We haven't been to the lake house for a while, at least not long enough to use the grill or pull weeds. Sometimes the place looks slightly abandoned. We spent a little time there this past weekend, though. Husband pulled a few weeds, and I washed the linens and dusted a little.
Husband opened up the back door to the deck, and the noise startled the biggest chipmunk I have ever seen. The thing scurried the length of the deck and ran under the grill that sits in the corner. I didn't see it actually leave the deck, so we thought it might have gone inside the grill and not just under it. A few weeks ago, husband found a bird's nest on the grate of the grill, so it's not unreasonable to think a chipmunk might hide in there, too.
When husband tapped on the top of the grill with a broom handle, out ran the chipmunk and down into the grass. Very carefully, husband opened up the lid of the grill, still using the broom handle, and we discovered a nest that could house a baby elephant. There was so much dry grass stuffed on the grate, it nearly filled the entire grill. It must have taken that little rodent days and days to build the thing.
We peaked in this massive nest to find a family of baby chipmunks so new they were still without fur, and their little eyes were closed. So, we did what anyone with heart would do. We carefully closed the lid without touching the nest or the babies and hoped the mother would come back.
She did come back once we stepped inside and stopped poking around. That's one lucky chipmunk mother to have an entire gas grill for raising her babies. It will be interesting to see how this family develops and where they decide to go once they leave the grill nest. I'll just have to use the oven until then.
Unfortunately I didn't have a camera at the time, so I borrowed this photo from some random person online who has apparently held a baby chipmunk.