The Squirrel Story
Out of all the things that can go wrong with our display, including blown
out lights, loose connections, tripped circuit breakers, ground faults,
radio problems, computer problems, etc. etc., the one thing that gives
me the most trouble is the pesky squirrel.
The worst year for squirrel damage was 2007, where they had
completely destroyed my years of work by the end of December.
Apparently, these dimwit rodents think that anything hanging off
a tree is food. So they bite the lights right off the string.
This takes out the entire string, and usually also takes out all
the strings downline from that one.
Now you would think that after getting a mouthful of plastic, tungsten,
and broken glass that they would stop, but no, they go right down the
line, rendering the string beyond repair. They bit off hundreds
of individual lights and threw them on the ground.
In 2008, I spent an entire day trying to repair broken strings, soldering
and patching like crazy. After a full day of this, I still had two
trashbags of lights leftover that were just beyond repair. So I decided,
never again. The best defense would be a good offense.