Critters can make life complicated

Lately animals have gone too far. Last week a large deer crashed through a couple’s basement window in Esquimalt.

Over the years I’ve tried my best to co-exist with nature, sharing my strawberries and beans with slugs; letting crows snatch all the sweetest cherries leaving only the sour fruit for me; scaring off a squirrel from nesting  in an outbuilding where it could chew wiring or otherwise destroy valuable property.

Okay, I’ll grant you, my co-existence has often  been more forced than willing…except for moments like this fall watching a squirrel stock up for the winter, hauling one trip every six seconds, retrieving pine cones from  my garden, racing along the wooden fence, and hopping into the open window of a camper parked mere inches away.

Throughout I’ve sympathized with urban folks terrorized by marauding elk; stomped by deer; soccer players at risk of breaking legs in tunnels dug by furry bunnies.

But lately animals have gone too far. Last week a large deer crashed through a couple’s basement window in Esquimalt.

Gary Davis and his wife Nancy, a couple in their 50s, were upstairs in their home on Rock Crest Avenue about 11 a.m. when they heard a loud crash, reported The Victoria Times.

“When we went downstairs to investigate, there was a deer in our basement,” said Gary.

“He leapt in through a window. There was blood and glass everywhere.”

While the deer seemed calm, Davis closed the basement door, and opened another door that leads to the garage so the deer could get out.

Davis suspects that as it is rutting season, the buck saw its reflection in the window, thought it was another deer and charged. He thinks the deer was injured because it limped away.

Davis’s insurance company sent a crew to clean up the basement and board up the window.

The company estimated repairs would cost about $2,000.

Days ago I had to call in a roofer to check for a leak in the roof.

I first noticed the leak as I was eating breakfast and heard a sound of running water as though someone had dumped a cupful high in the bathroom, followed by a drip, drip, drip.

I checked the bathroom ceiling and floor but found no moisture.

A few days later, the sound repeated. But again I found no sign of moisture.

By then we were into a spell of relentless rain.

My only guess to explain this sudden sound effect were the 5 a.m. visits of a woodpecker  in mid-summer.

Every morning for a week the flicker would perch on the roof, approximately where the sound of this water seemed to originate, and jackhammer up to 13 times. What for? Insects trapped by flashing around the air vents?

I had no way to scare off the bird. Pounding on the bathroom wall below his site didn’t make him miss a beat.

And at that early hour I wasn’t attired to race outside to fling rocks or epithets at him.

My aim is notoriously unreliable. And I feared a shocked neighbour might report me for indecent exposure.

Could a woodpecker drill through sheet steel? I asked that of an experienced carpenter who had built many houses.

No, he said, it was unlikely a woodpecker could drill through the steel; more likely it had dislodged the silicone caulking.

I phoned my regular roofer. He responded promptly and as the carpenter predicted, found the caulking disturbed sufficiently to allow rain to get in where none had for years.

After inspecting for leaks from the vantage of the attic crawl space, the roofer sealed two holes with silicone.

Claudette Sandecki observes the world from her home in Thornhill.


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