Our garage deteriorated to the point where it had to be torn down. I mentioned to a neighbor that I wished I had a shed. He was moving and offered us his storage shed. We created quite a circus moving it from his yard to ours. The shed was small and I soon wished I had a bigger shed. Our son Jacob designed and built a barn roof truss for a homeschool project. It turned out so well, we used his model as a pattern to build the bigger shed – or “Mini-barn” – I had wished for.
We sided the barn with tongue-and-groove pine siding. The grain of the wood looked so nice, we decided to just oil it and leave it natural looking. The siding looked good for several years as long as we remembered to oil and water-seal it. If we forgot, the pine would start to turn black. Once that happened, it was tough to brighten it back to its natural color again. I started to think “Man – this oiling all the time is a lot of work. I’d paint the thing if the wood wasn’t so beautiful.”
Just about that time, carpenter bees also discovered how pretty the wood was. They decided our barn siding was a great place to build their nests. Their perfect ¾ inch holes on all four sides of our barn put me around the bend! I didn’t want to kill the bees because they’re pollinators and we need all of those we can get. I just wanted them to move out of my barn! I tried to make the holes repugnant by spraying them with kerosene. The bees just moved over a foot or so and started a new hole. I remember saying out loud “I wish there was something natural that would take care of these bees!”
One morning during breakfast, I heard a funny tapping or knocking sound coming from outside (no Archie – it wasn’t “A funny, squeaky sound”). There was no real pattern to it although the vigorous “Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap” was persistent. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Then I saw it! There was a small woodpecker tapping on the side of our barn. Soon there was another, and then another. I thought “Oh good – they’ll take care of those bees!” My joy was short lived. The woodpeckers made the siding on our barn look as if someone had blasted it several times with buckshot! I got what I asked for – the bees left. Now I had LOTS of holes in my barn!
I had to fill the holes with putty and that didn’t look very nice against the natural wood. So, I got the other thing I asked for; I needed to paint the barn. Of course scraping and painting every year is getting a bit old, but I must be careful here. If I ask for some labor saving way to keep the barn white, I might be visited by a squadron of pelicans suffering from gastro-intestinal issues. I need to remember to be careful what I ask for!
© 2015 Curt Savage Media