Monday, September 24, 2012

Life and Death on the Prairies

If I had been quicker with the camera, this would be an illustrated post. Maybe sometime I will post pictures of the chipmunk at its centre. This critter took up residence in the hole left by last year's prairie dog. We saw him from time to time raiding the bird feeders.

Lois and I worked out a plan to scare him, and scare him good. One bird feeder is beside the sliding doors to the patio. When we saw him through the glass doors, we moved quietly to the garage. Lois went around the house, picking up and stretching out the garden hose as far as it would go. I gave her a minute to get in position, then I burst from the garage onto the patio yelling like a maniac and charging the terrified chipmunk. He ran around the corner of the house -- straight into a blast of water.

Plan worked. But its only long-term effect was to make the chipmunk much harder to see. Then one day the chipmunk died. Or rather, the neighbour's cat caught the chipmunk. Based on the remains, they were a pair -- so we were headed for lots and lots of little critters raiding our bird feeders.

First I found a tail. Then I found another tail. Then later I saw the chipmunk himself lying on his side, apparently sleeping, but quite dead.

I confess to some sadness on his/her demise. I don't like seeing living beings killed, even though the circle of life is being demonstrated. But we also feel real relief at their death (maybe three of them?). Our feelings towards the neighbour's cat have also changed. He/She has stalked the birds sometimes, but they generally get away. We didn't like the stalking, but we really do like the freedom from chipmunks the cat has provided.

Now to find those prairie dog-chipmunk holes and fill them in before something else takes up residence!

1 comment:

KGMom said...

Remember Tennyson's descriptive phrase? "Nature red in tooth and claw."
I share that same aversion of not liking to see creatures be killed. I hate road kill. And though we have cats we do NOT let them out to roam and maim.