Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Almighty God

I can say now, without a shadow of doubt, that it has been fully confirmed for me that God has a sense of humor.

Not even 6 hours since publishing my last blog, the woodpecker has returned.

I'm on my way to the shed.

-The Krunchy Krab

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Woodpecker saga

I guess it's been almost a month since I last wrote. Much has happened, most of which revolved around a smallish bird with an extra thick cranium. Our neighborhood was chosen by the woodpecker tribal council to be the mating/insect eating/hole drilling training grounds for the entire North American woodpecker population. We didn't know it until recently, each neighbor battled alone. Now, united we can begin to stand against them.

So my battle began on the internet, where I gathered my research data to learn how to fight them. What I learned is that you really can't, and most governing authorities will charge you upwards of $500 if you kill one. Back to the drawing board.

For many weeks, perhaps months, our method of attack was twofold: I would throw open the deck door, run out, and pelt the area being pecked with rocks while hissing like a cat that has just been turpentined, and my wife would throw open the blinds in the window and slam open and shut several times. (The primary pecking area was directly above our bedroom window, and the primary pecking hour was anytime before 7AM)

These attacks failed to impress the woodpecker, so I was forced to prepare myself to be separated from $500. I began to assemble my arsenal, sorting it in order of expected effectiveness. (See picture below)

Not pictured is the .177 caliber BBs that have been my primary weapon over the last few weeks. No, I wouldn't really use the .303 on a woodpecker, not because it would be inhumane, but because it would rip a hole in the side of my house the size of half a baseball. As it would turn out, the woodpecker would do that for me anyway.

My artillery was an exercise in frustration. Since the .303 was out of the question, my next choice was the blue tipped round you see, which is like a shotgun shell for a .22. As my luck would have it, there are apparently two different .22 calibers, and I have the smaller one. It wouldn't fit.

I briefly considered moving on to regular .22 rounds, but without the spray effect of the shot shells, I would have to be much more accurate. I didn't think it wise to pepper my house with bullets while I sighted my rifle in, so that was out.

Back to the BB guns. Many were the mornings I sat in my shed with my Red Ryder BB gun across my lap, and my CO2 BB handgun in my pocket. Since the rifle was pump action, I would take one well aimed shot with it, and then drop it as I whipped the handgun out and took several shots as the woodpecker flew away.

No luck. I am a terrible shot. Also, the woodpecker knew when I was out there and would just sit in the top of a nearby tree, heckling me.

So, I turned to my last resort. Frankly, this was the one I was most excited about, my paintball gun. When I thought about it, it is really the best option. I love to shoot it, I'm not endangering my house, it's occupants (my family), or my neighbors. Any hits scored are non-lethal, since I turned the speed down. And the paint washes away the next time it rains. All positives.

Did you know that the CO2 tanks for paintball guns expire? Let me tell you, if you ever have to live everything I have for the last few months, and then you get to the paintball store to have your tank filled, let me know if you can contain yourself when they tell you they can't fill it. And they're out of new tanks.

Fast forward a bit. I'm sitting in my shed again, this time with my paintball gun (all gassed up and ready to go) The stupid woodpecker is sitting in the top of his tree again. After waiting 30 minutes, I stand up, spray the side of my house in bright pink paint, and go inside.

He hasn't been back since.

So, in the end I didn't get the revenge I wanted, but I also haven't been arrested (nor have I harmed the bird) or fined $500. And I have a full tank of gas for my paintball gun ;D

And it's squirrel season.

-The Krunchy Krab