The hole truth

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The other day, we found a deep, narrow hole in the ground in the middle of our blackberry patch. Something had dug a burrow right at the root of one of our bushes. We filled it in, in the hopes of discouraging the critter. Next day, it was back.

It was a small hole, clearly dug by a small animal. But which animal? My critter-hole expertise is such that I can’t tell a mole hole from a vole hole. Might be a shrew. Might be a ground squirrel. I figured I could go so far as to rule out a prairie dog.

Sounds like a job for the Varmintcam!

We set it up next to the hole site and left it overnight. Sure enough, we got the culprit on film.

Caught in the act

Kevin thinks the chipmunk has figured out that, because the fence keeps the cat out of the garden, she can raise a litter in relative safety in the middle of the blackberry patch. I think that’s an Einsteinian leap, for a chipmunk, and it was just luck.

Either way, we’ve decided to leave her in peace.

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Comments

  1. With all due respect to you, I think Kevin might be right…our friends Karen and John find baby bunnies in their (fenced in) garden every year…safe from their dog and also the local coyote pack. Although, these critters are probably also attracted to the delicious foods hanging just above their heads!

  2. Hooray – Chipmunkcam! I hope the babies make a guest appearance one day soon.

  3. That Varmintcam is worth its weight alright- not sure if in gold, but it’s come in handy.

  4. Watch out! I think she’s after the blackberries – I had some chipmunks move into our garden last year. They ate my strawberry crop and I’m fairly sure they ate my spring bulbs too as I planted about 50 bulbs and not one came up.

  5. Very cute (for a rat!). I am with Fiona on this one. Chipmunks eat a lot, reproduce quickly, and form social groups. My cats take care of them out here, but my parents have had the things come very close to the patio table (within a foot of their feet), stand up on their hind legs and shake their front paws at the people, while vocalizing. Then one got stuck and died in one of the holes in the porch furniture metal. Guess who had to go extricate it. Open the fence and let the cat take care of the problem before you miss out on blackberries, tomatoes, squash, and there are many others I have seen chipmunks eat.

  6. Dina — I’m still not ready to believe that a chipmunk or a rabbit can figure out that a fence can protect them from predators. But you’ve got a point about the food hanging over their heads …

    Jen — We’ll keep an eye out for the youngsters and put the camera back there when it looks like they’re out and about. Unless we evict them first …

    Paula — Everyone needs a Varmintcam.

    Fiona and Greg — I strongly suspect you’re right. Because our cat has kept he population under control, we tend to let the chipmunks that survive go out and do their chipmunk thing in peace. But I am NOT losing my raspberries to them. We’ll watch closely. Thanks for the warning.