The sideways tame chipmunk caper

My guy, talkin' bout my guy

My guy, talkin’ bout my guy

Dear Reader, so much has happened since we last communicated, ‘way back in June of 2015.  Had I been blogging in August you would have met our tame chipmunk, a very sweet and sassy fellow who took over our hearts.

Since you and I are now reacquainted, you must meet Chippy.  In all the years we’ve lived in the north woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we’ve never met a tame chipmunk.

This guy initially crept forward to snatch the proffered sunflower seeds, slowly, slowly,then less cautiously, then–nibble, nibble, nibble.  GULP!

The next day he ran forward and up my knee.  Oh yum! he said, Can I have some more?  He stuffed his mouth to the brim.  Five seeds, twenty seeds, forty seeds.  He’d run up and down our legs, our arms, anywhere a stray sunflower seed roosted.  Then off he’d leap toward the garden–hello, goodbye, see you tomorrow!

One day Barry arrived from work and held out his hands, smiling, saying, “Sorry, Chippy, no seeds!”  Chippy looked at him in disbelief, scurried up his leg toward the open hands, searched for the non-existent seeds, peered at his face in annoyance, and abruptly bit his hand.  He then glared, stomped his little feet, and ran off toward the wood pile without looking back.

(Last time we held out our empty hands to him!)

Today I am going to show you the sideways tame chipmunk caper.  It will be a test of our friendship.  Because it has proved impossible to turn the video around with technological savvy, you’ll have to watch Chippy climb all over Barry from a sideways angle.

If you’re already in love with Chippy’s antics, turn your computer sideways.  I promise you’ll adore him as much as we do.

OK, 46 seconds of sweet mush, yes?  Here’s the rub, my friends.  We do not know if Chippy survived the winter.  We do not know if he survived the fall.  We haven’t seen him since last October.  We are waiting with bated breath to see if he appears with the robins, the wildflowers and the spring peepers.

We’re waiting to see if he was a crafty fellow who survived from an excess of seeds–of it he was TOO trusting.  What do you think?



About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in April, 2016 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to The sideways tame chipmunk caper

  1. susanblake says:

    So good to hear from you! I, too, had a chipmunk who ate out of my hands. He’d actually call for me if I wasn’t on the deck when he was and he’d come up the stairs when I called him. Sadly our affair lasted but one season. Perhaps you will be more fortunate.
    Loving Florida!
    Susan aka Suzen

    • Kathy says:

      So glad to hear you’re still loving sunny Florida, Susan. I was there a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it, too! How cool to hear about your chipmunk, but sorry to hear it only lasted such a short time. (However, I guess it’s precious whether it happens for one season or two or three.)

  2. So glad to see you blogging again – and what a comeback! Fingers crossed for Chippy and more episodes of the Chipmunk caper!! Happy spring 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Hello, Zen Archeress. My goodness, yes, have written two blogs in two days already! Glad you enjoyed the Chipmunk Caper and we’re keeping our fingers crossed, too. (For both the return of Chippy AND spring!)

  3. He will return, just as you did! I’m so happy to see you back Kathy! I feel I know you even though we never met. I hope you are doing well. My husband and I have left our beloved UP north cabin in the woods and moved back to western NC. I do miss it so! But I have a beautiful 16 month old grandson who is only minutes away and he has captured my heart, much like the woods of the great north. This is a very different chapter in my life, but none the less beautiful. I look forward to reading your post! Glad you came back to search for some seeds 🙂 Happy Spring! Blessings, Gay

    • Kathy says:

      Hello again Ms Green Bean, and thank you for stopping by to share about your beautiful grandchild–lucky you! I can imagine he has captured your heart. It’s interesting how times and places keep changing, yet some things remain the same throughout all the change. Is it geen down there in North Carolina now? I am ready for some green up here–and then to see if Chippy returns. Take care, Gay.

  4. Fountainpen says:

    I think perhaps he did not survive
    But what a gift for a little while

    The little while each of us has
    No matter how long or little it is!!!!!

    • Kathy says:

      Your thoughts are wisdom indeed, Fountainpen. To remember that each moment is a gift. We don’t know how long it is, but it’s blooming there for us if we pay attention.

  5. Barb Brock says:

    Awe, welcome back, Kathy. I have missed reading your musings. This is just soooo darned cute. I hope Chippy finds you soon. Thank you for sharing this and making me smile.

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, how nice to see you! I am smiling from ear-to-ear seeing old these old friends once again. Will keep you updated re the Chippy adventure. (well, that is, if we see the little rascal again…)

  6. Connie T says:

    This is cute. I think you can edit the video and turn it the right way on youtube. It says is the edit part you can rotate the video.

    • Connie T says:

      read the custom and add effects part.

      • Kathy says:

        Connie, I think that tells how to edit YouTube videos. This was something different, maybe an MP4 video through Real Player or some other program. I played around attempting to rotate it for maybe 15 minutes and then realized I could create an entire story around the sideways video theme. That made me grin, so I went with that new idea! Thank you for researching this, though. That was kind of you.

  7. Brenda says:

    Awww this such a sweet story ❤ I hope he returns because you guys are wonderful friends for him! ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, it was fun to share this story with you! If I could have figured out how to rotate the video, would have put it on Facebook last summer. We are hoping he returns, too, although not counting on it.

  8. Ah yes, such a pleasure to see you back at it Kathy 🙂 I myself am less of a blogger these days with only a couple of longer posts a month. But that is just because other social media has become much more convenient for quick “hello” kinds of chats. I think of them more like grocery isle exchanges. Whereas, the blog is reserved for sleepovers. You know those long rambling kinds of posts that go much deeper than the ones out in front of the local bakery. As always, take good care and I will keep an eye out for your next post!

    • Kathy says:

      Terrill, I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the grocery store exchanges versus the sleepovers. Yes, what an apt metaphor! Facebook has never felt like a place for longer stories (even though have sometimes tried to make it into that!) and so it’s nice to have a place to settle in and share. Have admired some of your work on Facebook and will try to visit your blog as well. Take care.

  9. sybil says:

    I think your treats would certainly have helped fatten your lil’ friend for the long Winter ahead. I hope he/she made it through …. time to start leaving out seeds and peanuts ?

    Let us know …

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Sybil. There are LOTS of seeds beneath the feeder these days, with all those juncos and finches and red poles and chickadees and blue jays throwing them around. A couple squirrels munch regularly, but so far no Chippy. We shall wait and see. Will indeed let you know. (If I forget, do remind!)

  10. Kathy — Ever the optimist, I’m absolutely confident that Chippy will come round again!

    • Kathy says:

      If enthusiasm and positive thoughts count for anything–maybe he’ll show up TODAY! (But probably not–he’d have to wade through too much snow. Let’s count on tomorrow.)


  11. Carol says:

    I’m sure Chippy will return in the fall. He’s a bright one, he will survive!

  12. john k. says:

    If and when you ever figure out whether human intervention is appropriate, let the folks on Isle Royale know so they can figure out how to handle the wolves. There you go tickling our hearts and challenging our minds … ain’t it great!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh what a discussion this could be! (Barry and I’ve discussed it many times.) For example, should one feed birds? Deer? Should one catch and release wood ticks? Kill spiders? Slap mosquitoes? Try to pet dolphins? It’s a conundrum, for sure. But, truly, when a chipmunk runs toward you with those cute cheeks, how could you NOT feed him?

  13. sandiwhite says:

    Kathy, I usually have scads of them running around the yard (but not up my leg!) and I haven’t seen any yet this Spring. You are way farther North than I am, give it some time. Loved the post!

    • Kathy says:

      Sandi, I have only seen two chipmunks so far this “spring”. (I hesitate to call it spring with all the snow this past weekend.) Neither was near our house. So there is still plenty of time for our little rascal to reappear. He has a little dent on one ear, so we think we’d recognize him immediately.

  14. Incredible little bugger. Have no idea if he possibly survived or not. He might have been too tame for his own good. I wonder if he had been hand raised by someone who moved away and he happened to find you guys.

    • Kathy says:

      We pondered if that Chippy was too tame for his own good. We also pondered if he was naturally inclined toward tameness or if he’d had past experience. We shall see if he shows up about the time spring shows up around here!

  15. Reggie says:

    Aww, that is lovely. I’m sure Chippy is going to return in the spring – he is clearly a resourceful little chap. I’m intrigued by the fact that he doesn’t seem to be chewing those seeds – does he just stuff them into his cheeks? We don’t have chipmunks here, the closest we have are probably the grey squirrels and the meerkats (or suricates), which are also very entertaining.

    Have you noticed that you’ve got us all hooked on your blog again, Kathy? See, we don’t forget, we’re all still here, remembering how much fun we had when you were blogging waaaay back…

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie, he doesn’t chew the seeds in front of us. He stuffs them into his cheeks and then runs off into the woods to his below-ground tunnels to shuck off the shells and/or store them. I think it would be great to see a meerkat. What a treat that you have them!

      Glad you’ve stopped by to say hello; we did have lots of fun over the years! That is one part of blogging that I’ve missed.

  16. Sharon Pio says:

    I am so-o-o very glad you are back, you have truly been missed.

  17. lom says:

    Lovely to have you back, Chippy is so cute, hope he turns up

    • Kathy says:

      Hello, nice to see you. We have had so much snow in the last few days he might not want to reappear for a while yet. Winter just keeps on a’comin’.

  18. Heather says:

    This is absurdly cute.
    On the subject of whether to pet or not, I’d have to abstain. I’m afraid it would only make dear chippy easy fodder for a certain puppy who has never killed an animal, but is pretty sure chipmunks make excellent play things 😉

    • Kathy says:

      You know, Heather, you are probably right about that certain adorable puppy who might lose some of his adorableness if too near a tame chipmunk! I thought this video was so cute, too. Had wanted to share it on FB last summer but never could turn it the right way. It was obviously meant to be a sideways blog!

      • Heather says:

        I like sideways blog videos 😉
        Did you ever see the photo of Petey with the juvenile squirrel last summer? We came upon one in the woods, and though very excited, he sniffed it, kissed it, and then moved on.

  19. I’m worried, that’s what I think. Tough winter. All those sub-zero temps. The chipmunks around here huddle in the rock walls. And they go for the bird seed on the ground, which is great. Please, please let us know if Chippy returns!

    • Kathy says:

      Hmmm, Pam, we simply have no clue if this one will return. It was a mild winter here first, and now it’s been never-ending. Another foot of snow in the last few days. Arghhghgh! Of course it’s melting, but not quickly enough. Will let you know if we see our little fella again.

  20. Debbie M. says:

    I enjoyed the video, but I think I smiled the most in recognizing the Yooper accent! Despite living up there for the first 22 years of my life, I escaped without the accent. (Not sure how that happened!) And I do hope that your furry little friend returns!

    • Kathy says:

      So, Debbie, which one of us did you think has the Yooper accent? Neither one of us are originally from here–but we’ve been here 37 years, so maybe it’s becoming second-nature. Neither of our kids seem to have it. Although, who knows? maybe others would say so.

  21. debyemm says:

    We’ve Chipmunks here in Missouri too but I’ve never tried to tame any. LOVED hearing your voices !! The Daffodils are long gone here but the Spring Peepers are still making noise as our Spring weather keeps fighting with Winter who hates to leave us for another whole year !!

    • Kathy says:

      How fun that you enjoyed our voices, Deb! It was fun doing that video last summer. Summer may never come here again…lol…at least that’s what some folks are mumbling & grumbling. Almost another foot of snow in the past couple of days. Never-ending. By the way, I’m not sure we had anything to do with taming that chipmunk. I’ve tried before with no success. It was just that one’s personality. He arrived with tame genes or something. P.S. Could you send some spring this way?

  22. So adorable. I hope it made it through the winter. Ours was mild, so he could have made it through a southwestern Ontario winter. So glad you are back….may have said this before…but do not disappear again….please

    • Kathy says:

      We are keeping our fingers crossed, LouAnn. (Gosh is that how you spell your name? I HAVE been gone too long!) As of this very moment can’t ever imagine “officially” closing the blog again, but as to disappearing…depends on which “side” shows up, the extroverted or introverted. The part which loves silence or the part which totally loves sharing. 😉

  23. Barb says:

    Chippy is still laying low – too much snow and cold for a guy who has all those seeds stored. He’s probably watching reruns on TV. I have a chippy, too, who lives in my rock garden wall. So far it has not shown itself. However, I have a Pine Marten who visits so both squirrels and chipmunks must beware of that carnivore. Good to see you back, Kathy. I hope your snow quits soon, but your forest must love the moisture. (That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.)

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, Barb, think of all those carnivores out there licking their lips at the thought of a squirrel or chipmunk lunch. On the other hand, let’s NOT think about that! (But I am thinking about how much the woods is eating up this moisture. What a good point.)

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