September 23, 2013

Aw Nuts

It doesn't explain why our phone picks up a third party's dial tone, dialing, switching, and talking, but I may have the answer to the recent internet connection failure.
Here he is. Or she, I suppose. Funny, I always think of squirrels as he. Anyway, the night after the internet refused to work I just so happened to hear a squirrel-sized scrabbling in the wall behind the headboard. The wall with the phone jack in which the router was connected. Coincidence?

I moved the router to the one remaining, somewhat functional phone jack. Bingo. Internet connection is uninterrupted, a first in this house.

Now, what to do about the squirrel in the walls? Eliminate the most likely access point to the interior of the house. That's an easy one. When we gutted the kitchen, we removed the behemoth microwave/exhaust fan that was mounted so low our pots wouldn't have had clearance on the stove top. Then, we redesigned the layout which included changing the location of the range. Due to air conditioning duct work in some of the kitchen soffits, we could not extend the cooking exhaust duct to the new range location. If you follow me, you know where this is going. The ducting for the cooking exhaust remains in place in the ceiling and runs to a vent outside the house. An uncovered vent. Hello, squirrel runway! Chore #1 today, fill in the vent. And hope I don't trap a mad squirrel inside...

Our yard is a squirrel playground playground, littered as it is with hickory nuts and acorns. 
I learned the hard way that we have two varieties of hickory trees on our property. The little brain pictured above is the meat from a bitternut hickory. Take my word for it, it is aptly named. Below is the granny smith apple colored husk that contains the shagbark hickory nut.
When the husks dry they split open to reveal the nut. There's a nut nestled in grass beneath the husk half in the picture above.
The shagbark hickory nuts are quite tasty. They have a sight aroma and suggested taste of maple syrup. Unfortunately, they are challenging to open and extract the nut meat. They have a multi-chambered interior that does not readily give up the meat. If anyone holds the secret to cracking a shagbark hickory nut, please let me know.

No comments:

Post a Comment