For the past two years, I’ve been highly entertained watching a particularly speedy chipmunk race back and forth in our yard between his burrow and our birdfeeders. He does this multiple times a day, rain or shine, cold or hot. He races so fast that we’ve nicknamed him Chippy Ninja Warrior, because he flies over rocks and leaps with ease from the ground to the tree, and from the tree trunk to the birdfeeder dangling several inches away. I’ve come to realize that the little bugger is way smarter than me. In a break from my usual biz postings, here are six reasons why.
- He knows how to avoid raindrops. Despite being small enough to get walloped by a big drop, he knows just how to position himself beneath the leaves of the trees to prevent getting wet while he snacks. As for me, I’m constantly forgetting my umbrella… or forgetting to put it back in the car… or back in my suitcase…
- He can outrun nearly everything else in our backyard Wild Kingdom. Seriously. This little dude is fast. Me? Not so much. Mosquitos can outrun (outfly?) me.
- He is fearless. He’s run right at, and up-ended, large birds like blue kays and mourning doves when they’ve been in his path. Don’t get me started on what I do when I see a bee.
- He plans ahead. According to SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, our little guy generally stores between 5,000 and 6,000 nuts for winter use. Whenever I stock up on items in the winter, they seem to magically run out. I find myself standing in the pantry wondering, What the heck happened to al the pasta? I know I bought some…
- He’s a hoarder. Chipmunks don’t share food supplies. Yep, scientific fact. Me? See my prior predicament, #4.
- He’s a hoarder, part two. In a good year according to scientists, one four-ounce chipmunk, which is what our guy seems to be, can stockpile eight pounds of food. (Sigh…)