But, even though the exhaust holes are small, nasty black Grackles [icky black Starling-like birds] decided to try to get in there to make a nest. Who would have thought?
A couple of weeks ago I came into the cottage and saw that the glass of the stove was all messy. That was weird because I had cleaned it the last time I was out. So, I open the door to clean it again, and there was a very large, dead, Grackle in the stove. Apparently it squeezed in through one of the holes and then got caught in the pipe and couldn't get out. It eventually fell into the stove and died there. The messy glass was from the bird flapping around and doing birdy-doo at the same time. GROSS!
Oh, and I could hear another one flapping around in the pipe, which sounded creepy and was very unsettling--those claws scratching the inside of the pipe was like something from an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
I felt bad, but I picked up the dead one and tossed it into the weeds. The next week there were two dead birds in the stove. I wasn't freaked out or sad, I just put on a glove and tossed them both over the balcony into the weeds. The next week there was another.
This past Monday, while Bob and I were in the living room, one squeezed through the slot/holes, tumbled down the pipe, fell into the stove and was hopping around looking at us through the glass.
That was creepy. I figured I would just go outside so I didn't have to look at it and then toss it out next week after it expired [Can you see I am becoming hard-hearted?]. Bob, however, had other plans. He waited until the bird wasn't paying attention, and then put on the fire glove, threw the door open and in a flash reached in and pulled it out. I opened the door to the outside and he tossed the bird off the balcony and into freedom.
So, as you can imagine, we decided something had to be done. Cliff, our contractor, came to the rescue [again!] and made our stovepipe bird-proof.
See the nice wire inserted at the top of the stove pipe? That should do the trick.
I thought about making some allegory connection to this story about sin sneaking in through tiny cracks and then stinking up your life [or wood stove, as the case may be], or the value of not always getting what you want, or of fools rushing in...you get the idea. But, they all seemed kind of corny.
So, none of that. Just a thank you to Bob for saving one birdy life [even if I hate those Grackles with their beady-reptilian eyes] and a thank you to Cliff for constructing scaffolding and making our stove bird free.