I have a rather large Pileated Woodpecker that lives in the woods behind my house. Sometimes at night I can hear this big bird boring holes in an old dead tree. He has a rapid fire feature of about 100 hits per minute and Bushman Assault Rifles Company would do well to find a mechanism that works this fast. If the NFL could study this bird, maybe they could keep football players from scattering their brains. He’s been doing it all year and he still seems to have his wits about him. Talk about taking a hit. There is a rumor going around that the tree in California, which had a road bored through it, was really the work of two of these woodpeckers—although it did take them all winter. Keep in mind that this is no ordinary woodpecker, this is a flying jackhammer. All was well until he decided to ventilate my wood siding.
Not prone to shooting critters, to drive the varmint, who was lodged up in the highest eves of my house away, I had to resort to a high-pressure water hose. You don’t want to mess around with an old firefighter when it comes to accurately squirting water. This worked—however, this critter is an early riser so much of my water squirting took place in my P. J’s., and I was going on about four hours of sleep a night for the week of the conflict. I had nightmares, when I was asleep and he was hammering on the house, about being pinned down under a barbed wire fence somewhere on the western front of France, and that was not helpful. I think the bird is wearing on me because last night as he flew off, I swear he gave me the old Woody Woodpecker Song. Maybe this is where the phrase, “flipping you the bird” came from.
On another subject—I have apple trees, and being the benevolent person I am, I leave the lower apples for the deer when I pick them. They have been coming on a regular basis and you see them grazing in the morning. The other day I picked the apples, putting them in a few five-gallon pails, which I set on the back porch. Again, I left the lower apples on the tree for the deer. This morning, when I looked out the bedroom window at daybreak, there were no deer to be seen. That’s because they were all up at the house, eating the apples out of the pails. I think, somewhere along the line, they picked up on the mentality that you don’t have to work for your food if you don’t want to. Wonder where that came from?
A few years back I had a skunk under my porch. He didn’t stink, and he rarely bothered anyone, but with my dog Molly, who has been sprayed by skunks in the past—and I think enjoyed it—it was technically always an accident waiting to happen. The problem is, getting the skunk to leave is not always that easy. If you shoot it there, you might as well burn the house down, and being an old firefighter, I do know how to do that, but frown on it, and now having said that, hope I don’t have a fire because I will be in for a lengthy investigation. So instead, my neighbor who is an old Scandinavian, told me to put a bucket of Lutefisk under the porch and they will go away. It was hard to find Lutefisk out of season, but when it arrived I promptly got it under the porch, and sure enough, the skunk quickly moved out. But, I now have two Norwegians who have been casing the place the last few days. I hope they stay away. Anybody want a bucket of Lutefisk?