Monday, October 23, 2017

Saved by a rodent

 I've had trouble lately getting sufficiently inspired by my observations of nature to post upbeat descriptions of what I see.  In fact, I was on the brink of writing something about the President and his team of destroyers.  My friend in southern California who writes a blog called "The Way I See It," almost always describes what he finds to be beautiful - wildflowers, cultivated flowers, tree bark, the ocean, etc., - but during the past few months he has felt compelled to share how distraught he is over our current political situation.  We share the perception that the president is a dangerous buffoon and is in the process of destroying much of what we consider beautiful, not to mention necessary for our continued survival as a species.  But, what saved me from writing about this sort of thing was a dead chipmunk on my front lawn.  At first glance, I saw the red underside of the tail and the white belly and thought it was a Douglas Squirrel (AKA Chickaree), but when I tipped it over, I saw the stripes on the face which made it a chipmunk.  It's been a number of years since my taxonomic interest was focused on distinguishing among our many species of chipmunks, but I still enjoy a close-up view of most any wild mammal.  This one had cheeks full - probably acorns - and was rather wet and dark looking, so I couldn't match it with any of the chipmunk pictures in my field guides.  I'm just glad it was there to take my mind off Trump.

Just  a few yards away from this unfortunate chipmunk is a fresh pile of dirt pushed up by a gopher.  I'm hoping to trick it into showing itself some sunny afternoon - like maybe tomorrow. After I get a photo or two, I'll wish it well, then maybe get a video clip of it covering its hole.

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