Monday, June 7, 2010

new kid on the block

There is a new addition to my backyard. One very vocal chipmunk has appeared. I had chipmunks in my yard 20 years ago but that family disappeared. I have missed their sassiness.
His/her call is a fast, high-pitched series of “chip, chip, chip” warning of intruders, ie. cats and me. I first spotted it running up a tree it's tail held straight up.

Why do I bore you with such a trivial happening in my world?It's a chipmunk for heaven's sake! I write about this because it has been raining and raining and raining. I reached an end of sorts and this small chirpy creature cheered me. My hope is that it will be a presence for a long time.

Do you know how to tell the difference between a chipmunk and a squirrel? When you look at their faces chipmunks have stripes along their heads and faces. Some squirrels have stripes on their body, but there are no squirrels with striped faces.

"Townsend’s chipmunks are considered ecologically beneficial because they spread the spores of fungi around the forest on their feet and in their feces. As fungi grow, they help the forest by providing nutrients to the trees. When forest companies replant trees after logging, they sometimes consider chipmunks to be a problem because they eat Douglas-fir seeds. In reality, by caching, or storing, the seeds they collect, chipmunks sometimes plant new trees."

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