Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Chipmunks near my home in the Colorado Rockies take full
advantage of the black oil sunflower seeds I feed the birds on my upper deck. Seeds fall below and they scramble from their dens in the rocks and gather their stores.  I love watching them scamper around, dine on grasses, and chatter in their sweet chirrups.

Last summer I had an unforgettable experience with one of them.

My dog had recently had surgery and wasn't allowed to jump up on furniture. I knew he would jump on my bed and hurt himself, so I took the bed apart, launched it over my deck railing, and threw it away (I'm certain if any neighbors could see me they questioned my sanity). Every morning I opened my large deck door to let in the cool morning breezes. One day I was up very early, opened the door, and returned to my bed on the floor. 

A little while later I felt someone staring at me and very slowly opened my eyes. There he was. A chipmunk was perched on my left shoulder staring right into my eyes as I lay sleeping on my side. I quietly said "hello little guy" to him and very gingerly began to sit up. Amazingly, he didn't run away from fear. He just ran down my arm to the floor in front of me and looked straight into my eyes. I continued talking to him while placing a blanket over my dog so he wouldn't awaken and scare the little guy. I gently sat up and stood up. He never moved.

Once I was standing, he chirruped and looked at me and went several feet to my bedroom door. I followed as he went a few more feet, turned and looked at me again. I followed him all the way out of the house to my upper deck where he jumped on the railing, looked up at the bird feeder, and proceeded to tell me that it needed to be refilled!

What a brave and intelligent little guy! 

I filled the bird feeder and he scampered below to graze. Several more times that summer he entered my house, found me, and told me the feeder was empty. I named him "Oliver" because he seemed to keep saying, "Please, sir, may I have more?"

The chipmunks have emerged once more and I look forward to seeing my little friend, Oliver, again.