Captain AC
An Eastern Chipmunk
November 26, 2006


I confess that I find it difficult to tell one eastern chipmunk from another. However, personality makes identification relatively simple.

Eastern chipmunks abound at Cooper's Pond, State College, and it seems like each duplex has its own personal chipmunk. Perhaps we have more than our fair share at the feeding area by our side door.

In addition to the chipmunks at the feeding area are those who hang out in the backyard and take advantage of bird feeder overflow. For one chipmunk, waiting for birds to toss extra seed on the ground wasn't enough.

This fellow would perch on the arm of an outdoor lawnchair and chip for all she was worth. Sue and I named her Armchair (or AC) Chipmunk.
Armchair Chipmunk
She sounded desperate but refused to go to the feeding station proper. As in so many other situations, I gave in and began leaving a small pile of sunflower seeds on the arm of the chair for her to gather.
AC chipmunk at work
When not gathering sunflower seeds, AC chipper adopted the hibiscus pot, which we brought from Long Island.
Captain AC on the quarterdeck
AC regarded the hibiscus as her ship of state that provided shade, protection, and a keen lookout post.

At any particular time, I would see her staring from a different quarter of the pot. It was very easy to think of her walking a quarterdeck.

Captain AC Chipmunk relaxing

The hibiscus itself cannot tolerate weather below freezing (so we take it indoors). It was a race against time to see whether AC would begin hibernation or the hibiscus would freeze.

Fortunately, hibernation won, and the hisbiscus was brought in before it lost too many of its leaves.

The next major event is spring: Will the temperature be warm enough in time for the hibiscus to return outside to be ready for AC?

Photo note: I used a Pentax *ist D, with either the SMC-A* 200mm or 300mm lens for these photos, which were taken during October 2006.  

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