Sometimes it seems as though the slogan "as busy as a bee" should be changed to "as busy as a chipmunk"--at least judging from the activity of these little fellows scampering about, frantically eating everything that they can get hold of. The Chipmunk and his cousin the Mantled Ground Squirrel hibernate during the winter months and so they are at present busy fattening themselves up in preparation for this event which is not far off.
The other day the writer was startled by a loud clatter of glass just outside the window of the Naturalist's office. Investigation proved that several of the flower jars of the wild flower display had fallen to the concrete porch and broken. The pieces were picked up and work resumed when another clatter called me to the window. Then the culprits were discovered. Cavorting about among these jars in search of seeds and berries on display the chipmunks had overturned several of the glasses. The seeds of the Avalanche Lily were entirely consumed and the sprigs of the Huckleberry and Currant were also pillaged and many other displays of seed pods were stripped as clean as a whistle. So to prevent any further breaking of jars, a few morsels of dry bread were scattered about--the frisky little thieves falling upon it ravenously.
That these sleek, fat chipmunks make tasty morsels to some of our neighbors here on the Mountain is evinced by the number of hawks that may be seen gliding about wherever Mr. Chipmunk and his cousins are at work. During the past week the startled cry of this little fellow, as a black shadow glides by overhead, is evidence that he is aware of the tempting appearance of his plump little body and is keeping a close watch to prevent himself, and his relatives, from playing the part of "guest of honor" at some feast in the tree tops.
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