Treehouse on a Treehouse
Shortly after I finished building the treehouse (that took me over four years from beginning to end), I discovered several large holes that looked like they had been gnawed into the freshly hung cedar siding (board and baton).
What?!!! Was it a mouse? A squirrel? Squirrel was my first guess, but why? Then the next day I heard pecking. I looked up and there was a Western Flicker--a woodpecker--pecking away at my treehouse.
He was the one who had been making enormous holes in the cedar, thinking perhaps that it sounded like a hollow stump high in the Sequoia. And it was spring--time to make a nest so he could impress the lady-birds and start making little birds. But it was my treehouse. And I needed it to stop before he ripped it to shreds. I quickly got some pepper spray that keeps animals from pecking and eating wood. But he just moved to a different spot and started pecking there. This was just spreading the problem--not solving it.
Instead of trying to fight him, I finally decided to build the Flicker a treehouse of his own. Even though it took me four years to build mine, it only took me a day to build the Flicker a treehouse of his own. I built it out of leftover cedar from siding the treehouse, and I secured it to the outside of my treehouse right near where he had been pecking. I had read that they are just trying to make a nest, so that if you give them one, they'll use it and stop destroying your siding.
Sure enough, the next day, the Flicker was making a home out of it, and he stopped pecking my treehouse! The amazing part of the story is that the Woodpecker is one of my spirit animals--and it represents joy to me. So having a resident Woodpecker was indeed a symbol of the joy that this treehouse has brought me! There are many more layers to this story, since I found out that the Flicker has also been a deeply symbolic for Jill lately. This Flicker has some serious mojo, and I'm glad he decided to stick around.