This Eastern Chipmunk is one clever chipmunk! It found the yummy snack machine called the bird feeder. It went right up the pole and onto the plexiglass bottom landing tray. Because the chipmunk is very light, the animal did not trip the anti-squirrel mechanism and the tray did not dump the little rodent off. Oh well. Sly cute and funny. It is hard to be mad when these things happen. We likely will need to add a steel baffle on the pole. Maybe if we are lucky, that will work.
In the mean-time, one of the Grey Squirrels was up on our front porch yesterday morning. I am not hopeful that the squirrel won’t try to jump onto the bird feeder some day soon. If it does, it will not stay on the tray unless it really works at it. Hopefully all will be OK rodent-wise. I took these pictures yesterday (5/17/12) from my living room window. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
This little Eastern Chipmunk has twice been here on the porch. It is attracted by some spilled bird seed which I’m sure is a delicacy for the tiny and very cute rodent. The Eastern Chipmunks spend the colder months in their underground dens. I have only seen the Chipmunk the past couple of days so it either came from the far reaches of the little farm or was underground all this time. Who can say?
These Chipmunks eat seeds, nuts, fruits, roots, eggs and certain insects. Mostly though, they are plant-eating critters. They transport their food in pouches inside of their cheeks. Eastern Chipmunks are light brown with dark brown stripes on their backs and buff undersides. Running fast is a trait that allows the Chipmunks to avoid predators such as Hawks and Coyotes. I took the picture from my living room window yesterday at twilight. It was raining when I took that picture, which may also be another reason why the Chipmunk was on the covered porch. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
If you were wondering if there are any Grey Squirrels here at the new place, the answer is, yes! There are a few squirrels that live in the trees in the gulch area at the far end of the property. I noticed that the squirrels run full-speed across the wide open pasture spaces to get to the small grove of large Oak Trees that are located right at the shoreline of the pond. I think that the squirrels are enjoying the fallen acorns now. I don’t think that many of the trees in the little gully or gulch are Oaks.
The Grey Squirrels do not seen numerous but then, I do not yet have a bird feeder out! Ha! Anyone who has had a bird feeder in squirrel territory understands that if you feed them (even if not wishing to do so), they will come! So far, I have only seen two squirrels at any one time. That seems like a nice number to me. I like squirrels and was glad to see them here and take their picture. These pictures were all taken in my yard this past week. By the way, we are into our second day of nearly non-stop rain here. We have a few new migratory ducks here with the Blue Heron and the Canada Geese. I will post about our waterfowl tomorrow. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
The Grey Squirrels here in my yards are fairly well-behaved most of the time. The really naughty behavior is when they raid the bird feeders. They also take the telephone line highway from place to place. I am hoping to keep these guys out of my newly planted veggie garden. We will hope and see. The Grey Squirrels are having a ball up in my large Tulip Poplar at the moment. Apparently the squirrels love the blooms as they have been shredding the flowers apart and my lawn has about ten or so ripped blooms. The Tulip Poplar flower has some kind of yummy center that the squirrels just adore. The Tulip Poplar will only be flowering for a few more days so when that is over, the squirrels will be into some other activity (hopefully not the vegetable patch). I also see the squirrels occasionally chase the doves or even, at times, the Blue Jays. Always interesting to watch, the squirrels are bold, funny, and sometimes quite clever.
I think that unless the squirrels start tearing into the vegetables, I can manage shooing them off of the feeders once in a while. By the way, on a different topic altogether – I noticed a pair of Canada Geese on a nearby smaller lake had their newly hatched offspring out on the water yesterday afternoon. There is a pair sitting on a nest in my next door neighbor’s backyard now. It won’t be long before I can take pictures of goslings and ducklings here. You’ll be the first to see the new babies when I do see them out and about. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A mysterious swimming animal has twice before shown up just at the shoreline near my dock. The animal has generally been here just as it gets dark. Yesterday afternoon at about 4:30 PM, I finally saw the animal in good light and the animal was visible above the water. I took several pictures. I found out that this animal is a Common Muskrat. This animal has thick, brown fur and an excellent swimming and diving ability. The Muskrat is mostly a vegetarian but under stress, could eat nearly anything. The Common Muskrat breeds twice a year and has about 3-6 young in each litter. Last night I sent a photo of this animal to my local officials who are the people in charge of operations for this 101 acre private community lake. The lake is one of several in my local community here in Cumberland County, TN. The key official here told me this morning that the community’s lake officials will investigate and do what is best. I was happy to finally get a decent look at this Common Muskrat. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Diving (Best look at the tail)
Chipmunks can be speedy little food gatherers! The resident Chipmunk that lives in my back yard has learned to run up the pole and grab a fast bite from the bird feeder. Guess the little guy saw the Grey Squirrels doing that and copied the strategy. The Chipmunks also are picking up Acorns, Hickory Nuts, Walnuts, Butter Nuts, and berries and seeds. The Chipmunks also eat insects, duck eggs, and any small animal that they can catch. They store up a large number of seeds and nuts for the colder winter months. It does occasionally snow here but not on a regular basis during the winter. The Chipmunks have a large tunnel system (maybe they use gopher or vole tunnels too) with many holes to enter and exit by. So far I have not ever had any trouble from the Chipmunks here. I know that others have had problems with the Chipmunks digging or eating prized flowers. I consider myself lucky. I just get to enjoy all of the speedy comings and goings. I am though, in the process of training the Chipmunk not to climb on the bird feeder (I just come outside and make a lot of noise and scare it off). I took these pictures this past week in my yards. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
I recently took these pictures of some of the many Grey Squirrels we have in our neighborhood. The Grey Squirrels are busily gathering nuts, acorns, and such for the coming winter. They sometimes cache their food but don’t recall where they put it away. In time, other Squirrels or Chipmunks may come across the food and eat it themselves. In some cases, the uneaten nuts acorns and seeds will actually sprout! Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Three Squirrels and a Rabbit
The young Grey Squirrels here are all up racing around chattering, posturing, and challenging each other over sweet young lady squirrels. I saw three males and a female in a single Oak Tree recently. The female was at the far end of the branch with a dominant youngster in front and the other two guys trying to also court her. Nothing doing said the dominant young male! It was tender and comical. None of the squirrels got hurt in all of this, at least not from what I could see. Just a right of passage for all teen-agers, I’m sure. These Grey Squirrels have been chasing each other all around the yards, both in my own yards and those of my next door neighbor. They were so rowdy that they even got a little Cotton-tail Rabbit worried! Good thing the we have a lot of trees here! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of the photograph. Enjoy! Update: The Squirrels and Chipmunks are not the only ones cleaning up under the new back yard bird feeder. Just this afternoon I actually saw a Mallard Duck fly back to the water from under that feeder! – Wildlifewatcher.
The Sweet Little Lady
Dominate Male Suitor
Defending the Sweet Lady
Suitor Number Two
Suitor Number Three
The Grey Squirrels are very acrobatic animals. They are also quite clever. The Squirrels here have figured out that our telephone electric lines are a great way to get around. I have seen many Squirrels using the wire as an expressway, turnpike, or freeway! They effortlessly balance and run along the wire from place to place, tree-top to tree-top. The downside to all of this running on the lines is the wear and tear damage to our electric wires, poles, and of course, the occasional danger to the Squirrels themselves. Non-the-less, those Squirrels do travel! I recently took these pictures in my neighborhood. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger size of that photo. Enjoy!