Parfum Puant

I have gotten myself into the worst possible situation.  I have a skunk on my porch.  And he’s not just visiting occasionally, he’s practically living there! I am not even kidding when I say he’s been spraying EVERYONE that comes to my front door.  He’s the doorbell I never asked for; I quite prefer knocking.  He’s like one of those perfume salesmen that spray you as you walk down the street, as though it will convince you to buy the nasty bottle instead of pissing you off.

I guess technically the skunk isn’t living ON my porch exactly. My house was built on piece of slanted ground, meaning that part of the porch is on stilts and part of it is flush with the ground.  The skunk has made himself a small burrow in that corner that lays with the ground.  Whenever, and I mean whenever, someone walks across the deck.  In the last six days, four people have been sprayed.  The worst part is that one of them was my mother-in-law; yeah, I know.  Luckily, it’s never a direct spray; he more just sprays from his corner and it mists whatever visitor I have.  While it still stinks, it doesn’t stink nearly as long or nearly as bad.

No matter what the case is, I NEED someone to come get this skunk off of my porch.  The mailman (another of the skunk spray victims) won’t even deliver my mail until he knows for a fact that it’s gone.  Not to mention the fact that my house smells like Pepé Le Pew 24/7. The sooner he’s gone the happier I will be; I really don’t care what it costs because what I can’t afford is to have ANOTHER family member sprayed by this thing; or anyone else.  Please tell me someone can help with this, because if you don’t, my only other option is to sell my house and move far away.

A Bird’s Barrage

I have never had a mortal enemy before, I have never truly hated anyone or anything.  Until now; now I know what it is to loathe.  This will sound crazy, but there’s a bird that lives in a tree on campus that has it out for me.  Don’t laugh and don’t stop reading, give me a chance to explain what has been happening.  I’m not the only student that feels this way, and it’s not just students, either!  I’ve seen teachers attacked before, too.  This is the Freddy Krueger of birds.

She moved onto campus about two weeks ago.  It could have been sooner but that was when I noticed her.  She didn’t start terrorizing anyone until last week.  I think that she moved in, build a nest, laid eggs, and is now on constant alert.  I don’t really blame her for that because I would protect my kids from crazy high school students, too, but she really takes it a step too far.  From the second I step off the bus, I have to keep my eyes peeled.  There hasn’t been a morning yet when she hasn’t dived at someone that was trying to get into the school, and she hits with full force.  It’s not like it’s a scare tactic, she doesn’t just swoop down and fly away.  She comes down, talons bared, and will literally grab you by the hair.  It’s a nightmare.

Whenever we take it to the administration, they tell us that the school board is handling it, but I think that they like it.  They give us tests right after holiday breaks, why not release a demon bird on the student body? All I know is that I am just about ready to catch this bird myself.  Now that I think about it, I could relocate it to the principal’s office. Senior Prank anyone?

House Guest

Chasing a skunk out of my house was NOT what I wanted to do today.  They say the universe sends you what you need to grow and be the better you, but I think this was stretching it. The all-knowing universe couldn’t have picked a bunny or a cat or something? Apparently I needed the world’s smelliest creature to help me achieve my ‘destiny’.  Enough complaining about the universe, let me tell you what happened.

As the sun went down last night, I sat out in the lawn enjoying the cool air and the smell of the incoming rainstorm while reading the classic tale of love, loss, and sacrifice.  Okay, it was Twilight, but don’t judge.  As I sat there believing with all of my soul that the day was going to end as perfectly as it had started, I heard a noise on the deck behind me.  I turned around and screamed at the skunk that stood by my open door.  A mistake on my part, I guess, because that scream chased the skunk into my house. This, obviously only made me scream louder.

Well, being the hardcore woman that I am, I called my brother to come help me get the skunk out of my house- mostly just to do it himself, but I figured I could stand outside and shout encouragement or shine a flashlight or something.  Once he arrived and I had pinpointed the skunk’s location (from outside the window in my living room), we planned our attack.  I had to offer up my VCR copies of Singing in the Rain and White Christmas to get him to go in alone, but eventually we agreed that I would stand outside an open window with a flashlight while he chased the skunk out of my house with a modified broom.

Going full Tom Cruise in his Mission Impossible, my brother crept across the living room with his new skunk removal stick.  I pointed to the corner where the animal was huddled and he began to make noise behind the skunk.  After what seemed like hours of slowly herding the skunk towards the door, he finally ran back out the door that he came in through.  I let out a whoop of excitement as my brother collapsed onto the couch.  We had done it, we had gotten the skunk out of my house.  After handing over the movies and sending my brother off, I laid happily in bed.  I guess the universe didn’t really curse me after all, but don’t tell it that or it might send a badger or something next week.

Hot Pursuit

When I woke up this morning, the last thing I expected to find were raccoons in my yard. I guess I wasn’t expecting to lose my dogs leash either, but you know what I’m talking about.  You have certain guidelines and expectations of how that day’s events will go; and my day did NOT follow my guidelines.  I mean, it started off just as I’d pictured it.  I woke up late because I’d hit snooze on my alarm too many times, I couldn’t find anything for breakfast because I hadn’t been shopping in two weeks, and it took three tries to get my car to start because I need to buy a new battery but I keep shrugging it off.  They were the kinds of things that you knew were going to happen because of your lack of responsibility, but hoped wouldn’t.

My morning went exactly as I had hoped it wouldn’t but had expected it to anyway, so it was no surprise.  It was the evening, when I came home from work, when my day suddenly did a 180 on me.  As the sun started to set I got ready to take my dog, Mitsy, on a walk; the problem was that I couldn’t find her leash; and I know you shouldn’t walk your dog without a leash but since my morning went the way it went, I really didn’t care.  Or at least I didn’t care until I opened my back door to leave and stood face to face with a giant raccoon. As I stood there, mouth gaping wide open like an imbecile, Mitsy took off.  It took me a second to recognize that my dog had just leapt off the porch, barking like a mad-man, in hot pursuit of the raccoon and so I just stood still for a moment longer trying to process what had just happened before I, too ran down the porch after my dog.  The second my foot touched the grass, however, it was met by loud hissing.  I jumped backwards and turned to see three more raccoons in my yard! I wasted no time in running as fast as I could the opposite direction; which, luckily, was the direction I needed to go.

I followed the barking of my courageous pooch across the street into the neighbor’s yard but then lost the sound.  I stopped and listened but Mitsy was not barking anymore.  Having just lost my sense of direction I wandered aimlessly around the lawn, looking for the missing animals.  I breathed a sigh of relief as I came around to the back side of the home and found my little Mitsy sniffing and scratching at the baseboards of their wraparound deck. To make a long story short, the raccoon had wriggled its way past a loose board and was now hiding beneath the deck, and while I was relieved that the raccoon was no longer in my yard, I knew that it was only a matter of time before he came back and joined the other three.  So now I’m here, searching the internet trying to find someone that can get the raccoons out of my yard and put my day back on the path it’s supposed to take.

Tree Hugger

It was about a week and a half ago when I first saw the porcupine in my tree.  I wasn’t really sure what it was at first; I always pictured porcupines as spiky and aggressive but this animal looked almost fuzzy and was fast asleep.  Knowing that quills were hard to remove, I left the animal to do its own thing and figured it would leave after its cat nap.  It wasn’t until I saw the bark being eaten off the top of my pine trees that I realized the animal hadn’t actually left.  Or at least that was my first clue; my second clue (and the one that really stuck) was when I came home from work to find both of my dogs with long spikes sticking out of their noses; that was when I really got the hint.

After I spent the money (and it was a lot of money) to have the spines removed from my dog’s faces, I called in a professional trapper to catch and remove the porcupine from the tree.  The only problem was that when they came out, the porcupine had apparently vanished.  He was no longer sleeping in the pine trees like he was the first time I saw him and I had no idea where else he would be! While I talked to the main technician and explained to him what had happened, the second tech walked around the property searching for the missing animal.  Right as I reached the end of my story, she called out to us from our spot under the pine trees and ushered us to where she was.  As we moved towards the backyard, we too saw the sleeping animal.  Instead of the pine trees, this porcupine had made itself comfortable in the willow tree that sat at the edge of my property.

They then set and baited traps, hoping to catch the animal in the next couple of days, but apparently this porcupine was smarter than that.  He casually avoided all three of the traps and my sight for the next week.  Just as I was about to resign to living with a porcupine, I spotted him resting once again in the branches of the willow tree.  Within seconds I was on the phone with the trappers, I told them where he was and they hurried down, ready to catch the porcupine on the spot.  They pulled up and stepped out of their truck like the Ghost Busters; okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic but it sure seemed like a scene from a movie to me.  They moved quickly and quietly towards the porcupine in the tree.  In an instant, they had the animal on the ground and in a trap.  I couldn’t believe it! After two weeks of little success, they had solved the problem in the blink of an eye.  Even though it was their job to help me, it sure felt like they were superheroes that had just saved the day to me.

Curious Critters

Early last month I discovered raccoons in my chimney.  Though I was surprised to see them, it wasn’t a shock that they were there.  I’ve seen raccoons around my yard many times in the past and I’ve been negligent about putting a chimney cap on the old brick chimney so the fact that they finally moved in is more of a wake-up call than anything else.  Of course at first I didn’t know it was raccoons, truthfully I thought that a bird had nested in the chimney because I would only hear soft peeps from the babies and the occasional clunk from the mother.

After a few weeks, though, it seemed odd to me that I was still hearing these sounds and they were only getting louder.  I had thought for sure that the baby birds would have moved out of the nest by now so I set my old, rickety ladder up against the wall and climbed up to the chimney to investigate the sounds I had been hearing.  Well, when I shined my flashlight down the chimney I can assure you that I wasn’t prepared to see two big reflecting eyes staring back up at me.  That was where the surprise came in you see.  I had thought a little bird was living there but in fact it was a raccoon in my chimney!

That’s when I started calling around for help, at my age I wasn’t going to get that big raccoon out of my chimney by myself, and I was almost positive that she had young living in there as well. I soon discovered that she did in fact have young, six of them to be exact.  Last night while I was letting my Yorkie out to the bathroom, I watched the mother raccoon jump out of the chimney and run down my tree.  I was just too curious not to go look down the chimney again to look for babies.  When I did I was greeted by lots of small growls and 12 eyes frozen under my light.  Well, now I really need help.  I’ve got someone coming to do an inspection tomorrow so hopefully they can get these little rascals out of my chimney for good.

Birds in the Office

When I took this job, I guess I didn’t know exactly what I was in for. My first day, I discovered that there were birds in the ceiling! It might not be that big of a deal if it wasn’t a desk job.  Meaning I just sit there and listen to those birds chirp and chirp and chirp for hours on end!  It’s unbelievable.  I knew this job would have its quirks, all jobs do; I just didn’t know that quirks and chirps were synonyms. I love birds, don’t get me wrong, I just think that they belong outside and not in the ceiling tiles over my head!

You might think that I’m overreacting, saying to yourself that having birds in the ceiling can’t be that bad.  If you’re thinking that I could just use headphones to drown out the sound and not pay attention to them, you’re right, I could.  The problem with that, is that you don’t know the entire story.  It’s not just the chirping, there have been incidents with the birds outside of the ceiling tiles!  Just last week one flew down through the office and perched in a small, fake tree we have by the door. The week before that I came into the office ready for the day only to find three birds and a pile of poop on my desk!  It is getting out of hand, and I’ve just about had it.

Trying to focus in an open office can be hard enough, no one asked for these birds in our ceiling, or at least I didn’t. It’s distracting me from my work, its sending my anxiety over the edge, and it’s really ruining my love of birds. The owners are calling someone in to take a look and try and get rid of them, but I’m not sure I can wait that long.  I love this job, I hate these birds.  It’s hard enough to focus when you’re in an open floor office without cubicles let alone when you’re always on edge just waiting for a pterodactyl to swoop down and tear out your hair! Okay, I’m exaggerating now, but I’m not kidding about the hair.  A woman just down the row from me was at her desk last week, eating her lunch, having a great day when BOOM, a bird landed right on her head and started pecking at her face! You can’t tell me that I’m overreacting or that this isn’t getting out of hand.  I pay good money to rent this space, they need to put good money into getting these birds out of the ceiling, out of the office, and out of my life!

The Woodpecker Waltz

I most definitely have a woodpecker problem.  I have lived in my home for roughly 20 years now, and living in Park City, Utah I have always been aware of the wildlife around me.  I even knew there was a woodpecker living in the tree near my home when he moved in.  Of course, if the animals don’t bother me, I don’t bother them, so I let the woodpecker be.  He made several holes in the large oak and could be fairly noisy at times, but was never a real problem, until this last year.  I don’t know what part of his appetite changed, or even if it’s a new bird, but he has moved to pecking my home.

It was just like someone flipped a switch, the once distant pecking that I could hear early in the morning was all of a sudden a loud pounding right next to my head!  Instead of doing his work on the old oak, this woodpecker had started a hole right in the wall of my upstairs bedroom.  I couldn’t believe it, but I hoped and prayed that he would move back to the tree.  Boy was I wrong.  Within days he was in full blown construction mode and had made 3 holes on the same outdoor wall.  I went online and searched woodpecker problem solutions, and I tried almost all of the solutions recommended.  I purchased taste deterrents and hung up reflectors, whatever I could to deter this woodpecker from my home!  They always worked, but it was always only for a little while.

We were doing the woodpecker waltz; he would peck and I would deter, he would leave and I would stop.  He would come back and we started again; for months we went back and forth in our twisted dance until I finally had enough.  Obviously I wasn’t going to solve my woodpecker problem on my own, I needed outside help.  I searched online until I found this website, where I was directed to a technician in my area.  He’s coming to my house tomorrow to, say “steal my partner”, and hopefully he can end this dance for good!  All I know is that I’m tired, my house is tired, and this woodpecker is still spry as ever; my woodpecker problem is now in someone else’s hands, and hopefully it ends as quickly as it started.

A Bad Wake-Up Call

There has been a skunk in my yard for as long as we’ve lived here.  Granted, that’s only been about 3 years, but still that’s pretty impressive for a skunk.   I don’t want you to think that I’ve just let this skunk live in my backyard, I have tried a lot of different things to get rid of him but none worked.  So we worked out a little agreement, he doesn’t spray or come to close to my house and I let him live wherever he wants.  You may think I’m nuts, but one morning sitting on my front porch, he looked at me and I looked at him, and the agreement was formed, and for a year he stayed true to it – and so did I.

You might be asking yourself, where did it all go wrong? Then again you might be thinking to yourself, why did she think that would work in the first place? I can’t answer that second question but I can answer the first.  I was a woman that trusted the skunk in my yard to stay in the yard and away from the house, which was definitely my first mistake. My second mistake was not calling a trapper once he started spending more time near my house and even on my front porch!  And the rest is history…. I’m just kidding.  The final mistake was when my 17 year old daughter left her bedroom window open; which might not have been a big deal if her room wasn’t in the basement and her window wasn’t flush with the ground.  Can you see where this is going?

As she got out of bed to get ready for school, she leaned out her window to check the weather and was met by a big, fat, stinky skunk butt in her face.  Obviously she screamed and unfortunately the skunk did what skunks do and he released the toxic, horrible gasses from his butt right at her.  And that my friends, is where the skunk crossed the line.  My daughter refuses to leave the house (which I don’t blame her on), we have to clean and even replace everything in her room, and our agreement was violated.  Now I’m here, looking for a trapper that can get this skunk out of my yard and move it somewhere else.  I tried to be nice to him, but we had an agreement, and he sprayed it right in the face.