Monday, October 4, 2010

Chipmunk Bonanza

The temperature was cooler today, a reminder of the change of seasons and what will be coming as fall turns to winter. It is time to lay in seed. We feed the birds throughout the year though it seems we also feed a host of others as well. Some of our regular other customers are squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks. They tend to scavenge the seed that has been tossed off the feeders. The chipmunks (nicknamed munkers by our great-nephew when he was two years old) reside underneath the hose box beyond our back window and behind the arborvitae on the side of the house. They are cautious creatures generally, perhaps because they are so small, but not so much when my husband cleans out the feeders, clearing out the seeds that start to sprout. Then the munkers lose all reticence. This little one came out at just the right time for a seed bonanza. He stuffed his cheeks and ran back to his burrow. He refilled those cheeks three or four times before deciding he had enough. We watched his cheeks expand with each seed payload; obviously his mother never told him not to stuff his mouth. And that is a good thing. He was stockpiling food for the cold weather. Chipmunks hibernate during winter but will awaken several times to munch on their accumulated stash.

I tend to stockpile goods, too, in our freezer. I freeze nuts and seeds (my grandmother used to do that and I do now), flour, home baked cookies, sliced summer veggies and luscious berries. Even though I can buy my groceries at the supermarket whenever I choose, it is still a comfort having that extra supply in the background. Not so different from the munkers, I guess. It keeps a person humble.

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