Jan 3, 2011

My pear tree has betrayed me

This is the back side of our house. Standard, except for the 40-foot-tall Bradford Pear tree. When we moved here, it was about three feet tall. We have never trimmed it. Clearly.

I think it's the tallest Bradford Pear I've ever seen. Our house is three stories tall, and it extends AT LEAST another 12 feet beyond our roof. And I think that's a squirrels' nest near the top of it, no?

Here's a closer look at it. I don't know what a squirrels' nest looks like, really, but I'm assuming that's what lives in there since we have approximately one billion of them traipsing around our yard at any given time.

As you can see, the tree is basically climbing up our house and onto our deck. We've been meaning to have it cut back for, oh, seven years or so. I keep forgetting to call about it.

But apparently it's quite the transportation aid for the squirrels to get from THEIR NEST directly into OUR HOUSE. Um, can you see what they've done here?

They've chewed three holes into our chimney and let themselves right in. Whenever they feel like it. Including about 15 seconds before I took these pictures.

The Bradford Pear kindly extends its branches right up to that lowest hole. I can literally watch the squirrels leave their (abandoned?) nest, run down the tree and over a handy limb, then pop right into the hole.

We've suspected we've had squirrels in our attic for about two years, but we can't catch them up there. I imagine that when they hear the pull-down stairs squeak open, they skedaddle their twitchy little butts right back into the chimney.

Perhaps this week "Call the critter people" will make it onto my Post-it Note. Fingers crossed, Internet, fingers crossed.

In other backyard news, my parents gave this climbing wall to our boys for Christmas, and the boys opened a picture of it on Christmas night.

I'd left it here for the teenager who mows our lawn to put together and have waiting in the backyard when we got home to surprise the boys.

It's about seven feet tall and is all manner of fun for all three of the boys. Jakey won't climb all the way to the top, but he'll go halfway.

So far it's a big hit with everyone, and I imagine they'll find new and exciting ways to give me heart palpitations in no time.

Yesterday I had to be the total buzz-kill Mom and lecture them on paralysis, brain bleeds, broken bones, etc. My theory is that fear is the best motivator for safety.

Fingers crossed for that, too.

Oh, something I wanted to mention briefly before I go: I changed my Commenting format last night, and I hope it works just as well or better for you guys. E-mail me at stainsofgrass (at) yahoo (dot) com if all of a sudden you see that you can't comment anymore. Thanks!


Wade's World said...

Oh my the squirrels. Good luck with that.

And I'm about to head to google to check out that rock wall. My little man would LOVE that!

Kevin McKeever said...

You should set up a little toll booth to charge the squirrels for border crossing. Yowch!

Tamar SB said...

Ug, how annoying, we had squirrels in our attic for awhile they were so fearless (or stupid, not sure which) that we opened the attic stair thing once and one just stood there staring at us. I guess that is what happens when your brain is the size of a peanut!


Rachel said...

YIKES! I don't like rodents in my house. We've had bats in our 120 year old house that we used to live in. Stick it to 'em!

Robin said...

Ohhhhh, those squirrels would make me so upset! I think it's time the tree gets a huge trim....lol!

Love that rock wall! But I totally understand the fear factor behind it though!

Sewconsult said...

Good luck with the eradication of the fluffy-tailed RATS! We had a similar issue, but ours was a brick chimney. They got in through a vent that they nicely enlarged. This summer, we had a new roof and all new trim, so now I don't hear the squirrels wrestling (or whatever squirrels do) in the attic over our heads.

Cool climbing thing. I am so uncoordinated that I just panic looking at the boys climbing.

RLR said...

We've had birds in the vent for our water heater. Good luck with the squirrels and their twitchy little butts!
Also - very cool climbing wall!

Carrie said...

We also have a squirrel nest in a tree next to our house. The worst they've done so far is chew holes in our outdoor cushions, but now I'm going to check the perimeter to see if they've found a "back door"!

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Yeah, the squirrels are irking me. I don't actually mind them being in the chimney, but I'm mad that they chewed holes through the wood to get there. Why couldn't they just hop down from the top? Quite frankly, a few of them could use the exercise.

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