This little guy greeted me this morning near the wood pile. I shot my camera through the kitchen window, so it's a little fuzzy. He looks like he's rolling up a snowball! They sure are cute, but they also will wreak havoc if they find a way inside. They're like a raccoon in that they will open anything that has food in it. My kitchen was a disaster one spring after being gone all winter. The little guy had broken everything that was glass, knocked over books from bookshelves, scattered empty food containers, and left his "markings" all over the place! I have since plugged up all potential holes he might have gotten into and have had a martin-free cabin for the past couple of years. I like that he's around if he stays in his own home -- outside!
“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks.
Most of the time we are simply not patient enough,
quiet enough, to pay attention to the story."
~~ Linda Hogan
I often get to know my animals on such a human level, and they get to know me so well, that I forget to photograph them in their natural habitat. Between rain storms yesterday, I was entertained by one of my little chipmunks foraging, digging and climbing. If I get too close they come running to me and crawl all over me. I have to shoot incognito.
Click image for cool facts
He was looking for the perfect one to climb...
...and climb and ...
.... climb ...
...and then uh oh... hold on...!
...and then he landed!
Chipmunks are native to North America and Asia and are of the genus Tamias, which is the Greek word for "storer". This aptly describes their habit of collecting and storing (I call it stashing) food for the winter. Want to know more about these cute little rodents? Click on the first image above for cool facts.
They've also been called 'striped squirrels', 'chippers', and 'timber tigers',
Foraging in the forest later that same afternoon
Looks like I caught this little guy at his nap time....
My granddaughter's been visiting again. She now loves going "birding", which I'm glad to see because it's a great way to get outside and exercise while sharing with her all the wonderful experiences in nature. We don't focus on just the birds. It's really become the name for our walks and hikes. It gives us time to just talk about life... her life, my life, and life in general...
She's learning to carefully walk through thick forests, a task that strengthens 'being present' and works on improving physical balance. I'm teaching her to find deer trails to make crossing the forest easier. She notices the different bird calls and plant life and often can read the sky for impending rain. She squealed with delight today noticing how the clouds were moving.
This evening just before dark she asked to go "birding". I was glad she was asking to go! We only had time for a short outing and it was too dark for my camera without a tripod, so we basically went on an evening stroll. She fed Scaredy Cat aka Gentle One (the gray jay from CHIPPY's blog) just as we were starting down the road. Scaredy Cat ended up finding us on the trail about five minutes later. She got another nut from us. Toward the end of our walk, I pointed to the red sky and just as I did, Scaredy Cat flew out of the forest and landed on my finger! Neither of us realized she had followed us the whole way!
On the last stretch of our "birding" walk, my granddaughter slipped on the sloping road and took quite a fall. I was silently startled and helped her up and we were both dusting her off. I asked if she were okay. She just started walking again and said, "I'm tougher than that!" (This is a 4 year old!) It sounds like I'm making that up, but that's exactly what happened. I laughed out loud and she giggled too. She reminded me of her mom... It warmed my heart.
I'm an artist, writer, photographer, private investigator and an activist in small ways.
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I visited the Tiger Temple in Thailand & later found out it is under investigation for tiger trafficking and animal abuse. Read full story. In 2015 it was raided. More than 100 tigers and protected bird species in Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province were impounded by authorities following complaints that the temple was alleged to engage in illegal wildlife trading.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious,
awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller
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Read about life in the woods with Chippy & the crew...