Country life means that sometimes the country comes inside. We’ve been visited by field mice (no big surprise), voles, birds, frogs, chipmunks, neighbors’ dogs who discover the dog door, likewise cats, and of course creepy crawlies.
This week it’s been chipmunks.
Chipmunk #1 – discovered when I stumbled out of the bedroom at 5:30, with our dogs, Waffles and Chickie. Eyes barely open, I caught a tiny brown blur racing ahead of us. In a nanosecond, the dogs pursued. Through the family room, kitchen and into what we call the music room (really our library with overstuffed chairs, books, and the complex-beyond-words music system my husband has configured). The chipmunk dodged behind a book case, leaving the dogs pawing and yelping. Me, still no coffee.
I see myself as a take-care-of-business type so I propped open the French doors, giving the chipmunk quick exit route. Then I made coffee as two frustrated dogs continued to pace in front of the bookshelf . I know they were considering toppling it but at 23 and 17 pounds respectively, that was highly unlikely. I gathered up my coffee and headed back to master suite for morning shower. Minutes later, feeling human again, I was congratulating myself on handling another wildlife home invasion. I hadn’t screamed or run out the door or locked myself in the bathroom. Pretty good.
That’s when I heard tweeting. Stepping back in the bedroom, I ducked as a small bird flew by, apparently having found the open French door to be an irresistible invitation. I’m calling it a swallow though it could have been a sparrow or finch or … my Girl Scout birding badge was so many years ago. The dogs had given up on the chipmunk and were now chasing the bird, to and fro as it slammed into windows and skylights. They each managed to catch it, once. I screamed — they dropped it.
Still dripping wet from the shower, I shooshed the dogs out. I may have said “go find the chipmunk.” I opened a window this time. Popped out the screen. The swallow was hiding behind my husband’s dresser.
Back to the music room. Chickie and Waffles looked bored. Chipmunk must have escaped. I closed the French doors. Back to the bedroom. No bird in sight but in case she was still hiding, I left the window open. I propped a plant in front of it to discourage other birds from flying in. Dressed, went to work and called my husband suggesting that when he got home before me he might want to close the window. I had visions of twilight, bats flying ….
Day 2; Chipmunk #2. Stumble out. Small brown blur. Dogs pursue. This time, chipmunk hangs a sharp right, through the dog gate and down the stairs to the basement. Success. Not my problem anymore. (Babe the warrior cat did find both of the small brown furries and dispose of them, sad to say).
What’s has been your best/worst wildlife invasion?
P.s. Check out the chipmunk audio at NatGeo! And photo credit to them as well!
PP.s. For my friends who caught the Cliff Notes on Facebook, you now have ALL the facts.