Now that chipmunk season is almost a wrap-up, it seems like there is a bit of an “after hours” type party happening. I didn’t realize until Chippie’s departure into her burrow that she was quite the watchdog. Chippie reigned from the perch of our deck, chased away other chipmunks from our garden and guarded her territory– that I knew. I also knew that she and her nemesis, El Chippo, were always chasing one another. In her absence he enjoyed a couple of days of playing and jumping on the formerly forbidden places. As an example, I watched him leap from the deck into the garden and then slide down the tomato stakes like a little fireman. Fortunately we had finished harvesting the garden for the season. Then even he went underground and two new characters showed up: Long Tail Sally and Wishy.
I took this photo of Sally from inside my sunroom since she would run away from me when I went outside. Her tail is long and skinny.
I got a shot of her starting to jump off the ledge as I approached her outside.
She was still curious about me, though. Can you see her above?
She was playing peek-a-boo, similar to Chippie!
She eventually came out of hiding.
She likes the sun, especially since the high today was only in the 30s!
This is Wishy who is named after Lawrence Wishner, the author of the book I have been reading:
His book, Eastern Chipmunks: Secrets of Their Solitary Lives inspired and encouraged me to pursue my interest in my little courtyard jesters that inhabit my yard. He spent his retirement years documenting and photographing the chipmunks on his property. Each had a name like “Lady Cheltenham,” “Fenwick” and “Mistriss Earwicker” with a biography at the back of the book. He was like the Gladys Kravitz of chipmunkville but with a scientific spin. I never thought I’d be able to tell one chipmunk from another but this has been an opportunity to strengthen my observation skills and attention to detail.
Chipmunks are loners. They live alone all summer and even hibernate/torpor alone. Baby chipmunks get kicked out of their mother’s burrow as soon as they can fend for themselves. They spend their days guarding their territory which leads to frequent scuffles and chases. Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me that they would appreciate a human friend/food source to help stock up for the long winter.
I really appreciate them and am sad that the days of my visitors coming to see if the nice old lady can be conned into giving them some free food are numbered.