Fall babies

It’s… baby season??

🍼🍂: Some critters have babies in the spring, and then again two or three more times before winter comes. Which explains why, when I went for a run the other day, I ended up with this baby chipmunk on my shoe!

🐿️🍂: Coming around a corner in the forest path, I heard a small unfamiliar rustle in the leaves to my left. On closer inspection, I discovered I was surrounded — by baby chipmunks! Their ears and feet too big for their bodies, like little stripey puppies. So a chipmunk, but with the cuteness dial cranked to 11. I’d chanced by a chipmunk burrow just as the babies made their first explorations of the aboveground world.

From Hinterland Who’s Who: “at four to seven weeks old, the young chipmunks begin to leave the burrow to forage. At first they are unafraid, but after a few days above ground they are more wary and escape quickly if disturbed…”.

🌰🍼: It’s a little unusual for chipmunks to have a second litter in the fall, but they’ll do so in a favourable year. And this does seem to be a good year for acorns…

Though this particular baby was very bold — it ran over to me on the path, had a chew on my shoelace, and then ran off again — it didn’t show any signs of distress. A baby critter that is human-clingy or acts in a “are you my parent?” way is showing an unnatural behavior that may indicate they’ve been orphaned.

🐿️🤹: But these baby chippies seemed healthy and rambunctious. I encountered them again in the same spot a few days later, and this time everyone was too busy trying to climb twigs and sedges and check under every leaf to be fussed with me. Perfect.

🐸🐰🦌: In the past couple of weeks we’ve also had encounters with baby tree frogs, baby cottontail bunnies and seen a young fawn with its mom on the trail camera. My own attention may have turned to stacking this year’s winter firewood, but it seems fall baby season is still in full swing!

Have a great week folks! 🍂