posted than I heard the woodpecker. Only this time he sounded pretty pissed off. KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK! I was a bit annoyed. How dare the woodpecker get an attitude with me! I ran outside and was astonished to find that Mr. Woodpecker had sent his BIG brother. Now we are not just talking big, we are talking HUGE! This guy was the size of a chicken. Of course he was not afraid of a plastic owl. This guy could probably bench press the plastic owl! He stopped pecking and looked at me as if to ask if I had a problem. Then deciding he had better things to do, flew away.
What to do? What to do? I went back to the internet and posted on facebook that I had woodpecker issues and asked for suggestions. Of course as you can imagine I got lots of helpful advice. I think the best idea was to have my grandson come and stay with me. That way every time the woodpecker comes around he could run out and yell “Hey you woodpecker quit pecking my wood!” At three years old, the Geico woodchuck commercial is one of his favorites to quote. But alas he lives too far away so I would have to think of something else.
Of course another friend may have figured it out when she said that my woodpeckers are actually not even local. They are the Jersey cousins of the local woodpeckers, sent down to get even with us for having all of our trees cut down a couple of months ago. I have seen every episode of the Sopranos and this actually makes perfect sense to me. Still I needed to figure out how to get rid of them, so I kept searching the internet. Since the owl didn’t work my next option was to scare them, to make a loud noise to send them away. So I waited and sure enough a couple hours later there was a very loud KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK, on my wall. I ran out of the house and screeched! The woodpecker flew away and I stood there feeling like a fool waiting for my neighbors to run out of their houses to see what was wrong. Nothing happened. Okay so maybe I didn’t make as big of a fool out of myself as I thought. And, the scream seemed to work as mega woodpecker has not been back.
I was feeling pretty good about things until Sunday when once again I heard knock, knock, knock. I gathered myself up ran outside and made a loud screeching sound, which was promptly followed by uncontrolled laughter from my neighbors, who just happened to be relaxing in their backyard. Damn woodpeckers! In frustration I did what most any woman would do in my situation. I went to the mall. I shopped for hours not caring that at that very moment the woodpeckers were probably having a party in my back yard. When I returned all was quiet. My strategy must have worked, and besides I was able to purchase several things to wear when my husband returns.
Monday passed without any visits from the gang. I was hopeful that my screeching had finally paid off. That feeling was short lived because Tuesday a third member of the gang, the smallest one yet, showed up. What is it about the little guy syndrome? I ask because this one was very persistent. I could not scream as he had the early shift and I didn’t think my neighbors would think it as funny if I was out screeching at six thirty in the morning. So I just ran around like a fool flapping my arms. He would fly away only to return after I went back inside. It seemed that no sooner than I had returned to the couch he would start knocking again. I was not happy. My dog, Oliver on the other hand is very happy with this new game as every time he hears the knock he is up and racing toward the door in an attempt to beat me outside. That would be wonderful, if the woodpecker would pay him a mind. All I would have to do would be to train Oliver to run outside and scare them away. But no, they are no more afraid of dogs than they are of plastic owls. I guess they realize that neither poses any threat to creatures that can fly.
As of this posting the woodpeckers are still waging a turf war against our house and I am trying to hold things together until my husband returns, at which time I will turn the battle over to him. Until that time I will turn a negative into a positive and reap the benefits of my new exercise routine. Woodpecker shooing!