Monday, February 1, 2010

Hoo Dat???


Last spring, Scott came home with two plastic owls. He’d gone to Home Depot for something and returned with two brown hollow plastic owls. Now, he’s come home with multiple tools and house accoutrements that I either didn’t understand or thought useless, but plastic owls left me speechless.

It turns out this was the solution to one of our uniquely suburban issues: woodpeckers. Like much of the wildlife around me, at first I thought it was kind of cool to have woodpeckers. I recalled the kitschy cartoon of my youth and figured: what harm can they do?

Well, as it turns out, the family-friendly cackling woodpecker on TV is pure fiction. In fact, woodpeckers are up there with termites and squirrels in terms of potential house destructors. Woody and his buddy (yes, we now had TWO woodpeckers) seemed harmless enough when they were pecking away at the trees around us, but when their pecking proclivities led them to our roof, our deck, and occasionally (perhaps after too many birdie cocktails?) our window, I’d had enough.

Before we moved, I had forced Scott to give up his b.b. gun. Harmless though it seemed, I felt uncomfortable having any sort of gun around, especially if we were planning on having kids. Never had I regretted that more than the moment I saw Woody and his posse putting holes in my house.

So the solution? Believe it or not: owls. Hollow plastic owls that, when the wind blew right, made a weird eerie hooting noise. A noise I heard a few nights ago. Now here’s the rub: we took down the plastic owls in October. At 3 a.m. I was sure I was dreaming. Or that Scott had decided to re-hang them as a preventive measure.

The dog had the same idea. She bolted upright and began whining and barking. And the baby began crying. And all of a sudden our house has erupted in chaotic cacophony as I grab the baby and Scott goes to take Cous Cous out. Sure enough, sitting in a tree in the creek behind our house was a huge owl, eerily hooting into the night like its plastic counterparts.

Sigh. Why did we pay $10 for pretend plastic feathered friends when we had the real thing the whole time? I didn’t exactly NEED the owl at 3 a.m. waking my baby and dog: I needed it months ago when Woody was gorging on my garage!

I guess we’ll see if our new friend stays and if the plastic pretenders stay in storage this year.

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