Woody Woodpecker?

October 23, 2014

Hello my MARtians

Having a home office here at Rosebrook Gardens provides me with the pleasures of both working at home and vistas of my garden. With three large windows the views are in abundance no matter the season, and I embrace them and find deep inspiration in it all, from the lush velvet green lawns to the birds singing in the trees. Mother Nature has no doubt made Rosebrook Gardens a tranquil place for all to enjoy. However, this week I needed to evict a new resident who disturbed the peace by way of constant tapping and destroying private property, not to mention damaging the pristine moldings on my home. You’re probably wondering “Who would do that to your home?”  Well, his common Connecticut name is a Flicker Woodpecker, but I have always referred to any woodpecker as Woody, after the popular television cartoon character Woody Woodpecker.

Over a number of days I heard a rat-a-tat sound coming from the corner of the house, right outside my office. I thought nothing of it, assuming it was simply power and telephone wires hitting the siding in the breeze. When it continued I went outside and couldn’t see that happening. Over time I became crazed about the noise, even wondering at the possibility that a mouse could be in the walls. But then, out of the blue one morning I noticed a bird flying around the house; much like many other birds do on my property, I know, but I swear this one looked guilty! I was right: he was trying to check into Rosebrook Gardens. (He must have read last week’s blog about my friends’ dog, Checkers.) And by the look of the hole he was making he found my house the perfect place to retreat to permanently. 

What was I to do? I have welcomed many birds to Rosebrook Gardens over the years but this one was not invited and certainly not welcome to destroy my siding. I was here first! So I did some quick research on the National Audubon Society’s website for a humane solution, and then quickly began a scare tactic. I installed mirrors in the areas he was pecking, as they do not like to see their reflection—they think it’s another woodpecker in the territory. The mirrors worked, but he cunningly shifted his area of attack. As he moved around the corner of the house I added more mirrors. After five mirrors and multiple adjustments—all done by leaning precariously farther and farther out my office window—I jimmied in place just the right amount of deterrents so he would pack-up and leave.  He was not happy I’m sure, and although I was delighted that he, too, wanted to call Rosebrook Gardens home, I won our standoff. I do pay the mortgage after all! 

I must say although I enjoyed the cartoon Woody Woodpecker as a child, I was not prepared for the real-life damage. But he inspired me, and reminded me that I have been able to draw him easily for as long as I can remember, so when it came to this scenario I took a moment not just to write this blog but to also create a Mar original to capture the moment. (I like to refer to my sketch as a ‘MARtisse.’) 

Chime in! Have you ever experience this problem?  Please share your stories with me as I would love to hear how you handled it. 

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