The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The birds win
We live in the country, and, as such, there are always "critters" around - from rats in the roof, to birds in the chimney, and snakes in the woodpile. Recently, the birds have taken the prize for being the most annoying house guests. Besides kicking debris and moulted feathers down the chimney, you can hear them flapping and carrying on in the evenings as they settle in for the night. So, Dan decided that they had to go.

He examined the chimney. We have two fireplaces, back to back, and the chimneys are separate. Each chimney has a ledge where the chimney tapers - perfect for nest building. The dining room chimney looked clear - so it must be the chimney in our front lounge that was home to the culprits.

Dan decided that we would smoke the birds out. Never mind that the fireplace in the front lounge has a coal insert. Dan decided to burn wood and paper to make lots of smoke. I had my doubts - the damper in the coal insert isn't large enough to let the wood and paper smoke up the chimney - it wasn't designed for that.

Dan was sure that his plan would work however, so he carefully collected kindling (just damp enough for the required amount of smoke) and gathered up old personal papers that he was going to burn anyway. Within a few minutes, he had run us out of the lounge room.

It was a lovely smoky fire - so smoky that the damper couldn't handle it, and smoke poured into the lounge room. Dan poured water all over the fire to put it out, creating an ashy mud in the coal insert. I ran and opened up the front window to let the smoke out, but the carpet, walls, and furniture now have the aroma of smoke. We'll need to wash everything.

The birds are still there.
posted by Melanie O. at 11:23 AM -
  • At 10:10 PM, Blogger gardenbug said…

    If you lived here, you could go to Home Depot or Llowe's and buy a chimney topper. It is a hat that fits over the top of the chimney. The top is solid, so rain doesn't come down the chimney. The sides are mesh, so CO can escape the chimney. No sparks can escape, so you won't have a roof fire. ...and birds can't get in. Dam is good with tools. I bet He could make one to cover both flues...just sheet metal and some mesh screening needed. Be careful on the roof...tie off so Dan doesn't fall. He is not expendable.

  • At 9:55 AM, Blogger Anthony said…

    Damn birds!

  • At 2:31 PM, Blogger Ann said…

    LOL - at Dan, not the birds. And you can't say much because he was trying to help.

  • At 4:38 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    We really do need to cap the chimneys somehow. One does have a pot on top, so it makes it harder for birds to get in. The other chimney pot is long gone, but I get nervous thinking of Dan getting up on the roof. It's quite steep. This might call for a professional.

    ann - you're right. His heart's always in the right place, bless him. :)

  • At 3:53 PM, Blogger Kanani said…

    Yes, sounds like you need Chimney Toppers and maybe even one of those fake owls! Do they have them there? Would they give a HOOT?

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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