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The Summer of Tamias Striatus
Now nestled in its underground burrow the designer of our backyard golf course is sheltered from the perils of surface life. Throughout the summer chipmunks scampered around gathering food, chased each other and enjoyed the warmth of the afternoon sun. This past year the area experienced an explosion of new striped rodents each bent on making its own borrow complete with an adjoining burrow for guests. The result was an endless array of holes for the backyard putting green. The little creatures are neat. As architects of the hidden hole, quite often their new residence is only discovered after mowing the lawn. By then they have stuffed the shelves and cupboards with the sunflower seeds and last years acorns. Actually they pack chambers with nuts, berries and seeds in quart quantities topped with a nest for winter. When their winter slumber is interrupted they have easy access to snacks.
What they do with the excavated dirt is a mystery because they leave no traces at the entrance. I half expect someday to find a dump truck sized pile of dirt in the middle of the woods far from any road.
To some degree they regulate their population density by guarding their territory and chasing intruders away in a seemingly endless marathon. This year I counted eight separate "territories" in our back yard fringed with many more in the neighboring woods and yards. As the fall gives way to the cold of winter the activities of these non-hibernating sciurids diminishes until next spring, when there may be a small knock at the door. :-)
Stop by again soon and read about exploits of Excavation Ed and his High-Tech tunnel.
Last edited: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:56 pm
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That's a pretty cute perspective on Alvin, Simon and Theodore and their friends, Chip and Dale.
I really enjoyed stewing here.
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