Up a tree

D the painter, one of my old scoutmates, came by today to paint two flashing patches we had to apply to the house because the place has recently become a woodpecker magnet. He finished them off in no time, then showed me two more holes high on the other side of the house. Imprecations followed, along with wild plans to get rid of the damn birds, despite government protection that keeps me from lining them up in the sites of my trusty Red Ryder BB gun. (Could I “accidentally” deal with them with a thrown tennis ball? Could we net them and file down their, uh, peckers?) The utterly legal and high-minded determination, though, was for him to put up more flashing and paint it. The peckerheads will no doubt simply attack one of the two hole-free sides of the house, and we will continue this merry clapboard dance until the whole place is aluminum-clad. (Actually, I’m trying to think of ways to make my neighbor’s house more attractive than mine to these avian home-wreckers. Maybe some late-night smearing of peanut butter high under the eaves…?)

But … some good came of all this. In the stretch of trees separating our back yard from our back-back yard is a once-lovely holly tree. A few years back, the dead top of a taller tree snapped off, and a fork of it mated forcefully with some large receptive branches perhaps 20 feet up in the holly. I’ve been wrestling unsuccessfully with the mess since I started the reclamation project back there last summer. Too big, too high, too well stuck. This morning though, we took one of D’s long ladders and headed back there to deal with the issue once and for all. One or two strong words, a few more-or-less serious safety warnings, a short balancing act, a worn-out saw arm, a few firm tugs, and the job was done. The holly, though somewhat the worse for wear, should look much better this summer.

I must say, though, that all of this makes that condo look pretty attractive.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *