The Chipmunk Horde

We’ve had some hot days but mostly we’ve had some pleasantly cooler days with a nice breeze. To me, “hot” is 80-90 degrees and “pleasantly cool” is in the 60s or low 70s. We could use a little more rain, but I really have no complaints about the weather.

We do seem to have more chipmunks than normal. They’ve been zipping around the deck, through my herb garden, and up onto the tray bird feeder where they stuff their cheeks full. One even climbed up the window screen. He ran away when EJ exclaimed, “Hey! What do you think you are doing?” I tried to get a photo of more than one of the chipmunks, but they are so fast that I couldn’t manage it. Also, they don’t like to share the feeder with each other.

One evening when I was returning from shutting the chickens up in the coop for the night, I saw a hummingbird at their feeder. I paused at the corner of the deck to wait until she finished sipping the nectar. While I was waiting, I watched a chipmunk scamper across the deck toward me, and then another followed that one. When the first one got to within a couple feet of me, I suddenly shouted “RAWR!” The chipmunk yelled “EEEEK,” ran into a planter pot on the deck, and then dashed off. LOL.

The chipmunks frequently squeak, which irritates Hannah Joy. Sometimes she’s had enough and she lunges at the window shouting “RAWR!” which is probably where I got the idea. Then she comes up to me with a pleading look on her face as if she wants me to do SOMETHING about those annoying critters. I tell her that there’s really nothing I can do. “It’s Theo and Millie’s job to get rid of rodents so talk to them.” We frequently find a dead chipmunk in the garage so the cats are trying…but apparently there was a chipmunk baby boom or something this year because their numbers don’t seem to diminish. Chipmunks are very cute, but they are nuisances.

I’ve seen no sign of the Mama Raccoon visiting the feeder lately. Probably she’s given up because the Chipmunk Horde is eating all the seeds before she gets there.

I’ve thought about not putting seeds out for a few days to discourage the chipmunks, but we have a little tufted titmouse with an obviously broken leg who visits and I want to make sure he has an easily accessible source of food until he heals. I didn’t think he’d survive long with an injury, but he is still showing up at the feeder. In fact, he showed up while I was writing this post. He is a plucky little thing.

The chicks are doing well in their cage in the coop. I plan to add them to the general population next weekend. I figure they are old enough and big enough now to join the adults–and it seems symbolically appropriate to release them from their cage during Independence Day weekend. I’ve kept them in their cage so they and the older chicks can get used to each other–and so I could keep feeding the chicks their “chick starter” feed.

My crocs self-destructed the other day and the shoes I wear out to the coop are barely holding together. The only good pair of shoes I have (other than dress shoes that I rarely wear) is my “going to town sneakers,” which I prefer not to get covered in dirt and chicken poop. So this morning I ordered shoes online. I ordered slip-on shoes because I am in and out of the house all day: taking Hannah Joy out, bringing her back in, moving the sprinklers, walking to the mailbox. It’s easier to have shoes that I can slip quickly on and off rather than have to keep pausing to pull them on and tie them. I dislike wearing shoes in the house. I asked EJ to stop at Goodwill on his way to work next week to try to find me used shoes that I can wear to the coop. No use buying new shoes that will get all crappy.

I’ve transplanted some of the herbs that EJ started into my herb garden. EJ is currently out working in his vegetable garden. Hannah Joy is snoozing in the sunlight.

I forgot to mention before that June 1st marked the 7th anniversary of our move to our Enchanted Forest. It’s gone really fast. My only regret is that we didn’t move here sooner. I love it here!

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