Sunday, March 9, 2008
Squirrel trials update # 4
Since the last update I extended the roof to 6 inches. I thought the wonder-rodent couldn't do the yogic stretch to reach the hole. When squirrel encountered the modification it looked over the edge, and didn't even try. It snaked around the corner from the side of the roof where the overhang is only 2.5".
Fair enough. I decided to add 5" vertical barriers to the sides.
This seemed to make it even easier. Now the squirrel could oppose the grip of its hindlegs at 90 degrees, and in one swell foop it did the yogic stretch to reach the hole.
Exiting the box is also a cinch. Though the redwood is smooth, the joints on the corners and sides offer the squirrel more than adequate purchase.
It was time to raise the bar, as they say, which in this case meant enlisting Richard's help again. We covered the box with galvanized metal flashing.
You are looking up at the one area that isn't flashed -- the underside of the overhanging roof.
By 11:00 the next morning the remote alarm inside the box had not sounded, and I was starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I had circumvented wonder-rodent.
"Guess, who hasn't gotten into the box today?" I asked the redhead rather smugly. (Her response, "Who?" was a polite admission that she wasn't really listening, a common pattern in the conversation of old couples and Seinfeld characters.)
Ten minutes later the alarm blasted in its irritating way.
A couple hours later I was gazing out the window and finishing a cup of coffee in quiet postprandial reflection, when the squirrel made a second appearance.
It climbed all around the box on the bark of the tree, mounted the roof, and looked over the edge at the hole. Then it rapidly scratched the metal roof as if trying to dig through. After a thoughtful pause, it went back to edge, leaned over the side, and crawled upside down on the exposed woodwork and entered the hole. It was just like a gecko.
This charged me with determination to do it one better. When the squirrel finished its repast 20 minutes later, I removed the roof and took it to the garage. Fifteen minutes later the undersurface of the roof was one smooth piece of plywood.