Jack-o-Lantern & Gas Tank Chipmunk

November 5, 2013 § 1 Comment

Almost sounds like a couple of not-so-serious superheroes, doesn’t it? 🙂

Halloween was very warm, in the low 70s (ca. 20 celcius). No-one came to the door, and I don’t blame them, because apart from the temperature, the weather was miserable, windy and rainy.

Our lantern looked like this:

2013 Jack-o-Lantern

2013 Jack-o Outside

In other news, a chipmunk seems to have taken residence on our yard. We kept seeing it on the lid of the gas tank access hatch:

Chippie on Gas Tank

Sometimes it even sat with its tail down the gas gauge peep hole:

Tail in Hole

I thought that was accidental, but as it happened more than once, we had to investigate. The chippie seems to have dug a burrow down right next to our gas tank, and uses the gas tank access hatch as an entry point. If you look carefully, you can see the burrow entry:

Gas Tank Access Hatch

Here’s an edited closeup:

Gas Tank Access Edited

In case you still can’t tell, there’s a groove running from the middle of the picture towards the lower right-hand corner. That’s where the chipmunk goes in and out, we believe. I’ve looked in more than once, and the mouth of the burrow seems to be in a state of constant collapse, because the ground around the tank is sand. I know I would *hate* to have to dig myself in and out every single time, but the chippie seems content to stay.

As for whether we are content to let it stay? Well. I know some people consider chipmunks a nuisance or welcome them as warmly as they would any other rodent. I think they’re exotic – there’s only one species of chipmunk on the Eurasian continent, the Siberian chipmunk, so I never saw one before I started visiting the U.S. I also enjoy watching them go about their business, much like the deer, geese, rabbits, turkeys and turtles we sometimes see around. Mr. E is, of course, used to having chippies around.

We’re slightly concerned about damage to the gas tank, but we think it’s very unlikely. As far as we can tell from literature and our own experience, chipmunks don’t create gnawing damage like other rodents. Descriptions about the potential damage caused by chipmunks that I’ve seen mostly mention holes (=burrow entries) in the lawn, disturbed or eaten flower bulbs or bird feeders (not a problem for us) and potential structural damage from burrowing under retaining walls or decks. The latter might potentially be or become an issue, but I haven’t seen hard evidence of serious damage attributed to chipmunk burrowing. And in any case, we only have this one chipmunk, not a colony. (Actually, I would be more inclined to chase geese off our yard, for they can have nasty tempers; their poops are also quite large and there can be a lot of it.)

So, having considered it, we have decided to leave the chipmunk be, at least for the moment. We should have no trouble keeping an eye on it. 🙂

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