Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sick Chipmunk

Sick Chipmunk
Originally uploaded by PhoebeJ.
This is the sad story of a sick chipmunk and how tough life in the wild can be. I was in Connecticut on a drizzly spring day and noticed that some of the chipmunks in the yard were a lot smaller than the others. It seems there were quite a few chipmunk babies.

One chipmunk, the one pictured here, was lethargic and somewhat strange looking. (Its eyes were never completely open and its rear legs didn't move right.) I approached it to throw some birdseed right near it since moving seemed to be a problem. He (or she?) managed to pick up some of the seed, but the other chippers didn't even bother to chase him. They must of realized that he wasn't right.

At one point I saw him belly up under the pachysandra, and I thought he'd met his maker. But he managed to right himself. He ultimately disappeared under the greenery. I don't know if he found shelter for the night or if exposure and other critters hastened his departure, but I kept reminding myself that 75% of creatures born in the wild don't make it to their first birthday. It's a jungle out there.

The irises were coming into bud. More than 30 buds are about to bloom. Spring birds have shown up: hummingbirds, chipping sparrows, rose-breasted grosbeaks. New frogs too.

Grosbeak & Chipping


The wood frogs had laid eggs weeks ago. Those eggs are now tadpoles which are getting bigger by the day. There are also some much smaller tads who may be other frogs or salamanders. I can't tell!

Tadpoles II

1 comment:

Grumpy Old Man said...

Sorry about Mr. Chipmunk.

I'm reminded though, of the long routine about the Daddy Alligator, who's supposedly a hero for stomping on all the alligator eggs, because without him, we'd be "ass deep in alligators."