Early in July I finally found a charming weathered hand-painted concrete set of the Seven Dwarfs at an antique & collectible shop in Cornish for $45 that costs around $900 new when painted. Those who have been following my blog for a while know I adore vintage kitschy garden statues of animals and gnomes. Since it’s not unusual for people to call me “Snow White” when I tell them about my yard pets I wanted to complete the cast of characters. I also figured they would make terrific props for chipmunk photo sessions. Tailor, however, did not agree! Check out the little linked video for her reaction. A couple of days later, she disappeared!
Normally Tailor was out on our deck daily and because her burrow entrance is highly visible nearby I was able to observe her comings and goings when I was in the sunroom or out gardening. One of the things I had noticed was that she was looking a bit plump, and a few weeks prior to that she had a gentleman caller, so we were hoping she was expecting!
Did the dwarfs, which we placed on our deck to “keep watch” over the garden, frighten her away? I didn’t think so since she had ventured out after the little sentries were stationed in their watch posts.
After a few more days passed by without any sightings we thought perhaps she had given birth and was tending to her babies, but when late dear Chippie had her babies she was still seen out and about daily. That’s our only frame of reference. When more than two weeks passed without any sign of her I feared the worst, which I often do with our vulnerable chipmunks.
Gardening is very meditative and therapeutic when you aren’t being bitten by battalions of mosquitoes but thankfully we are blessed by a brigade of dragonflies that help reduce their numbers. In fairy-tale fashion our “Hansel” eggplant (the purple version of the storybook variety which also includes a white “Gretel” hybrid) grow the cutest little finger-sized fruits seemingly overnight!
A week ago the blossoms appeared.
Then, mere days later:
The eggplants went from blossom to ready to pick in less than one week! The Hansel hybrid is mature at 3-4″.
In the midst of trying to make my peace with the insecurity of loving wildlife, Tailor appeared on the deck almost two and a half weeks of last being seen! It was definitely her; the “ring” wrapped around her tail is the tell. She looked at me, and being elegant and graceful like her namesake Elizabeth Taylor who authored a book about chipmunks, she leapt into the air like a ballerina and into her burrow hole. That was a few days ago and I haven’t seen her since. This time I’m not worried.
When I was out harvesting our first two eggplants this morning I heard Buster chipping in the woods. He must have seen me on the deck. I called out his name to which he replied with a squeal followed by a hurried “Chip! Chip! Chip! Chip!” You can watch me giving him pets here after I went over to greet and feed him.
Today I’ll be writing and later will decide what new simple recipe I’ll be making with our first little harvest of the season.