"Something is throwing screws and nails all over the garage floor! This is not good. What could be doing it?"
Well, most of that statement is true. Richard is a quiet man, he almost never ever shouts; so this is more of a frustrated whine.
I offer an opinion that it might rats; they like shiny stuff. But I suggest is probably the wrens. Wrens are prone to throw stuff around when they get ready to make a nest. Why they would be doing that now is a mystery because it is not nesting season.
I go downstairs to the garage to see for myself.
Richard has carefully organized the garage so that he can fill it with stuff and still get the cars in there.
The screws and nails are kept in small red bins that sit on shelves.
Underneath the bins sits a bucket where Richard stores the used oil until it can be recycled.
I wonder how may more are under the leaves that I can't see. I get the push broom and sweep everything to the side so the screws and nails do not end up in our tires and so that any more nails they throw out on concrete will be noticed, at least until the wind blows more leaves inside the garage.
Richard puts a board across the top of the bins to discourage them, but it doesn't. A few days later, Richard catches them in the act.
It is Carolina wrens after all.
They like to eat the suet cakes I make and put for the birds in the winter...
The wrens love our garage and they started building a nest this spring, but we thought we were going on vacation and the garage doors would have to be closed, so we tore the nest out.
They gave up and next tried the burlap clothespin bag that hangs on a hook on the back porch. That's how I know all about how wrens like to throw stuff around.
They threw out most of the clothespins. I put the clothespins back.
They threw them out.
I gave up and put the clothespins in an empty plastic ice cream tub and let them try. They filled the bag with sticks and leaves, but they were not successful in their attempt to hatch the eggs and raise the babies.
Squeaker was very interested in what they were doing, and the bag was within her reach. I raised the bag higher on the post, but something destroyed the nest anyway.
A burlap clothespin bag is ho hum for Carolina wrens. They are known for building nests in very strange places. A wren built a nest behind the air conditioning grill in one of our disabled cars.
A wren built a nest in between the supports of my pasta maker, which I had put upside down in a plastic bag on a shelf in the barn. I spent hours cleaning the debris out of the cutters and rollers.
Everybody here has a Carolina wren story. A wren built a nest in a friend's tractor and did not abandon it even when he fired up the beast and used it to plow his field. The dentist had a painting that was made of a photograph he took of a wren building a nest in the pocket of an old jacket hanging on a hook on a porch.
"Little stinkers," Richard says. "I will have to start closing the garage doors."