The Fence the Squirrels Ate – #SoCS

It’s Friday. It’s raining, and Linda G. Hill has tossed down a Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt that’s entirely appropriate for this past week:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘wire.’ Use ‘wire’ as a noun or a verb or any way you’d like. Enjoy!”

You might wonder how that could be appropriate…read on.


If we were having a beer, you would be curious.

“So, Dan, did you throw your wife out of the garage already?”

“What?”

“I thought I saw both cars outside. I was wondering if you started your garage renovation.”

“No. I just moved them out for one day so I could work on a project.”

“Big project?”

“Yes and no.”

“I hope you have a better answer for me.”

“Hi Brad.”

“Hi Dan, hello David.”

“Hello Sk…Brad.”

“Dan, it sounds like you’ve been working pretty hard. Ready for a cold Corona?”

“I am.”

“David, your usual?”

“Still have that text?”

“Don’t need it, I put your setup in the computer’s custom recipe file.”

“Stored under ‘crazy guy’ no doubt.”

“Ha ha, no. Actually, Cheryl entered it. It’s under John Howell’s Bourbon.”

“Well then, get on with it son.”

“No problem.”

“Of course not. OK, Dan, why all the confusion about my question?”

“No confusion. It’s a big project, but it only required a few hours in the garage.”

“Unfortunately, I’m going to need a few more details. A ‘few,’ can you work with that?”

“The project is to raise the chain-link fence back up to its proper position and to secure it to the top rail. The in-the-garage portion was to build a grab bar to pull the fence fabric up.”

“OK, Dan, bear in mind that I don’t understand much about a chain link fence, but why did it fall down?”

“Gravity.”

“You’re a jerk. Why wasn’t it held to the bar?”

“The squirrels ate the tie wires along the top rail.”

“Ate them?”

“Yep.”

“Here’s your Corona with two artfully balanced lime wedges.”

“I hear that’s your signature style.”

“Yeah, I think Cheryl’s jealous. Anyway, did I hear you say squirrel ate the wire on your fence?”

“Yes.”

“That’s so weird, I saw one eating the fence around the dumpster at my apartment complex. Why do they do that?”

“They have to gnaw on hard stuff to wear their teeth down.”

“I wouldn’t think you’d want your teeth to wear down.”

“Excuse me, Skippy. Before Dan responds to that rhetorical comment, do you think you could test that recipe – John Howell’s Bourbon, I think you said.”

“Oh, sure, no problem.”

“Why do you encourage him, Dan?”

“He’s our bartender, David, and he’s interested. I can’t just ignore him.”

“I am perfectly capable of …”

“Here you go. A glass of Willet Reserve, a snifter of seltzer, a glass of ice and two cherries.”

“Ah, cherries in the ice this time. Thanks.”

“No problem. So, Dan, why to they want to wear down their teeth?”

“Squirrels’ teeth never stop growing, Brad. If they don’t wear them down, they will actually grow too big for their mouths.”

“Yikes! Tha…oops, gotta run, looks like we have some customers.”

“I’ve never seen Skippy run to a table before.”

“The customers are young and female.”

“How does this whatchamacallit you made lift the fence, Dan?”

“It’s just a hook, well, three hooks. I slide a bar inside the fence, hook this thing on the bar and lift it all with a come-a-long.”

“Is that like the crane you made to lift your steps?”

“Same thing.”

“You just can’t help yourself, can you Dan?”

“There aren’t too many ways to do this job.”

“There’s the call-the-guy-that-installed-the-fence method.”

“I installed the fence.”

“Wait, you installed a fence? I’m sorry, I just overheard that.”

“Yes Brad. I installed the fence.”

“How do you do stuff like that?”

“It’s not hard. You dig holes for the fence posts. You install the top rail. You unroll the fence fabric and you wire it in place.”

“You make it sound so easy. I have trouble remembering how to make an Espresso Martini.”

“Skippy, you have trouble pouring Bourbon into a glass.”

“Yeah, well I gotta get this right. You guys OK here?”

“We’re good.”

“The fence does sound easy. Even lifting it in place sounds easy, once you build a crane, but how did you make the hook thing?”

“I took a piece of scrap three-quarter-inch pipe(1), welded three hooks to it. Then I bent a lifting rail and welded it to the pipe. Then I welded in some truss-like supports.”

“OH, is that all?”

“Yeah, and I made it all from scrap.”

“It’s good to see you’re as bad at recognizing sarcasm as you are rhetorical questions.”

“Oh, sorry.”

“You guys want another round?”

“Yes we do, Brad, and a small peperoni pizza.”

“Coming right up.”

“Um, Skippy, did you make a good Martini?”

“I did, David. Total success!”

“Who was it for?”

“Amy.”

“Who’s Amy?”

“The blonde girl at the table over there.”

“On a first-name basis already? That’s fast work.”

“Actually, we’re going out after my shift.”

“Well done! Dan, you might be good at do-it-yourself stuff, but this guy is truly working fast.”

“Yeah, but my work is better for you.”

“How’s that?”

“By making the lifting rail myself, I saved forty-five bucks. Your drinks and the pizza are on me.”

“Here’s to do-it-yourself home improvement!”

“Cheers!”

1) ¾” ~ 19mm


Today’s gallery has a few pictures of the work in progress. The lifting bar works well and the squirrels will soon be eating brand new wire ties (of which I will lay in a significant reserve supply). Cheryl’s out this week, but be sure to check out my favorite post from her place.

75 comments

  1. I’m guessing Maddie appreciates you getting that spot on the couch all warm for her before you leave. :-) I’ve always known I’d enjoy being your neighbor, and in this case, I could have let you borrow those items which are sitting in our barn and haven’t been used in a while. But, I did enjoy hearing how you made them yourself from scraps. I also learned something about squirrels I didn’t know. It makes sense now to think of all the damage they can cause in an attic. Have a good Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I could have borrowed it from you and bought you a beer. Oh well, this way I was out of the house for a few hours and justifying the tools I bought along the way.

      Maddie always appreciates my warming up the couch and pillows for her. It’s good to have a purpose. I hope you have a great weekend.

      Like

    1. Nothing. In fact, they’ll probably enjoy the fresh ties 🙁

      I will lay in a supply of wire ties. They’re $7 for a pack of 25. I think it just became part of our budget. It beats 4 days to stretch & rehang the entire fence.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I guess I need a second coffee – I read the title as “The Fence that Ate the Squirrel”

    But you have me thinking – our cat has been chewing on wires and wicker… wonder if cats do the same thing for their teeth…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are times I’d like a fence that eats squirrels. I don’t think cats’ teeth continue to grow but some like to chew weird things. One of our cats will chew any and every brush you leave out. Every brush has to be put away.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I knew about squirrels’ teeth, but still never heard about them chewing wire to handle the situation. Then again, those cute devils – I don’t put anything passed them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They also chew the corners of metal flashing. I’ve had to repair our chimney flashing, which is lead, several times. The lead doesn’t seem to bother them. They don’t chew the wires on the (vertical) fence posts, just the ones running along the rails.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Of course you know I must share this with the hubs. Impressive work. Our squirrels in Georgia used to gnaw the hardwood fence. Scary really. I say let em go. Can you even imagine them with huge, scary teeth? It would be a Jurassic nightmare.
    The really sad part of this tale is that $45 would likely barely cover the tab for what you had in most bars these days…😏
    I hope you and all the little fur kiddies enjoy what is known in our world as the “weekend”, Dan. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cheryl. I hope your hubs enjoys this. $45 wouldn’t actually cover a pizza, two beers and two splashes of decent bourbon – creative license runs strong through these bar posts.

      The squirrels can actually die from their own teeth growing too large. I put extra ties in place and I’m going to stock a reserve supply to replace the ones they eat in the future.

      Maddie still reminds me that the Saturday and Sunday schedules are in force on weekends. I hope you have a great one.

      Like

  5. You realize that Sammy and Smokey are alerting all their friends that the nice Peanut Man has installed a fresh supply of wire ties to the fence so the teeth grinding party is on!! Lol.

    Poor MuMu having to sleep with your glasses. How would you like to sleep with her brush?

    What a good girl Maddie is to move into your section of the couch to keep it warm for you while you’re getting coffee. It’s not her fault if you come back before she’s had a chance to complete her task!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Um, thanks Ginger…it seems you may be an advocate of the critters. Are they paying you on the side?

      I thought, maybe I could persuade MuMu to share her shelf. That’s not working. She would like it if I slept next to her brush. Then it would be handy at 3:00 am when she screams her way onto the bed.

      Taking the pillows seems to be Maddie’s way of telling me that I’m done sitting. Kinda like, “you can go now.”

      I’m sure the squirrels will appreciate the new ties. They don’t seem to like having to climb over the top of the fence. It was easier when the “jagged” part was below the rail. I sense a long battle coming.

      I hope you can stay safe, and well stocked this weekend.

      Like

    1. Thanks Roberta. One look at our trash bins will tell you that they also gnaw on hard plastic. They’ve torn up the edges of the handles. I guess I can’t blame them, but between them and my procrastinating over this for many years, they’ve given me a lot of work.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. I couldn’t believe it when Linda gave us “wire” as a prompt. I was hoping to be able to write about this, since it consumed much of my week, but this was a gift.

      I bet you never expected John Howell’s Bourbon to be such a popular brand – that’ll teach you to recommend something in a comment ;-)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice contraption, Dan, but I’m wondering why you don’t come up with something to hold your glasses without taking up MuMu’s space. She such a poor, poor baby. :-p

    Well, anyways, I hope you have a wonderful Saturday of fence saving and couch surfing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I did not know that about squirrels. Because of the snow today and we’ve been feeding the birds and the squirrels found it (clever kids) we’ve started ordering an extra bag of peanuts and corn… Ima squirrel lover…. More than people these days. Their scolding makes sense to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice work on the fence pulling tool. And the angle bending tool too. Some of the tools we make may not be pretty, still as long as they get the job done they are pretty enough. Now as to the gnawing rodents put some hot sauce on the wires. No doubt you will have to re-apply it frequently. Still it is easier to paint a little hot sauce than to re-install wires. Zoos use hot sauce to keep rodents out of the bird feeders. And the hot sauce does not bother the birds. Our squirrels must have enough alternate gnawing locations because so far they have not chewed the fence. They do have fun with the black walnuts though. Unfortunately planting a black walnut is a time delayed answer even if you had an out of the way place to put it. When the walnuts are ripe it is a dangerous place to stand. Either way you try to solve your problem good luck Don Quixote. Hum I wonder if they would gnaw on windmills ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would think gnawing through a walnut would keep those teeth in check. I’m hoping the peanuts in the shells is helping. We used to feed them shelled peanuts. I doubt we’ll ever stop them. I bought extra wire ties. Thanks, John.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That title was certainly intriguing, Dan, and I was excited to see that Skippy has morphed into being Brad, at least occasionally. As far as the teeth go, gerbils have the same need to chew on things to keep their teeth under control, as we learned when the girls had them as pets many years ago. They could chew up Duplo in no time flat.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. Duplos are tough. I stepped on a few in my time. I figured if Skippy is going to be a regular (he has a fan base) I need to let him shine a little from time to time.

      Like

  10. “Skippy, you have trouble pouring Bourbon into a glass.”–David’s comebacks get better each week! I had no idea about the squirrels and their teeth. I was concerned when they chewed through the screens to get into my porch and munch on birdseed, but your fence…..!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Lois. Skippy has his fans, but David isn’t one of them. At first, I couldn’t figure out why the wires were “wearing out”. It’s amazing. I put extra ties on the fence and I bought extra packs of ties.

      Like

  11. Wired about wire/metal. How meta. I’ve always had reservations about squirrels so I’m reading this post while attempting to remain detached from what the little dickens can do. Such botheration.

    Like

    1. I guess because they’re so darn cute. When we meet them in the yard, it’s “hey guy, thanks for the peanut.” Not, “gimmie a peanut or I’ll chew my way into your house and kill you while you sleep.”

      Like

  12. You need to put hot sauce or something on those wires to keep the squirrels off them. It isn’t as if there are no hard things in nature for them to chew on. Maybe you should stop with the peanuts and throw them marbles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We used to give them shelled peanut pieces. I like to think we’re making them chew more by giving them peanuts in the shells. Painting these with hot sauce would ultimately be more work and cost than replacing the ties. They haven’t been bothering our flashing lately. I’m hoping they will avoid these or eat them slowly.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So tre, Sandi. We’ve gone to great lengths to keep them away from the house (not a perfect solution) but it helps keep them in the trees where they belong. Fortunately, they are territorial so the families don’t just grow and grow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’ve had a time with them getting on the bird feeders and dumping seed all over the ground. The climb on the screen on the back porch, so we’re going to have to move the feeders someplace else.

        Like

  13. Very impressive fence repair, Dan. I doubt Skippy will truly understand. 🙂 Guinea pigs have the same teeth that keep growing unless they have something to chew on. Stay home and stay well. Great bar post!

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Wait… were you just here with me over the past three days? How did you know that is exactly what I have been doing? Exactly. Well, of course you know me well. 🙂 Stay tuned for tomorrow morning’s blog post.

            Liked by 1 person

  14. Nice to see the pets and a fresh spring bud :)
    Some (we suspect) raccoons ate a nice big hole in the lid to our recycle bin. People have warned us about squirrels eating things and nesting in our attic and all sorts of atrocity, but far as I can tell, they live in Jim’s trees and Cooper the black lab hunts the slower set.
    We have a gutter issue. I do not suspect squirrels as The Mister told me he suspects they were hung improperly and he will fix. Our home’s last owner’s son thought he was like you, but he was NOT like you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I have fixed many things around here that were done improperly by the previous owner. We’ve been here over 25 years, and I still find things on occasion. We will be replacing one of the original doors (that he added) in the near future. I can’t wait to see what that will bring.

      Stay safe, and enjoy the weekend.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.