It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to be another creature’s jackpot. Chipmunks have a very rough life fraught with constant danger and often, enmity from humans. Desi, a new friend this season who was one of the chipmunk babies from last fall all grown up almost got killed by my neighbor’s dog this morning. She lives in her yard but comes to visit. I was outside waiting for her and I heard growling, then the sound of the dog slamming into the fence and rustling leaves. I’ve heard this before and usually I see a squirrel running for its life over the fence. Today it was sweet little Desi only she made her escape through a small space underneath it.
Yesterday evening after watching Lawrence Welk I was sitting on the rocking chair in the sunroom. I saw my neighbor’s chipmunk I named Buddy standing up looking over at my house. Ricky had more babies and he has been very interested in everything happening. Like all chipmunks he is sweet, charming and curious. They continually fill me with joy.
Wayne came in and was standing somewhat in front of me when I saw something odd in the neighbor’s yard behind him where Buddy had been standing. I didn’t have my glasses on and the sun was low in the sky behind her house. I put on my glasses. It was a hawk perched on the ground with its wings partially open looking like a large angel of death. I ran out but it was too late. I watched it fly away with Buddy. I’m devastated. I had always prayed that I would never witness this very thing. I was able to save his life almost one year ago when a hawk was dive-bombing him. Not this time.
This morning when I got into my car I noticed that the condensation on my windshield looked like a rising icy sun with warming rays. When I returned home I heard a bird singing and a chipmunk calling as I started walking towards my sunroom doorway. The mysterious chipmunk who made a brief appearance yesterday morning for Groundhog Day must have returned but I couldn’t see it.
“Where are you?” I asked.
It immediately came out from under the deck and jumped on the deck railing.
Here is our Christmas card everyone! A special thanks to my dear little friend, Cider who is presently underground in torpor until the spring. I’m so happy to have and share the gift of chipmunks in my yard with you all.
I’ll be posting Cider the chipmunk’s Christmas card sometime next week, but until then I thought it would be fun to share some outtakes!
I looked outside my window at 6:50 a.m. this morning and saw Cider who also saw me. He gets very animated when we make eye contact. It was going to start raining the next hour followed by at least two days of a mix of snow and ice. I knew it might be my only chance to get my Christmas card photo before he went underground until spring!
It can be challenging working with non-traditional models. You can’t make an appointment with them for a photo shoot because it’s on their terms and timeline. They will NOT work for free. You will have to pay the talent in seed currency as you go, no exceptions.
Although I had just dressed and my hair was still wet I ran outside with my vintage Christmas photo props and jar of seeds. I didn’t even pause to put on a coat despite it being 40 degrees.
Sometimes I can’t contain my joy for living in such a beautiful place, but really, why would I want to? Is it because we’re trained to think that happiness springs from ignorance, so that only simple-minded people are content? Or is informed bliss (the name of my first blog in 2001) in a world filled with sadness and tragedy along with comfort, kindness and connection a real possibility?
YES! Yes it is!
I put up a “No Soliciting” sign on my door about five years ago and since that time I’ve learned that either people (politicians, religious pamphlet types, contractors, but no Avon ladies [do they still exist?]) don’t know the meaning or they believe that they are exempt. If I put up a “No Panhandling” sign on my office window I suppose it would be merely decorative if that. This squirrel was waiting for me, the seed lady, to take a break and look outside my window and then hopefully give him or her seeds on the deck just like I do for Cider. But that didn’t work…
Maine’s autumnal show ain’t over til it’s over! There is still much to appreciate right now including my new chipmunk friend, Cider. At first I thought he lived in my neighbor’s yard but I followed him home and see that he’s living on the other side of my house. About four days ago Buster and Ricky went south (a few feet) underground for the winter so they aren’t here to chase Cider away. Sunny is still awake but I know that she, too will soon be in torpor for winter and the passing of summer’s growth will be complete once it’s covered with a cold white blanket. Thankfully that’s not happening in the near future!
Here are some pics I just took to share all this remaining loveliness with you, including Cider’s audition to be a model.
Yesterday morning we went apple picking for the fourth time this season and took a drive to admire the stunning colors now that they’re peaking. One of the countless things I love about living in Maine is that you don’t need to spend money other than on gas to “do things”. I can’t think of a better production than what is happening around us right now and it’s completely free to witness. I hope you’ll vicariously enjoy our drive and scenic stops along the way: