Friday, June 28, 2013

A Crisis with the Rainwater Collection System!

We had a crisis with our rain barrel yesterday. Well, that is not really accurate. A better description would be: Molly had a crisis with the rain barrel downspout yesterday. I was working in the garden on the other side of the house. Molly comes running over to me, crying. I look at her strangely, because she never does that. So I stop to pet her and talk to her. She warmly takes the affection but when I stop, she starts crying again.  So, this time I ask her what she wants and she runs to the other side of the yard. Like a good mother, I follow her. She jumps up on the rain barrel (just her front legs - she is pretty big) and starts clawing at the downspout. 

Once I get her out of the way, I can hear that she isn't the only one crying. There is some kind of critter in the downspout making moaning noises! When I take the down spout out of the rain barrel, the thing climbs higher, still crying. Molly is running around silly at my feet so I knew I just couldn't leave the downspout hanging, hoping whatever was in there would run out. So, I go get the ladder and climb up to disconnect the downspout from the gutter. (Molly is still clawing at the bottom of the downspout while I am off getting the ladder.) As soon as I disconnect it, I drop it to the ground and a chipmunk runs out, across the yard, up onto the wood pile and over the fence into the neighbors yard.

Now, this isn't just any chipmunk. This is THE chipmunk.  The one and only chipmunk that has been eating all my peanut seeds, strawberries and more recently, tomatoes! He was big and fat too! Much bigger than the last time I saw him. How he got in there I don't know!  Did he fall in from the roof? He didn't look injured when he ran across the yard. A better question would be, why could he not get out the same way he got in? 

Well, I reassembled everything and put the downspout back up. But, I had one problem. Between Molly clawing at the end of the downspout, and the movements of the pipe, (it is flexible plastic), by the time I got it back into its original shape, a lot of the paint popped right off the thing! It looks ugly! BAD ugly! I took a picture this morning.

It still doesn't look too bad from the front yard, hardly any paint came off the top. I haven't decided if I am going to repaint it or not. I don't want to do it. Another paint job will classify this as a project that requires too much maintenance. However, if someone complains, I will need to take it down and redo it. I may look again for some white tubing, even if I need to special order it. 

I know one thing, if it happens again, I am going to let that chipmunk drown.

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