Vacation chipmunk post

We have a bunch of stuff going on in the next week, so I'm taking a couple of days off for an early birthday semi-celebration.  In that spirit, rather than something technical, this week's post is about chipmunks.

If you haven't noticed, chipmunks are everywhere this year.  And it's not just your imagination.  Apparently there was a very large crop of acorns and other nuts last fall and this enabled a larger portion of the chipmunk population to survive the winter.  So now they've inundated the entire north east.  

A chipmunk eating out of a cat bowl near my front steps.

In a typical summer I would see a chipmunk once in a while.  They're definitely around in western New York, but they're normally a lot less common (at least in residential areas) than gray squirrels.  But this year I see them multiple times almost every day.  In fact, one even took up residence under our front porch.  Since I have a soft spot for them, and they don't seem to be bothering our plants, we put out an old cat dish and filled it with bird seed.  Needless to say, the chipmunk seems to appreciate this - the sunflower seeds were a particular hit.

A chipmunk sitting on my in-laws' back steps.

They've gotten pretty brazen, too.  The picture above is a chipmunk on my in-laws' back steps.  He had just been sitting up, staring down their golden retriever, as if mocking him for not being able to catch him through the glass.  Probably not a good habit for a chipmunk, but at least it's entertaining.

Though they're a pest to some, I don't mind the chipmunks.  Even if they do cause some problems, of all the plagues that have been unleashed this year, they're by far the cutest and most endearing.

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