How does one go about adopting a chipmunk?
Who doesn’t enjoy their cheek-filling antics, tail-held-high scampers, and bright-eyed visits?
This wildlife painting and the above lines were penned before we bought our present home on the edge of a large forest!
The appetite of the chipmunk has dictated many changes in our garden…resulting in giving away the raspberry canes…and concord grape. Guess who stole the fruit??
I can’t part with the black currant bush. Not yet. This spring I plan on sewing nylon screening into a big draw stringed bonnet… hoping to save the currants. I hope to be the one making jam….not Mrs. Chipmunk!
The chipmunk in the painting is a very industrious creature. It makes an extensive burrow system more than 3.5 metres long. Some tunnels contain about seven litres worth of its winter food supply. (It’s not surprising that the meaning of their Latin name tamias means steward.) The chipmunk may live in the same burrow for many seasons. Their lifespan varies from three to seven years.
Enemies of the chipmunk are weasels, foxes, hawks, and domestic cats.
Wouldn’t you like to see them in their underground homes?
Sleeping quarters are kept scrupulously clean. Shells, husks and feces are stuffed in refuse tunnels.
My husband always wondered how this endearing specimen of wildlife got the dirt out of the tunnels it dug. One day he saw her at work…pushing the dirt ahead of her with her nose!
The chipmunk, like the one in the wildlife painting above, has entertained us during many a supper in the garden.