Friday, June 21, 2013

Little Critters Everywhere!

So many animals call WillOaks Farm and Campground home.  They are mostly charming and I really, really try to be tolerant....but....

There are a lot of cute little chipmunks that have extended "clans" all through the farm.  They are adorable...really...yet so destructive sometimes.  There are some planters and planted areas in the campground that I've "replanted" 3 times now--just over the past few weeks.  Come to find out that chipmunks have a lot of fun clipping petunias off at ground level - really radical pruning I guess.  And when that gets boring, they randomly dig up plants.  This happens both to plantings directly in the ground and to plantings in pots and planters.  I haven't given up....yet.  Petunias are replaced with geraniums and marigolds...surely I'll find something they will ignore, eventually.....

One of the worst hits, unfortunately, was a whole double row of snap peas that had sprouted and were starting to grow strong in our new communal vegetable garden.  I guess the chipmunks had a feast because there are perhaps 3 seedlings left.  We're debating about trying peas again a bit later in the summer to see if we can get a fall crop....maybe....

So I've relented about letting Red Kitty and Mariah out of the camper.  That's right, I'm trying to sic my cats on those destructive chipmunks.....Not sure how effective they will be as hunters....but they sure are happy to be outdoors again!

The raccoons are really active here this summer.  I try to warn tenters to lock up their food, especially at night when the coons are on the move.  These little bandits have taken down and emptied my bird feeders, they have made off with bags of chips, and I have a feeling I've met one or more of them (or their relatives?) a couple of years ago....because they are even trying to figure out how to get into our covered dumpster, again.

Witness all the footprints on the lid?  A couple of years ago, when the wind blew open the lid, I found a youngster sitting at the bottom of the dumpster amidst a bag of trash that was all torn up.  But the poor guy was stuck in there-steep slick metal walls are pretty hard to climb back up.  So I went and got a long board, put it into the "big metal box" for a ramp, and politely looked away while the little guy scampered up and out.  So when I saw the fresh new footprints on the lid a couple of days ago, I realized I'd better keep an eye on this as the summer goes on.  I have a feeling that Ma Coon teaches her cubs "dumpster diving."

And don't get me started on squirrels--they are amazing acrobats and I'm in a constant game to protect a couple of bird feeders here.  Yet when a couple of campers showed up with a "pet" squirrel last weekend, a baby that had been hand raised and bottle fed, I realized that it was probably neat that the little guy was "coming home" to the country woods....though I was a tad surprised when I learned that as the weekend progressed, they decided to let the little guy go.

So I guess he lives here now, too, but briefly, it was pretty cute to see him up close as the woman held him like a kitten and carried him around in a cage.  I'll be curious to hear if he decides to visit with other campers here this summer--he did seem to have a fondness for humans!

Finally, on the totally relaxed and mellow side, Dakota is happy to be the campground dog mascot again, and to sleep on the deck or in the shade or where ever it's a bit cooler.  Because these northern breeds are always too warm in the summer, notice the hair cut she's got?  Hope it helps keep her cooler because it's about to go into the 90's here over the coming weekend!  Push comes to shove, we can always turn on the air conditioning here in the camper.  Because Dakota is 17 years old this summer we're treating her like the grand dame she truly is!

Have a great weekend and enjoy your own local critters!



Lin said...

We always lock up the food in the car when we camp--you just always expect raccoons to raid the site. Last summer, when we were staying at Will Oaks, I woke up to a big monster of a coon snacking on a big bag of hot 'n spicy Doritos that someone left out accidentally. I imagine that poor thing paid dearly for that snack! hahaha!

Rosemari Roast said...

Love all the critters, even the pesky raccoons, squirrels and don't get me goin' on chipmunks! But I lovelovelove the camp mascot!

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