Friday, March 13, 2009

Chipmunk excitement

My problem with chipmunks is that they are prey -- and, as a result, extra reclusive. At least, my resident chippies are. Next door, the little guys sit up on a stone wall, look about and pose for the tenant. But then I have a cat, which probably makes a difference.

On my back porch, there's this heap of firewood where, I believe, a chipmunk or family of same has lived for the past several years. I know because if I put raisins out next the pile, they quickly disappear. What's this got to do with the red rags above, you ask? Not rags, but a former seat cushion from last summer. I'd not been out on the porch after the weather chilled and when I finally opened the door at the end of November, I found that my critter had discovered the cushion's contents (the bluish fluff) made a perfect lining for his/her nest somewhere in the depths of all that wood.

For several months, I had noticed that the wood pile was becoming more and more messy as time passed and credited it to a sloppy job of heaping the logs. However, one night while the dotter was visiting, she heard a racket on the porch, opened the door a crack -- and scared away a raccoon, who had apparently decided on a nice meal of chipmunk.

Raccoon had moved logs away from that shadowed spot at the top of the picture (above, below) tossing them about. I guess he didn't enjoy that meal, however; I've checked by putting out a few raisins, which continue to disappear fast.

Besides -- when I went to check Chez Chipmunk late this afternoon, I discovered that someone had been moving a lot of pine cones to cover up the entrance (above). I guess my mysterious friend that I've only seen one time is still in business.

But in the meantime, I had adventure #2 with the local chipmunks. It started with a loud chirping that appeared to come from the back of the house. Tracking down the sound, I discovered that it did not originate from a window ledge outdoors as I had expected, but instead came from the bathroom, indoors.

There was Max,watching patiently, eyes on a crack between the shower and the washstand. Loud chirps were emanating from the crack. Friend Patty had arrived to play an afternoon of Scrabble and she undertook the task of capturing the chippie. He wasn't having any -- he hopped out of the crack, scampered up friend Patty, down friend Patty, climbed the walls, bounced around and finally settled...

...in the shower, where I managed to get two low light pictures. After more adventures chasing a tiny critter about a small bathroom, Patty made the capture by throwing a towel over it, tossing the towel into a wastebasket and emptying the lot outdoors. The chipmunk made very good time getting away from the house; Max shrugged and climbed into his favorite window seat for one more cat nap.

Did I mention that one year, our house was invaded by chipmunks? Maybe I'll tell that tale one of these days.

9 comments:

Cassie said...

Chipmunk Tails/Tales! Love it. Don't want any in my house though.

worldphotos4 said...

You knew I would enjoy this post. I would love to read about the invasion.

Changes in the wind said...

Adventure at the backdoor...who can beat that.....Sweet that you share your raisins and seat cushion too.

Granny J said...

cassie -- they can be quite entertaining when they show up in your house...

steve -- You're so right -- I had planned on dedicating this post to the squirrel man, but it slipped my mind at the critical juncture.

changes -- I hadn't planned to share the seat cushion of course. However, it was one that had been retired from the kitchen and was thus tired.

Anonymous said...

Makes me want to say...

"Where's Alvin? Aaaalviiinnnn!!"

:)

~Anon in AV.

Lucy said...

Wonderfully documented tale! It's the tails, and the stripes, that make them engaging.

I think Max is part snow leopard!

Granny J said...

anon av -- Thanks for reminding me -- I'd completely forgotten the singing chipmunks!

lucy -- tails, stripes -- plus the fact that they're cute little mini-squirrels. Max would like your description.

Sandy said...

On the coldest night we had in Florida this year (20 degrees) I was disturbed by my African Grey flipping out in his cage... flapping and jumping around, literally! I went in to see what was going on and took him out of the cage to quiet him down. Once he was settled on my hand, I could hear a frantic squeaking near the washing machine. I had forgotten that the pest man came and put out a mousetrap, but it is the new kind - looks like an inverted electrical switchplate with VERY sticky stuff on it. Miss or Mr. Mouse was embedded in it. Lordy.... I put the bird in the bathroom while I picked up the 'mouseplate' and found an old towel. Knowing it was too cold to put a frightened mouse outside, I had a small wire cage where, after some tugging, I was able to put the mouse and towel. The next day I walked to the top of the hill and opened the cage - mouse tore out and made a beeline for the neighbor's house.... and no more mouse visitations this season!! Thank goodness this is the wildest excitement I can report for my Florida winter...

Granny J said...

sandy -- we never had any really interesting Florida wildlife encounters. We did have a nightly visitor under an outdoor light, known as Ted the Toad, and, of course, whole bunches of those pretty little green/brown lizards. Never a mouse in all my years in Jax.

 
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