Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Sidewalk Going Nowhere, conclusion

(This story will make more sense, if you start here.)

It has been quiet for several days now.
A preliminary investigation of the premises has revealed the following:

Last weekend a small attic space was emptied of doll beds, spirograph wheels, beanbag chairs and all those must-have items that reside there for whatever small children at some time may come into our lives--and a panel removed connecting house to porch ceiling. From here, perhaps to get a glimpse of the stealthy creature or a tell-tale remnant of his passing.
Armed with flashlights and stooping low in the dark, unfinished space, we poked out our heads--prepared to meet anything from rats to raccoons, (or woodchucks, flying squirrels, gray squirrels, skunks, deer mice, bats,...) and found... nothing.

Carefully crawling from one joist to the next, every crack of daylight was evident, but none large enough to admit more than a wasp. The space behind the tall, 2-story wall, firmly sealed--no signs of forced entry. The intruder must have been let in through another point.

He'd covered his tracks well, and, although creating quite a commotion behind the tall wall, seemed to have left the immediate area undisturbed--taking nothing.

An outdoor inspection revealed a small gap in the soffit vent behind a gutter to be his point of entry. A canvass of the area turned up no eye-witnesses.

We secured the area, and continued surveillance for several days.
There has been no further indication of his presence.

Fred will continue to monitor the situation for evidence of undercover activity.

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14 comments:

April said...

Glad to hear you found where the little creature got in-you must be relieved.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It looks like Fred was finding plenty of meals up there. You are lucky to have him.

As to your intruder...hmmmm I bet a rotten rat or mouse is the culprit. Wake up Fred!

cestoady said...

Alas--the mysterious intruder must remain so.

At least you know where Fred hangs out --or is in ?? We must get after him, however, to pick up his old coats.

ncmountainwoman said...

Oh, we do love a mystery. And please tell me that hanging-down thing isn't what I think it is.

nina said...

Yes, that hanging down thing IS what you think it is. But, even a snake skin answered many questions for us. We've heard many sounds rustling in the walls of this old house--very seldom do we get our suspicions confirmed!

Fear not, he's harmless--and the photo is not intended to scare.

As to getting him to clean up after himself...I'll speak to him next time I cross paths!

Mary said...

Nina,

Your surveillance sounds spooky. Shivers. Fred does need to clean up after himself. It's still a mystery. Darn.

Whatever the critter, it's a crafty one...

Keep us posted!

Mary

kate said...

Hi Nina,

This story has all the makings of a good detective story along with great photographs. I've followed along and have wondered what the creature could possibly be. So now you know the point-of-entry. I think you should publish this story!

T.R. said...

I love a good nature mystery. Do you the "noisemaker" and Fred will every cross paths? Could you send over a house sparrow-eating snake, I would let it live wherever it wanted.

healingmagichands said...

I'll bet you have a squirrel or a packrat.

I just love this blog. You sound like a person after my own heart. I love rat snakes, and indigo racers and garter snakes, all of which I have here.

I came here because Kate Smudges left me a link in a comment on my blog, and am very glad I did.

I'll be back! by the way, thanks for reminding me about the great back yard bird count. I did it last year and loved it.

mon@rch said...

I always love certain places to walk and spend time! Looks like a stunning place to me! Love your frozen ice puddles and for sure I would be stepping in them (I can't help myself sometimes)!

KGMom said...

Stories like this can only come from living in a great old house!
Critters, however, can occupy any type house.

Our house is relatively new, about 30 years old and we have had the scritchings in the wall bit. We got a wildlife specialist in, he inspected all around our house, sealed up any little cracks and went into our crawl space to inspect. He saw nothing, but declared it most likely to be voles. He said they need a hole not much bigger than a 1/2 inch. Well, how can you seal up half inch holes everywhere?!

zhakee said...

This sounds like a good place to install a motion activated camera, one sensitive and small enough for filming elusive critters, and that can film in the dark! Maybe, you have lots of snakes hanging out, keeping warm in between the walls, dining on the periodic rodent?

nina said...

Yes, there's some speculation here that we can't confirm --but the "circumstantial" evidence seems to point to gray squirrels (size of entry, height from ground, under their tree,...piles of nuts, gnawing sounds...)

Hopefully, this is all we'll hear from them--but it's almost inevitable that they'll find another way in--nature always does!

Sandpiper said...

Wonderful story! I've enjoyed following along. When I first saw that last picture, I thought it was a noose. LOL ;-)