Sending Out an S.O.S.

“Sending out an S.O.S.,
a chipmunk in a bottle”

Although not quite the words of Sting and The Police the alteration was definitely appropriate today. I was walking through the garage after having planted three small boxwoods and I heard a strange scratching sound. My first thought was that a lizard had gotten stuck in the window. Then I began to think, it sounds too big to be a little lizard maybe a bird was trapped. This made sense as I have had mockingbirds get stuck in the garage before. As I got closer to the sound I didn’t see anything jumping around in the window as a bird would so I kept following the sound, deeper and deeper into the quagmire of stuff that is our garage. In one window of my garage I have a small portable greenhouse. It’s basically a set of shelves with a clear plastic sheath to cover it. It’s where I like to overwinter the cuttings of my plant propagation efforts. I spied down toward the bottom of the greenhouse toward the direction of the sound. The scratching sound was coming from an old drink bottle I use for watering.

I looked into the bottle and saw a little furry chipmunk trapped inside. The bottle was too tall for him to get out and the water inside was almost up to his head. The little guy was poking his head above the water with his toes outstretched just barely touching the bottom of the container. No matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t gain any traction.

It’s a good thing for the chipmunk that I only had the water bottle half full, or if you’re pessimistic half empty. Of course for him it probably doesn’t matter, he was just thinking “GET ME OUT OF HERE!” I tend to leave the garage door open when I’m out in the yard so it was easy to figure out how he got inside. He’s just very lucky that I was out planting our boxwoods or I may never have been in the garage to hear his courageous escape efforts. After showing the little chipmunk to my daughter and hearing my wife say “you brought that in the house?” I let the chipmunk go in the back yard on a old gnarly dogwood. He was wet and shaking from his experience but hopefully will recover completely from his traumatic day.

17 Replies to “Sending Out an S.O.S.”

  1. AAAHHH, poor little chipmunk. I think they are so cute. I use to love to watch them when I was in N.C. I'd hear the leaves rustle & them I'd watch. Busy little fellows.

  2. I’m glad you found him in time! I rescued a squirrel from a water butt this summer. I don’t think he’d have made it.

  3. Hi Dave, I’m back from my hiatus! Anyway, poor little creature! He is so cute, but I am glad that you were able to save him!

  4. Poor little fellow — I’m glad you found him in time. I know they’re pesky little things, but I could never bear to watch one drown. Yay, Dave. 🙂

  5. I’m glad you rescued the poor thing. How traumatic! I guess he never heard the expression “curiousity killed the cat..”

  6. AWW, I bet he was exhausted and thankful to be free. We have them all over the place here. We don't too much care for them tunneling all over. My neighbor had to have his foundation redone after a family of chipmunks made too many tunnels under one corner of his home. They had to dig up half his driveway and sidewalk too in order to make repairs to the damage. There were tunnels like you have never seen.

    I'm so sorry Dave, but I no longer have a blog. I know–I feel like a fruit cake. My new Godaddy blog froze up on me and they were no help. So I was refunded my money. But here is a link to my fall pics. Can you switch out the links?

    Thanks, Flowergardengirl/Anna

  7. Aw, poor little guy! He was lucky you decided to investigate the noise and found him in time.

    We had a rabbit get into our garage last winter. He wreaked a lot of havoc and destroyed a lot of stuff with his chewing. We tried in vain to help him out. He was very elusive. We left the garage door open day after day, but to no avail. Eventually he crawled behind the garbage cans and died, who knows when. My husband had to clean the garage out (not a bad thing,) to find him after the weather started warming up and it was clear by the smell he had expired.

  8. I love all the critters, so I’m glad you were able to save this cute little furry one.

  9. Ahhh, poor little guy. It’s good you found him in time.

  10. I’m sure the cute little critter is grateful for the rescue! It looked so traumatic for him stuck in that bottle.

    We often have to rescue hummingbirds from the garage in the summer. Fortunately, they don’t mind perching on the kayak paddle or pool net that we hold up to the ceiling for them!


  11. Dave,

    You are this guys hero…maybe he won’t dig in your garden and under your patio stone now!


  12. Oh Dave, I didn’t see there was water in the bottle until reading the narrative! How scared he must have been, standing on tippytoe for his life depended on it! Your girls are learning so many valuable lessons from you, they are supremely lucky and will think so all their lives into adulthood. You will reap what you have sown when they are gardeners on their own plot of land. I have to laugh at Jenny’s comment though, priceless!

  13. Awww, poor thing! Seems we gardeners are always rescuing something, aren’t we? (Kitties, butterflies, chipmunks…) 🙂

  14. How cool! For you, us, and the little guy / gril survived to boot! Awesome pics.

  15. It was kind of neat seeing the little guy. It was the first chipmunk I’ve ever seen near us. I’ve seen them at the zoo in Nashville (not part of the exhibits) and I’ve seen them in the Smokies but never here. It’s always just the squirrels. I guess it just goes to show you that there is always a lot more going on than you realize!

  16. Fascinating story! I am so glad that you arrived on the scene in time.

  17. Oh, I am so glad you found him!

    I’m new to blogging and finding SO many blogs out there to read, but your story grabbed my interest right away… even better to have pictures.

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