Fall is upon us and the weather has been wonderful. Cool and refreshing yet still warm--perfect weather for all manner of small creature to scamper about in, preparing for a change in seasons.
As I pulled into my driveway, there was Chippy the Ubiquitous Chipmunk zigzagging down the drive. Suddenly there abound great quantity of Chippies. This one is particularly active. I recognize him by his fat, puffy tail.
Crazed by the approaching car, Chip darted back and forth down the drive, desperate to find a place to hide. Suddenly he veered off left and rocketed down the drain pipe.
'Oh ho!,' Said I. 'I've got you now, Chip! That drainage pipe's never clear of water. There's only so far you can run down it, before you'll have to turn around and eventually come out!' I leaped out of the car, grabbed my camera and crept up to the drain pipe. I could hear him chirping and trilling and making intermittent little animal sounds. Sure enough, slowly he poked his terrible head out and sniffed around. I tried to snap a shot, but he was spooked and darted back down the pipe. Dern they're fast! I waited a few more minutes, and out crept the head...and...again I missed the shot. Dammit!
I hunkered down, determined to get a picture of him the second he jutted out his nose, when all of a sudden there was a loud 'chiit-chitt-chitt' and Chippy shot out of the pipe like the devil on fire was chasing him. I mean, he came blazing out--a blur of fur. But there was almost no time to take it in, for immediately following the chipmunk, came a bright, leaping blur of wet legs and white belly and copper eyes.
I'll be damned if a big ol' frog didn't live down that drain pipe--and scared the crap out of Chip, who screamed off into the yard. The frog was pretty freaked too. It leaped all the way into my garage and tried to get tangled up in a large bale of chicken wire. I waited for him to settle down and pull the "I'm really just a big, dead frog frozen in time" routine. Once he fooled me, I picked him up and cleaned off some of the cobwebs and crap he'd gotten rolled up in, in the garage.
What a trooper! Got him a little de-gunked, took some real beauty shots, and put him back down his home. He wasted no time getting right down to the bottom of the pipe. Chip has a great story to tell his family too. Gosh I'm glad there's a frog living in my yard! I haven't seen any for years. This is a wonderful thing.
Hovering over Home Sweet Drainpipe: