Weekend Projects with Variable Success

Pantry Cooking and Bird Eviction

This weekend, the major projects were cleaning up the pantry cupboards in our kitchen and evicting a bird family from our house framework.

Our “pantry” is the five cupboards on one side of our kitchen where we keep mostly dry ingredients and a few meal mixes, along with “oh this looks cool.” So we pulled everything out, made a few things, tossed a couple things in the compost, and cleaned it out.

We made: sweet bread with a pecan-royal jelly filling, tapioca (well, we started it) from non-instant tapioca (soak overnight), black cherry gelatin, orzo and yellow lentils with curry and grape tomatoes, and then, for lunches, barley-split pea soup with cream of broccoli soup mix, broccoli stems, and dehydrated vegetables (and some ham).

The bird problem was, ah, less fun.

Behind the gutter in the back of our house is a tube of wood, clearly built to pull the gutter out to the roofline. It’s not closed on either end, and behind it is bare wood, not siding or house sheathing or even paint.

Birds love it.

The plan was to pull out a couple years’ worth of old nests and tack screening over the openings.

I say “plan was…” because it turned out that the nesting was 3-5′ into this narrow tube, packed rock-solid and very very tricky to move. In the end, I managed to budge it with a hook T. screwed into the end of a long plastic stick, but there’s still a bunch in there.

Next plan: several yards of shop vac extension tube!

…at least the pantry clean-out food was tasty 😀

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12 thoughts on “Weekend Projects with Variable Success

  1. Yay, spring cleaning! Is water supposed to move through this tube, or does it just support the gutter? Or are you trying to take it down so you can paint behind it …? It does sound like ideal bird space, and from the description I’m not sure they’re doing any damage by being in it.

    • They are stacking moist and rotting material against the bare wood of the house, for one, and for another, baby birds nesting against your window are VERY VERY Hard to sleep through.

          • Nests in the barn won’t cause similar issues with wet and rot? (The damp-and-rotting surprises me. I guess I knew there were birds that buried their eggs under mounds of rotting stuff to keep them warm, but I didn’t think the ones who incubated their eggs wanted their nests to rot.) I would fail to feel bad about it unless you’ve got rare birds keeping you awake. In that case there might be a rescue agency that could advise you about relocating them?

              • Squee, red-winged blackbirds! I really must learn to identify the females. I still think of them as a little exotic, because being a city dweller I mostly see house sparrows, pigeons, grackles, starlings, and robins (and then mallard ducks, canada geese, and gulls near the water), but red-wing blackbirds are one of the more common “other” birds to see, for me, when near the water. and I actually saw several of them by the pond in the Boston Public Garden yesterday (along with a bazillion ducks and sparrows and such).

                • Wow, you have just listed more birds than I think I can… okay, no. If I really paid attention I could identify more than that. They are both common and obnoxious, sorry to say. Have I mentioned birds getting down our chimneys? That’s them. Side note: Why is the plural of chimney chimneys????

                  • I’m totally willing to believe they’re obnoxious! I only see them when out geocaching or similar, so thy have better associations for me. I blame ? Not a bird-watcher — not carrying binoculars — but they’re fun to listen to and spot, especially the ones that aren’t standard-issue city birds. Identifying plants & such out and about is fun, too, but not quite as brain-grabby. Because chimneies looks funny? What would you like the plural to be? Also, because English.

                    • chimne… oh. hrrrm. chimnies? I kind of like watching the birds, but only in a very casual way. The Red-tailed hawks we have around my house are my favorite. And the turkey vultures. and the quail.

                    • Quail! So cute! I’ve never seen them in the wild. And raptors are always fun to watch. Turkey vultures I’ve only seen in the wild once, a trio of them feasting on roadkill.

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