I have been watching them for weeks now. It's always the same routine- first I catch sight of the slight rustle of leaves. "What are you up to?", I wonder. No good, I am sure.
Daring to brave their way into barely open space, I spy the familiar black and white stripe on the back of their fur coats. Aren't they hot? I would be.
At first it was small things that would go missing. Then they became bolder and started taking things that were more obviously missed. No wonder they have chubby bums!! They are living high on the hog. At my garden's expense. Chip and Dale have moved in, and it is not a good thing.
I know, I know, chipmunks are sweet and funny. The way they scamper across the lawn, with their squat bodies oozing cuteness- who wouldn't love having them entertaining in the garden? Me, that's who.
Do I have strawberries this year? No. Do I have sunflowers growing? No. And "Why?" may you ask? Because of the new tenants that have taken up residence in my yard. Not just in the yard, but under my side deck, where it is nicely shaded, cool and protected. They chose the condominium of the underground.
I discovered this by strategically placing fresh, fat strawberries (store-bought- grrrrr.) along the path leading to the garden. Maybe, just maybe, they would take the bait and try to bring one home with them. It worked.
This is their front door- (Did you notice the roly-poly doorman?)
Oh joy, oh rapture.
The problem is that, while they are systematically destroying any hope of us eating one home grown strawberry this summer, I haven't the heart to do anything about it. I am a wimp.
While the brain says "seek and destroy", the heart cannot bear to see small, innocent creatures hurt or, even worse, brought to an untimely death.
So, we will have to learn to live with our fur-coated, chubby-bummed subterranean neighbors. And strawberries from the farmer's market.