Monday, December 28, 2015

Treehouse Story: The Squirrel & Her Suitors

Squirrels in the Treehouse


The nest, i.e. the love nest.

Truly, I never imagined having the IP camera up in the treehouse would be nearly this much fun. But it is, and I'm not ashamed to admit I have the feed up and on the iPad almost all the time during the day.

Which is why, this morning, I discovered that all the evidence points toward "Fuzzball" (as my daughter named the little squatter) being female. Because today there were two other squirrels, presumably males, running around and generally being entertaining while trying to curry her favor. What makes one squirrel a better potential mate than another is beyond me, as they all looked like complete loons scurrying around this morning, chasing one another and sniffing what I can only presume was a lot of pheromones.

The camera feed was interesting enough that I ran outside when Fuzzball seemed to be leaving her nest to go "play" with the boys. But just enjoy the video and you'll get the idea.







Want to see more interesting stuff? Read about our VW Bus Bed Build, or maybe the Solar Stock Tank Swimming Pool. If you're not tired of beekeeping stuff, see how our bees deal with unwanted intruders as the Hive Guards Repel a Robber BeeOr, visit the Chicken Coop Playhouse!






Sunday, December 27, 2015

Treehouse Story: The Bucket Cam

Keeping Watch on Treehouse Visitors


Oh look, a bucket of leaves and rope.

So once again we've been graced with a mystery visitor in the treehouse, specifically inside the bucket. Faithful readers will recall that last year I stumbled across evidence that our otherwise tidy treehouse actually had a squatter over the winter. At that time I'd really no idea who it might've been; it had made a nest behind the door out of leaves and the cotton rope I'd left coiled in this wide metal pail. This year, however, he or one of his colleagues had just built the nest inside the pail itself.

Here's a little video of the nest, it's super cozy-looking:



Now generally speaking, I like to stay off the treehouse rope ladder all winter. Water can soak into the rope, then it freezes, then putting weight on the thing might cause slow but irreparable damage. But at the same time I really, really wanted to see who lived in this super great spot -- and clearly planned on wintering there.

So I did the only sensible thing; I brought the pail and nest inside the treehouse, bungied the door open for the winter (prevailing winds come the other way anyhow), dropped a long extension cord down the trap door, and set up an IP camera.

The surveillance state has landed inside America's treehouses.

The result was satisfying, and took just a few hours!



There's the cute little rascal. He seems most active up in the treehouse in the early evening, then hunkers down for the night and heads out in the morning if it's not too cold. My now-6-year-old daughter named him Fuzzball. We'll see if "he" has babies -- which the internet tells me is pretty likely, considering the quality of the nest and the timing. I'm trying to figure out how to make this incredibly interesting view available for public view, which is taxing my meager technology skills.

While we wait for spring babies, my daughter and I also go out whenever it's mild enough and shoot peanuts up to the treehouse deck with slingshots. Which is way more fun than it should be. :)


Want to see more interesting stuff? Read about our VW Bus Bed Build, or maybe the Solar Stock Tank Swimming Pool. If you're not tired of beekeeping stuff, see how our bees deal with unwanted intruders as the Hive Guards Repel a Robber BeeOr, visit the Chicken Coop Playhouse!