I Want to Give Nature a Punch in the Face.

No seriously.

I know I ooh and aah over her sunsets and clouds and skies and stuff,

but DANG she hates me.

Mainly in the form of living creatures with eyes and noses and mouths like bats and squirrels and llamas and shower bugs.

When we bought our house, there were many things that needed to be fixed. That was all great and fine because we loved the house, but not so great and fine because we’re not exactly fixer-uppers. And we’re CERTAINLY not DIY-ers. We’re the kind of people who consider bringing in a maintenance crew to change an especially tightly wound light bulb.

Okay we’re not that bad, but close – my mom does sneak over to plant things just so that my flower beds don’t cry themselves to sleep every night.

One of the repairs needed when we bought our house was the chimney. There were four or so large holes in the siding – presumably put there by one of God’s precious creatures.

Six years later, we actually got it fixed, when we were getting sod anyway because we were getting our house painted anyway because we were gutting Ali’s bathroom anyway because she flooded it.

(House repairs never come in sets of one.)

It was really lovely. To have a hole-free house, a yard to actually play in rather than a muddy gumball pit (oh yeah – we got the gumball spreading tree removed as well), and a slightly-brighter-than-we-intended fresh coat of paint.

But I didn’t mind the brightness because I was so dang proud of myself for making four paint color decisions in UNDER TEN MINUTES.


I mean seriously, I remember it taking my Mother at least 13 months to make that kind of decision when we were kids. How has Guinness and their World Records Team not contacted me yet?

It’s been nearly a year and that brightness hasn’t faded even a smidge. But it’s okay because most of our neighbors can still sleep without sunglasses.

About a month ago, I started to hear a bone-chilling sound right outside of our master bathroom.

peckpeckpeckpeckpeck ………………….. peckpeckpeckpeckpeck

I didn’t want to know. I mean I knew, but I didn’t want to know.

I avoided looking out the window for quite some time, but eventually I could not not look any longer.

I opened my window and found myself eye-to-eye, five feet away from three of the tiniest woodpeckers I have ever seen.

Woodpecker Eating a Chimney


Naturally, I yelled at them.

“Hey! Go! Scram! Stop it, guuuuyyyyyys!!!”

They looked at me, cocked their heads to the side, then looked at the chimney.

peckpeckpeckpeckpeck ………………….. peckpeckpeckpeckpeck

The next day, we were all outside enjoying one of our sunny, seventy degree winter days.

And I heard it from ground level.

peckpeckpeckpeckpeck ………………….. peckpeckpeckpeckpeck

I looked up with a green fire raging from my eyes.

Woodpeckers Destroying a Chimney

I ran over to our spigot, yanked the hosepipe, turned it on full force, and I SPRAYED those dastardly creatures.

Unfortunately our chimney is rather high so I could only reach two. Which flew away completely unscathed from my spraying (PETA take note).

The third kept pecking just to show me that he was, in this case, my Daddy.

My blood boiled against him, knowing that there was no way I could reach him. I fell into my husband’s arms, helpless and vulnerable, powerless against The Great Bird in the Sky.

And he patted me on the head and comforted me with,

“We’ll buy a super-soaker to keep in our bathroom, and we can hang out the window and shoot them from there. It’ll be fun!”

And then,

“You know, the bats were probably scaring them away. Then when you got rid of the bats…they came back.”

And there it was.

The Circle of Life.

Biting me soundly in the Proverbial Butt.

(And when was I the one that got rid of the bats?? I thought that had been a fairly joint decision. But now that the Woodpeckers are back, it’s all about me and my bat removal.)

And so.

I called Rid-A-Critter again, desperately hoping that this would fall into our one-year guarantee against all varmints in our house.

(And as an added bonus, by the time I got around to calling them, the Woodpeckers had managed to make a big enough hole to actually enter and exit the chimney, so technically, they were certainly in our house.)

An older gentleman called me back.

“Well, ma’am, the only reason in the world that those Woodpeckers would be doing that to your chimney is if you have Carpenter Bees. They lay their eggs in chimneys, and their larvae is like Feelay MeenYAWN to Woodpeckers. Yes ma’am, they just luuuuv it.”

Seriously. Woodpeckers weren’t enough of a problem?! We have to have another gift of nature tearing our house down, too??

But I did know of these giant bulbous creatures called Carpenter Bees.

“We do have Carpenter Bees on our back deck – they’ve bored through all the undersides of our stairs. But we fixed our Chimney last year, so I wouldn’t think they’d be in there.”

“Well, ma’am, just because you covered over the problem doesn’t mean it’s not there. You probably planked right over their nest, and as soon as those larvae turned into adult carpenter bees, they were fully able to bore your new planks from the inside out, then go back in and lay more larvae to tempt those Woodpeckers.”

If you didn’t believe me before surely you do now.


So he said he’d call someone to coordinate an appointment with me. When the next guy called me back, I brought up the one year warranty.

“Well, it depends on how he wrote it up. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. I’ll let you know when I come out.”

And there we stand.

Will they or won’t they be able to vanquish our birds? And our carpenter bees?

I know not.

Will it or won’t it be covered in our one year warranty against God’s creatures?

If it’s not, I will be buying reinforced steel siding.

And my neighbors can forget sleep.