High on Wayne's morning routine list would be time in front of his computer. In fact, it probably falls right behind getting dressed and opening a can of Diet Coke...it's his start to the day.
And that's just where he was bright and early this morning when he started hearing strange noises in the wall beside him. They started...then stopped...then started again. A kind of scratching. Puzzled he walked outside to see if he could spot the source since the strange noises seemed to emanating from the exterior wall. But nothing seemed to be amiss so back inside he came.
He'd barely sat down and the scratching started again. His concern grew at this point because he was pretty sure the source of the noise was a squirrel and he was afraid it was either in the attic or, worse yet, the wall. Then he heard the little squeaky noises that only a squirrel can make and he knew the little rodent was somewhere he didn't want to be. Back outside he went but this time he banged on the metal downspout that runs down the front of the house at that point. The scratching resumed at a frantic pace...there was a squirrel stuck in the downspout.
So the first thought is how did he get there? You wouldn't think he'd just make a misstep and fall in there, would you. And the way ours are configured, even if he did, he wouldn't fall far initially. They only drop a few inches from the eave before they make a sharp turn back toward the house for about 18" then another sharp turn downward. Even a clumsy squirrel could have recovered before he headed down toward the bottom. No, he must be a dumb squirrel and climbed in intentionally. Either that or he thought he found the perfect spot in the morning game of squirrel hide-and-seek.
And if you're wondering why he didn't just run on out at the bottom end, there's a reason. All of our downspouts connect to underground drain pipes that carry the water to the back of the property. I suppose he might have eventually found his way through the maze and escaped but I'm glad he didn't try.
He was still banging and scratching when I got up an hour or so later and out we went to investigate. Beating on the bottom of the downspout as we debated out to handle the problem, Wayne said he's clear down here. No he's not, I replied; the scratching is coming from up there as I pointed to the curve toward the eave.
About that time the little rodent ears and nose poked up from the edge of the gutter. Somehow the squirrel had figured out how to either turn himself around in the very confined space of the downspout or go backwards and climb his way out. That can't be a small feat since he couldn't dig his claws into the metal but there he was...wide-eyed and staring at us. For about half a second before he shot out of there, down the side of the house and off for the safety of the bushes of the house next door.
Is it any wonder that I'm trying to get rid of these varmints!