• One day early this spring, with snow still thick on the ground, a West Bolton resident noticed a nest perched high in his woodshed. It was made of leaves and grass, sitting on a cross brace, and supported by the tines of two rakes and a push broom. As he went over to investigate, a red squirrel flew out of the nest, rocketed through the air, behind a wood pile and made his, or her, escape. Well, so much for that, thought the resident. Too much action in here for a nesting couple. Weeks later, the man returned to the spot, reaching for the broom to sweep old bird seed off the deck. As its brush jarred the nest, a little red head appeared looking down balefully. The resident retreated. Sweeping and raking could wait, he thought, until the new family grew up and out, of their home. No doubt to take up residence in the attic.

• Having a mother skunk with babies living under your shed or deck can be problematic but there is the simple solution of humane harassment. Skunks choose to make their den where it is dark, quiet and safe and, thus, a combination of light, sound and smell can convince a mother skunk to leave.

Place, close to the den entrance, a bright flashlight, a radio tuned to a talk station and rags soaked in apple cider vinegar or ammonia and placed in a plastic bag. Place holes in the plastic bag to let the smell escape and hang it with the other deterrents. In order to be persistent, these skunk harassments should be left in place for at least three days and three nights. After that, stuff the entrance with newspaper and, if it is still in place after another three days, you have most probably won the battle. In which case, temporarily patch the hole with quarter inch wire mesh.