For today’s #NatureDoodlewash we’re pausing along the path to watch this tiny little chipmunk. This little guy is the smallest member of the squirrel family and it’s always fun to spot one scurrying across the grass. They’re incredibly cute, but can reach havoc on your yard since they love to make extensive burrows that can be pretty deep. Luckily, I don’t have a yard, so I’m free to just enjoy how cute they are and not worry about the collateral damages they bring. Also, they always make me think of the cartoon Alvin and the Chipmunks, which I always liked as a kid.
Though you sometimes see more than one at once, chipmunks are social animals. They pretty much like to keep to themselves, except during mating season in the spring. Like bears, chipmunks hibernate, but unlike bears, they don’t store fat to help them through the long winters. Instead, they have massive cheeks that can stretch nearly three times larger than their head. When its warm, they stuff their face like a grocery sack and make trips back home to store the extra food. Then they can simply eat from their well-stocked pantry when the temperatures start to freeze.
As a kid, watching chipmunks run around, I often worried for them as they’re so incredibly small. So many predators existed that could harm them, and I always hoped they’d make it back home safely. As an adult, I realize now, the human world can also be a dangerous place. At least animals know which of the other animals they should avoid. But, for now, I’ll just sit here and focus on the peace I wish were more prevalent on this planet today. Quietly watching the beauty of a more natural world, in the charming antics of a tiny little chipmunk.
Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month!