So I took that string down. Whatever was going on wasn't effecting the string that went the length of the overhang above the deck.
Until it did. My guess was squirrels, but Eric wasn't convinced.
Why would squirrels want light bulbs? 'Cuz they're jerks*, maybe?
Then a couple of weeks, just this last Saturday, later I noticed how the pattern of the indentations on the bulb covers looked roughly pine cone-like and mentioned it to Eric. He still was not convinced... until he saw a squirrel running on the fence line with something white in its mouth! It sneaked up into the "attic" of the shop! So I decided to use the photos I'd taken to start writing this post.
Fast forward a couple of days and Eric is calling me to the living room, "Come look at this!" and what are we looking at, but a [cuss word] squirrel running along the railing with a freshly plucked bulb from our string lights! Of course, the whole thing went pretty quickly, and my phone was charging so no photo.
But, WAIT A MINUTE! The very next evening Eric again calls me to come look and this time I grabbed my phone (i.e. camera). But Betty beat me to the door and startled the vandalizing thief off of the deck railing and into a nearby tree. Well, we watched him climb the tree then travel in the canopy through three or four trees, then scamper across the yard towards the fence!
|Who does he think he's foolin'? The bulb in its mouth is obvious!|
He then used the fence as a thoroughfare to travel to the forest side of the property and off into the forest!
|See that white bit in its mouth? That's our bulb!|
He seems to either drop or deposit the bulb out there not too far from the property line, but our quick investigation was unable to find either a stash or a single bulb.
It does seem that there are more of the bushy-tailed rodents this year than in the past, especially the chipmunks, but they are not much bigger than the bulbs. The chipmunks keep the dogs busy hassling them, though. Chipmunks 2, Squirrels -136. Why 2? There are two entertained dogs. Why 136? As of mid-October, there are 14 bulbs left from the two 75-bulb strands.
* In Portland, the squirrels were eating the house! Chewed a dang doorway right through a drawer the built in buffet/china cabinet in the dining room! ACK!