Going towards the shed we are distracted by the rows of iris reticulata ‘Harmony” in its full regalia. Shown above, the southeast quadrant bed.
This is pretty close to the vision we had in mind when these blue beauties were planted several years ago. They have multiplied nicely and filled in more to escape the soldiers in a line planting technique that we have a hard time getting away from here. It is wished that they would be in bloom when the white viridiflora tulips also planted in each quadrant open, but that will never happen, the tulips flower later. We love them anyway. Shown above, the northeast quadrant.
Okay, we are now in the shed. Back to the story of the nest. Here is what it looked like on the day it was discovered, March 2, 2008. The moss was soft and moist, there were sticks and twigs included, I can’t say they were woven in, it was more of a stuffing than a weaving. There was a small hole in the moss near the ceiling where something had made a home.
So we have decided to play Inspector Gardener and come up with a solution ourselves. We know about the nest and the droppings. We also know that the shed door was always secured using the above latch. There was a space at both the top and bottom of the double doors that was large enough for birds and/or mammals to squeeze inside.
Also installed when the shed was built is this lock. It is a little too high for me to reach easily so it wasn’t ever used, and it had been painted over in the open position. We began locking the shed with this bolted right after the nest was discovered. It was a little frightening to think that there was a wild animal of some kind trying to move in with the shovels, rakes and hoes. What if, in a gardening frenzy, one was to quickly enter the shed looking for that one tool necessary to complete a crucial gardening task and frighten our little nest maker? Would the cornered creature show us sharp teeth? Or even hiss? (Shudder.) The shed was even avoided for a few days. Finally the need to fetch a tool from the shed overcame that fear. We went in.
This is what was found. The nest has dried up and is falling apart. My better half messed it up a little, and it has not been touched since then. The moss is crumbly and breaks easily. It is now all over the floor, not hanging down the side of the wall like it was before. It is still fairly large though. Now, here is what Inspector Gardener thinks happened. A larger mammal, not a bird as was hoped, made this nest. A smaller mammal, probably a mouse also could enter the gap at the bottom of the doors and thought this nest looked like a good, safe, dry place to make his home. The larger mammal decided that the corner of the ceiling really wasn’t to his liking, and besides, a mouse had moved in. Anyway, someone had locked the door and he could no longer get in!
And this is our prime suspect!
To end this mystery, we will be cleaning up in the shed, sweeping up the moss and twigs, putting them in the compost, and from now on, we will keep the doors latched. We are not one hundred percent positive about this determination, but we do have a plethora of squirrels around and about our property, so for the sake of a tidy ending, the squirrel did it! Sorry Mister Squirrel, but we have a variety of trees for your home building pleasure, not as dry and warm as the shed, but that’s why you have a fur coat.
We may be hearing more from our squirrel friends in the future, just as a teaser to what is coming up!