Glenn

What weird animals have been in your shop

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The one animal that gave me the surprise was a 5 foot black snake, resting on one of the rafters. I had worked under him most of the day and never bothered to look up. When I did, it was *feet do not fail me now* as I was headed for the door. Once I regained my composure, I went back inside and identified him as a non-poisonous black snake. Just left him up there on the rafter with instructions NOT to fall on me, or jump on me as it would be very bad for his health. I still find the skin he sheds from time to time.

 

We did get a brown bat that tried to take up residence. It seemed that we were on different schedules and I kept him awake during his night hammering on the anvil. After a week or so of no sleep, he moved on to another location.

 

What weird animals have been in your shop?

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A great pyranese after the Fourth of July fireworks. That split second you realize there is a massive white beast with unknown intentions in your shop and it's in between the door and you, anything within reach becomes and weapon. Luckily he was a big old sweetheart and we called the owners and they came and got him. Better part of 200 lbs with big teeth and lots of white fur makes for a good scare tho.

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I had a opossum take up residence under my radial arm saw.  Went to plug something in behind the saw, heard something hiss then saw it's beady little eyes and pointy teeth sticking up out of the table inches from my hand.  :blink: I had to evict him :angry:   It was the 4 cent cure. B)

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about 3 Years ago I had an Elk brush up against my 100lb propane tank and knock it over sending it to the ground and my forge up into the air dangling over it, I have had racoons visit, squirrels as well as the latest a next of hornets under the wet grinder I have to still hook up. Living out in the sticks can be fun and interesting at times....

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I have a resident carpet snake around the forge and a possum which makes itself at home on shelving above the rafters. I don't mind either - especially the snake which helps kerb the rat problem.
We live beside an adandoned farm and the old irrigation pipes are a haven for rats.
And you don't want them near your car. They're attracted to warm dark spaces and entered through the air cleaner intake. This is what happened to the air cleaner:
post-50874-0-05018200-1409051803_thumb.j
Big $$$ in repair bills. Some animals are welcome around my shed ..and some are not.

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Inside I surprised a good sized ground hog one day. Seems he was using the shop as a shortcut from the back pasture to the garden on the other side of the shop back wall.

 

Had a group of turkeys take up residence one evening in the far end of the shop. ( shop is basically a 100' long 30' wide 2 story "shed" with only 3 solid walls.)

 

We get racoons semi regularly ( they like the horse and pig food in the barn next door). Deer around the shop, usually at night. ( Archery season starts soon, so I'm hoping to spot some during the day...) Had a huge owl once... Surprising thing is we aren't all that rural. However there's a good size park just down the road and right next to the shop is a small wood lot that's owned by the township as open space.

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I'd have to say "Steve"... He's always in the shop moving tools around - where you can never find them and has a penchant for using an air hose to "clean" the shop (just makes clouds of dust)... He leaves dirty plates of half-eaten food around that turn into science experiments. I swear I once found what used to be a cup of coffee and it was moving around by itself!

The funny thing is, Steve must be on the night shift because I never see him... When I do!!!!!

Steve is definitely the weirdest animal that's ever been in my shop.

-DM

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When it's hot, I often work late into the evening.

 

There's a Picnic Table and a Trash Can, right outside my Shop door, ... where some of the guys take their breaks.

 

One night, my Brother-in-Law ( a "City Boy"  :rolleyes:  ) is visiting, ... and wanders out through the open door.

 

The first thing I know, he's screaming like a little girl,  :rolleyes: ... about a "Huge White Rat" under the Picnic Table.

 

Apparently, ... he'd never seen a 2' long, adult Possum.  :P

 

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

There's a Hickory Tree right outside the Shop, ... and I keep a couple of shelves full of Magnetic Starters, Safety Switches, and various Electrical Enclosures.

 

Just about every time I pull any of those Enclosures off the shelf, and open them up, ... they are packed full of Hickory Nut Shells.

 

Although I NEVER see them, ... it's obvious the Chipmonks find those Enclosures quite useful, too.  :D

 

The Hickory Nut Shells are about 3/4" diameter, ... and most of the Electrical Boxes have only a roughly 7/8" diameter hole, ( 1/2" knockout ) for the little critters to access.

 

They seem to view the "Electrical Box" shelves, as a block of Snake and Rat proof "Condo's".

 

 

 

.

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I have lots of snakes in the shop and also skunks, possums, etc. but the weirdest thing I ever saw was a prairie falcon who used to come into my shop on fall evenings whenever I left the lights on at dusk.  It happened a couple of times - on one occasion, I caught it with a large dip net and put it into a cage overnight so the bird wouldn't injure itself (I had to use welding gloves to handle).  There were two falcons that lived around us for a few years - I think they were a nesting pair but don't know for certain.  They always followed me when I would cut hay to hunt for rats and rabbits.

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I had a salamander crawl out of the garage/shop during the first slushy rain of the fall-winter shift. Dunno where he came from; no creeks or wetland nearby. Residential area. Also had an opossum trying to take refuge. Most recently; squirrels. The missus likes to feed them and we kept the cat litter bucket of wildlife feed just inside the front of the garage. I saw one of the now fairly tame rodents scurrying out when I came out of the house into the attached garage. Then notice the red and yellow flakes of plastic on the floor and chewed up rim of the bucket. Now I keep the (NEW) bucket deeper in the garage where (for now :unsure: ) the varmints aren't brave enough to venture :D

 

Scott

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Families of squirrels have torn up the semi-permeable membrane above the acoustic insulation in both of my workshop roofs. I regularly see them skittering around between the layers of the quadruple glazed roof lights...frustrating or what!

I have an annual visit by a dragon fly mid August, who must be on a genetically implanted pond to pond trip.

I found a toad a couple of feet down in the side of the pit I was digging for the power hammer inertia block.

I have managed to shoot a couple of Roe Bucks from the high seat leaning up against the stanchion of the new workshop. They frequently take a short cut through it (because it is lacking walls) in order to raid our vegetable patch. In those instances revenge (and the venison) tasted very sweet!

Alan

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Not exactly 'weird' or uncommon, but I had two baby opossums. Their mother had been scared off the night before when I took our dogs out for a walk (I didn't see them at the time, but makes sense that's that the dogs were all worked up about). They're far less creepy looking as babies...

I've also got a family of bunnies living under an old utility trailer out back of my shop that serves as my scrap pile/'resource centre'.

Nothing too exotic. Don't know how those of you with snakes can handle it. That'd drive me nuts. At least most other animals you can hear that they're there.

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Just started seeing armadillos up this way over the past few years - which is a new thing for us this far north.

Have spooked him/her a couple of times when I've gone out there late at night.

Used to have a groundhog - 'Gus' - who had made himself a place under part of the slab...he moved on after a few years.

Always a big 'ol blacksnake or two out there and I'm with several other guys on here - I don't mind them as they take care of any mice or other vermin.

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My most regular visitor is Pumpkin, the orange tabby from next door. I encourage her to eat the mousies, and we're good buds. I also have bats in my belfry on a regular basis. My daughter was amused by a pair roosting on the ridge beam, and named them Vlad and Batty (That from an English major!). Groundhogs using the shed as a shortcut to the garden have a death wish and there are smears on the concrete floor to prove that.

 

Steve

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other smiths are the most unusual things i get..... ;)

any other critters are just normal compared to them!

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My CT shop is behind our unused Horse Barn, I slide the back door open and lug out the brake drum forge and the anvil is on a stomp just inside the door and the vise is a machinist model on an old work bench.  Not great but it's all I have here my full shop is on the VT farm 200 miles away.

 

Now considering this is CT it is interesting what we have for critters in and around the barn/shop.  We have had a Large Bobcat living upstairs on and off for 5 years now.  We have an agreement that I kick the front rolling door hard a few times and wait a minute for him to slide out under that back door.  Has worked so far.  We are getting ready to sell this farm and have been cleaning up junk around and last Fri. My brother in law and I were moving some old lumber thrown out behind the barn off to the side,  when we went to pick up the first one he saw something move under it so he moved it with  a Peeve and low and behold there was a 3-4 ft Copperhead snake.  After we found 2 more in 2 more boards we decided there was somewhere else we could clean.  This week I've been carrying my 9mm with rat shot.  No snakes of course.  I'll put DeCon out for the mice, the snakes can find employment elsewhere, must be a tree hugger somewhere on the road.   

 

Went to walk up from the barn/shop last summer and as I closed the door I noticed something black by the pool fence between me and the back door, a black bear staring at the pool for the longest time.  Finally called by wife and had her come onto the deck, she told it had to have a suit to go swimming, it finally left but reluctantly.  Since we don't have animals to feed or food around the Raccoons and Skunks have moved along somewhere else.  Occasional Possum passes  through, try to give them the bums rush if I see them.

 

Had 50 plus Turkeys behind the shop all last winter in the pines and now a doe with twin fawns around every morning one of the fawns seems interested in the anvil noise when I start striking he will show up to watch in the distant high weeds 

 

Everything is getting packed and loaded for it's trip to Vermont this fall.  So I'll be out of smithing for a spell until the new shop gets it's floor.  Early for these items to be moved but it has to take it's turn in being moved so much each weekend to get it done. 

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I get the normal skunks, possum, squirrels, spiders and feral cats in my shop, but the worst, though in some ways the funniest animal incursion was when a stray pit bull pushed his way through a gap in my front fence and was unable to either push back through or remember where he came through in the first place.  He ended up panicking in my yard and my shop.  My front gate is locked from the outside and I managed to slip into the house, grab a pistol, then go out the front door to open the gate and see if I could get him out of my yard without having to shoot him. For the record, I don't have anything in particular against Pit Bulls.  I just have something against the sort of people who seem to gravitate towards that breed of dog, at least in my neck of the woods, and the training or lack thereof, that Pit Bulls often get.    

 

As I came out my front door headed for the gate, gun in hand, I found 3 or 4 people milling around in my front yard.  I asked them if that was their dog in my yard and they confirmed it was.  I suggested that they might want to retrieve it before I had to shoot it.  I unlocked the front gate, they went in and got their dog and started to lead it away on a leash. One of the people turned to me and said if it happened again they would put the dog down.  That seemed somewhat extreme to me and I don't think I even responded to that.  They left and I returned to my house.  Upon entering my house I happened to glance down at my left arm to discover it was covered in blood.  I must have caught it on a nail or something sharp in my panic to avoid the trapped and panicking dog.  Then it came to me why the owner said he would put the dog down if "it happened again".  He must have seen the blood and assumed that his dog had bitten me. I found that pretty amusing.

 

 

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Greetings All,

 

I have had several....  The worst....  As I was leaving the shop late one evening I was greeted by a 400 lb black bear...  I promptly went back in the shop and rang the anvil... He did what black bears do ... Gave me a look like your in my back yard and turned than left..

 

The best...

As I was entering my line shaft shop from a stored unused forge up popped a pure white martin out of the fire pot.... We had a nice talk while he scurried about the rafters ...  Beautiful animal ....   After 5 min or so he headed for the woods... 

 

Nature is a beautiful thing ... Stop and enjoy it...

 

Jim

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Hah! Stash sounds like a perfect setup to invite the boyfriends to be into the shop and casually point out the bloodstains...  Strangest creature I have is the neighbours boy.  Comes to play with my girls and ends up watching me tinker in my shop.  It's good for a 10 year old boy to learn a few hands on things.  kinda nice to have someone to show that's a little interested.

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It's good for a 10 year old boy to learn a few hands on things.  kinda nice to have someone to show that's a little interested.

 

 

I had 3 of those in my booth when I was doing demo's at the Grange fair. I'm always glad to help kids get interested in working with their hands, but they got a bit trying after a few hours, 3 days straight. The other helper was a cute 20 year old young woman who was helping run the concession stand. She was MUCH more interesting than the kids were.... :lol:

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2 little owls nested in a pillar of the roof of my old outdoor shop in my back yard. Also had coyotes, racoons, rats, bobcats, big tarantulas and a big male javalina that my wolf killed when it charged me. Nothing but a squirrel and tbe neighbors cat at my new shop

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This has been a fun thread to read, though sadly I have nothing really to add.  Mine is an outdoor shop but in a typical suburban neighborhood.  I get possums on occasion, have a family of rabbits under my storage shed year round, and the occasional visit from a monster-sized hawk that likes to land on my privacy fence and try to stare me down.  It works, as he is huge and I think fairly capable of grabbing my shoulder and trying to make a run for it.  I've seen him twice landed in my yard quietly dismembering a pigeon just a few feet from me.  Gulp.  We keep our distance. 

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Fleas.   Tons of Fleas.   They creep up on you fast.   First thing you just have a random itch.   Normal itch, scratch....

 

Then maybe next day or so another random itch or two....

 

Then suddenly they are everywhere, not random, and not one or two!   Mine is also a wood shop and I think my old dog used to seed the shop with fleas and if it so happened that it was a bit messy with plenty sawdust...   as a wood shop can often have.....   Seems the fleas love that!

 

Easy solution!   Flea Powder.

 

But when it gets a good flea infestation it is literally uninhabitable.    I don't get a lot of time in my shop every day or sometimes not even every week.   So maybe I have a longer accumulation time than some.

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Borntoolate, it would seem like you're not spreading enough diesel, hydraulic oil around(grin)

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