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Chipmunks - 192 / Wyatt - 0

I have decided that Chipmunks should be made the animal of the week.  "Why?"  You may ask.  I can only provide this initial answer, "Because there are just so darn many of them." 

Chipmunks in Western Colorado -  Tamias quadrivittatus - are not threatened.  They are listed on the IUCN Red List as a "species of least concern." 

I imagine the people who are least concerned with chipmunks are not trying to grow flowers on their back porch and haven't struck up a deal with the humingbirds to provide them lovely luscious nectar giving blooms throughout the summer and early fall.

Now, Yes.. I know I am complaining about chipmunks, and how can anyone, least of all an animal communicator, complain about chipmunks?  They are so darned cute! 

Well, its true, chipmunks are cute, and they do some very nice things for the environment.  They help spread tree seeds, establishing seedling trees by forgetting where they hide seeds when  they scatter hoard, or by abandoning their burrows when they larder hoard. They also help spread fungi, especially fungi that are important to forest ecology. Beneficial symbiotic tree fungi.   And truffles.  Where would we be without truffles?

Beyond all of their important jobs as members of the forest community, while on their eating and food hoarding mission that leads to the spread of trees and tree loving fungi - and beyond thier ability to completely decimate my porch flowers, what chipmunks really do phenomenally well is entertain Wyatt (my dog).

They entertain him by sitting on logs, taunting him with their warning chirps, and then hiding under the logs as he tries to catch them, taunting him further with more warning chirps.

He never catches them.  And he tries in earnest.

So far we have counted the number of chipmunk to dog skirmishes since midsummer, and the skirmish win record currently stands at Chipmunks - 192,  Wyatt - 0.

So, for their bravery (in tantalizing a very large dog) and audacity (in eating all of my porch flowers) and their important role in the forest eco-system., hereby award Chipmunks the "Animal of the Week" award. 

What does this award mean? 

It means that I won't kick the super fat, super glossy chipmunk who all eats the grain Otto spills in the morning,  out of the barn when I see him.  It means I won't let the cat chase and catch the chipmunks who live in the rocks around the patio.  It means I will appreciate all the chipmunks living around me this week, no matter how annoyed I am that my flowering plants are now just stalks... previously flowered stalks.

I will celebrate the chipmunks this week, and the stalks, and the tree seedlings, and the fungi, and the well challanged and tired out dog they leave in their wake. 

Viva La Chipmunk!

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