Tuesday, June 27, 2000

2000 June

  1. Chipmunks, two of them have been coming for about a week. Today, one of them came while I was sitting on the step, feeding a squirrel. He came in cautiously, but soon was stuffing his little cheeks full of birdseed. I started tossing shelled peanut kernels to him until I put one right under his nose. He ate it, but seemed unaware of the others laying about. Then I started tossing whole peanuts, but with their shells cracked. I was finally able to put one very near him, which he picked up right away, turned around a few times, then took off towards home, which seems to be somewhere near the front (hitch) end of the trailer. A couple of the Jays are getting quite bold. I think that at least one of them will be taking peanuts from my hand before the summer is out.

  2. We had a lot of rain recently (broke records), leaving a small pond in my dooryard. Today, Grackles are having great fun wading in for the drowning worms. They really don't mind the water and, even with their rather long legs, were sometimes belly-deep in it.
  3. Chipmunks either don't have very keen smellers - or they don't have a great love for peanuts. I've seen them shove in-shell peanuts out of the way to get at other seed buried in the litter!

  4. One of the Chipmunks (living by the trailer across the way) now recognizes peanuts as good tucker, and even approaches quite close to fetch them when tossed to him. He always trucks them back home, with his little legs a blur, and his little leaps and bounds. Halftail will now allow me to stroke his back while he is busy munching a peanut. The first time I did this, he immediately turned and looked at me, as if to say, "What'choo doin' there, Boss?"

    A couple of the Jays will be eating from my hand soon, I think. The new folks in the trailer to the left have a cat. They're not supposed to have pets.

  5. I just saw a Jay collect a peanut, fly off about 20 yards and bury it in the yard. He then plucked some grass and brought a dead leaf from a few hops away to cover it! I had no idea that Jays buried food.

  6. This chipmunk is quite a clown. He is now fearless of me - but can't quite bring himself to take a peanut from my hand yet. I saw him in the yard, so grabbed a few peanuts with the idea of enticing him to take a nut from my hand while sitting on the stoop. When I opened the door, it turned out that Halftail was already on the porch. As I was getting rid of him, Mr Chips ran under the porch. As I sat down, waiting for him to appear, I heard a noise behind me! He was practically ready to climb up my back! He races around like a little demon.

    (later) Mr Chips now takes peanuts by hand. I shell one nut, and he takes both kernels in the cheek pouches, and another whole one crosswise in his mouth. These little tykes have a horrendous respiration rate, in excess of 300/minute.

  7. The squirrels sometimes scratch at the door, asking me to come out and play - "And bring the peanuts, please!". Today I heard them scratching and when I opened the door I was greeted by two squirrels on the railing and one on the deck!

    Halftail still rules, warning off the young turks with a soft growl - perhaps muted by a mouthful of peanut! It's quite warm today. The Jays are coming in dripping wet, straight from their bath, I suppose. It's quite amusing to see a squirrel munching a peanut while lying flat on his tummy, on the cool ground, with his back legs splayed out.

  8. I have noticed for several days that two of the squirrels have some sort of damage to their paws. There is a loss of hair, showing pink skin. It seems painful, but not totally disabling. I put it down to mange, or something of that ilk. Today, I noticed that Halftail has a wound on his side, near the juncture of his thigh. He wouldn't stand for a close inspection, so I only got glimpses, but it looks more like a cut about 1" long. The new tenants have a cat that I've chased out of the yard. Perhaps he has something to do with it!

  9. Bought another 50# bag of peanuts: $65 incl. tax

  10. I put out a heel of a tomato that has dropped on the floor. Everyone ignored it - except the Chipmunks. And they only liked the seedy pulp.

  11. Ducks! Three Mallards in the back yard, eating something, with a few Crows.

    I thought that the Chipmunk would like some peanut butter, but he sniffed it, tasted it, then went back to scrambling around looking for his peanut!

    When he (the Chipmunk) first sees me at the door, he gets so excited that he races around like a kid on Christmas morning!