Tag Archive 'cohabitation'

Sep 07 2021

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Befriending a Chipmunk

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I now have a chipmunk friend. We get together almost every afternoon on my patio. I really don’t know how this happened. Gradually, I suppose.

Last year something was tearing up the flowers that I’d planted around the patio. When I spotted a chipmunk darting past a couple times, I figured that was the culprit. So I put out a Havahart trap to catch and remove the varmint. But the bait kept disappearing and the trap shutting without anyone inside. I took advice from a friend and used string to make the trap trigger mechanism more sensitive. Still no varmint.

The chipmunk I’d seen last year stopped coming around, so I packed up the trap and forgot about it. My flowers were no longer disturbed. I figured a local fox or barred owl must have eaten the little guy. A tasty little morsel, no doubt. Ah, well…

Early this summer, a chipmunk started coming around again. Hard to say if it was the same varmint I’d seen last year, or one new to the neighborhood. Whatever. It didn’t mess with my flowers so I ignored it.

Judy and I have several bird feeders in our backyard. The chipmunk joined the squirrels feeding on what the birds toss to the ground. Woodpeckers are especially fussy. They throw down a lot of seed. That upsets Judy, but the squirrels and the chipmunk feast on it.

We’re not exactly sure which one of us started feeding the chipmunk, but I recall it taking seed directly from Judy’s hand on at least one occasion a month or two ago. Then I left a small pile of nuts on the knee-high wall of the patio. Next thing I know, the chipmunk was running circles around me – every time I sat on the patio reading. So I put nuts and seeds on the wall on a regular basis. Then Chippy (yes, we named him) licked the sweat off my cold can of ginger beer one very hot day. So now I put out a cup of water. I keep that fresh.

Chippy pissed me off once, when he started digging up the soil in a flower box containing my herbs. Judy said it was just trying to stay cool. Indeed, Chippy has stretched out flat on the foot-wall on several occasions, no doubt to cool his belly. Chippy often lounges on the patio with me during the shady afternoons. That’s now one happy rodent, I think.

Chippy has built a rather large home in our front garden – right where we used to have a patch of forget-me-nots. We hope Chippy is a male. If she’s a female, there could be lots of little chippies running around next year. Then we’ll be sorry. But for now I’m taking a live-and-let-live attitude. What the hell…

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