Like I said, I have an explanation. The summer was hot. Other varmints popped up. A chipmunk turned the front garden into his own 18 hole golf course. (Not my fault! I'm barred from going in the garden. How can I defend territory I can't patrol??!??!)
One day, though, the border collie toddles over and says, "You notice anything strange about the ash tree in the backyard?"
Well, I headed back there are circled the tree a couple of times. I gave it a power sniff up and down the fat stem. Nothing. The border collie, I was beginning to realize, was just having one of his crazy old dog episodes. Clean as a whistle, I snorted when I got back in the house. The border collie looked up from his Real Simple magazine, pushed his reader glasses up his nose, and said, "Just stand back there and listen, MacGyver."
I sighed, trudged back out to the yard and cocked an ear. I heard scurrying. More than usual. Muffled conversation. A radio playing Top 40 music very very softly. It was all coming from overhead. What the???!??! I panned my gaze up the fat stem, real slow, like Peckenpaugh. And. There. It. Was.
Filled with squirrels.
On my turf.
Which has something to do with how I got this. Which is a story for next time.