We have quite a collection of creatures on our deck. Not only did the little chipmunk get up on the deck today, he managed to get up on the feeder, too. I have no idea how he did it. Good jumper? He can’t climb like the squirrels and he’s less than half their sign, too. Nor has he wings.
But he did it. Sorry, I didn’t get a picture, but I was doing other things and I have learned to finish one thing before I start another. If I don’t finish what I’m doing, it’s entirely possible I won’t even remember what I was doing — much less finish it.
The rain and the wind came and went and surprisingly, we still have a lot of foliage left. I expected to find it all on the ground today. There is a lot of it on the ground, but more of it is still on the trees.
So, from the beautiful wooded Blackstone Valley, here is our Autumn — as good as it gets.
Garry took a lot of these pictures, too. He was out on the road and this time, he took the camera with him!
There’s a story to go with these pictures. It’s one of my “Is my mind really going? Should I be taking something or stop taking something?”
I got lucky. I had the camera, I got a nearly perfect focus on the birds, the squirrel and then the chipmunk showed up too. It was the last golden leaves of Autumn. I took more than 100 pictures which I rarely do in the house.
This was a really busy day. I was running up and down to see how the contractor was doing and all three dogs were barking like mad.
Owen was coming in and out, bringing his stuff back. And my stairlift goes down ONE flight. I have to haul ass on the other stairs … and I’m off my pain meds because my body needs a break or at least, it sure feels like a break.
In the middle of this, there were all these creatures on the deck and I had a camera. They were incredibly cute and for once, I got the focus just about perfect — most of the time, anyway.
I thought about putting this post up later in the week, but it seemed so “now-ish” what with the storm coming and all the leaves coming down tonight.
Here is the story.
I took all these pictures and I did what I do … more to the point, I did what I thought I always do. I took the chip out of the camera and stuck it in the card reader in my computer. Then I watered all the plants (I’ve been intending to do it for a week), moved some money so I could pay the contractor, realized I’d run out of checks, realized I still had checks from when I first opened this account but I had to find them. (I did.)
Somewhere in this process, I lost track of the chip with the pictures. I looked through every chip I own. I checked to make sure I really did take the chip out of the big Olympus.
Finally, my last hope, I looked in my mini Leica — which is the one I used to take pictures of the doors and the contractor — and there was the chip. Apparently, I pulled the chip out of the reader and stuck it in the other camera. I have no memory of doing it, but obviously, I did.
I keep saying miracles happen. I consider this to be one of them.
The first thing I do when I get up in the morning — even if it’s just to give a treat to the barking dogs — is to look at the feeders. At least one of the feeders usually has a tail, so I figure I’m feeding a squirrel. There’s usually a bird or three on the other feeder, one of which is a woodpecker … and these days, a Blue Jay.
I grew up in New York and Blue Jays were common birds. All garden birds were common and until I started to really look at the birds. Unless it was a hawk or a seagull, they were all “just birds.”
It’s funny how I’ve come to become a birdwatcher. I never intended it, but my first sister-in-law was a serious watcher. She used to drag me out of bed before dawn to hear the larks singing.
Then, in Israel, I realized that for a week in April, every raptor in Africa flew through Jerusalem on their way to Europe or Asia. They used to come and sit on our windowsills. Some of them became quite tame … until it was time for them to fly on.
It was a gradual thing. For a long time, I looked at the birds in the winter yard, yet it took years until I put up feeders. Why did it take me so long to put up those feeders?
I don’t know. I really don’t. Maybe because I hadn’t absorbed how endangered this world was and how the beautiful birds were disappearing. I love those birds. They are beautiful, but they are also a symbol. We’ve lost 30 million birds in a decade and will lose another 30 million in five more — or less.
We all need to do the best we can to help where we can. Maybe pay a few cents more for clean energy. Buy some birdseed and feeders. Recycle. We can’t fix everything, but we can do what we can.
We used to have dozens of chipmunks all over our woods. Cheeky little things. If we were “in their way (!),” they would come out onto the driveway and chatter at us.
I know a lot of people don’t like them, but they are funny and for something so small, have a lot of attitude.
One day, a bobcat — a pregnant bobcat — moved into our neighbor’s woodshed and had a little of four cubs. Bobcats don’t live collectively, so all but one of the cubs … and mom too … moved to other parts of the woods. In any case, considering how hungry these little cats seem to be, they need room to find food.
They ate every rabbit, chipmunk, squirrel … basically anything furry and cute. The next generation was born in my tepee. I remember the day I opened the door to my tepee and out leaped a bobcat. New England’s bobcats are about the size of a large housecat, but you’d know immediately it was no house lounger. With the rump set much higher than their front legs — the better to do some incredible leaping — and that funny pointed little tail, not to mention their glowing eyes that shine like torches … that ain’t no pussycat, no sirree.
The bobcat leaped from the tepee. I squawked and moved out of the way. I explained to the cat “Mi casa, su casa,” and I don’t think I ever went into the tepee again.
By the time that second litter was grown and on their own, they used to sit in front of the dog’s fence just to make the dogs bark in a frenzy. I would go out and yell at them to leave the dogs alone. They totally ignored me and would saunter slowly off into the woods.
So this is the first chipmunk I’ve seen since then. I haven’t seen a rabbit yet, but I figure if a chipmunk has found his way home, eventually the rabbits will come back, too.
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