Posted by: deadmousediaries | September 21, 2012

News from the Path Valley Hotel, Episode #36 – It’s Raining Chipmunks

I never know quite what to brace myself for when I come in the door and someone says:  “Hey! Guess what I caught today!” Some days that answer is more appealing than others.

Meet Chip. Adorable, right? He’s the latest addition to the catch-and-release stories at the Path Valley Hotel.  We had a magnificent downpour here earlier today and instead of raining cats and dogs, it was apparently raining chipmunks . One of the advantages of having spouting that spouts everywhere with very little connectivity is that little scampering things can be easily apprehended on their rush to nowhere.

Even though he had been temporarily detained in a plastic jug (for his photo session) I can assure you no harm came to him (or her; we didn’t examine the special features).

Adorable as they are, Chipmunks are little scoundrels and will gnaw their way through and into lots of places that are better left untresspassed if you’re looking at it from a human perspective.  They are also accomplished pickpockets and will stuff their little cheeks to bursting while they rob your bird feeders –if the squirrels stay away long enough.

Chippies carry their babies for about a month and when they are born they are about the size of bumblebees. Mom takes care of them in their underground burrow for about six to eight weeks while they grow out of that blind and hairless coyote ugly stage.  Once they can finally make a socially acceptable appearance, she will bring them above ground where the babies get their first views of the world while clinging to her back.

Chipmunk sightings are in full bloom now but  will become more and more rare as summer fades into fall. Chippies head to their burrows in November to sleep away most of the winter. Be warned; they are reportedly light sleepers. If you’re filling your bird feeders with any aromatic munchies, you may still see a flash of that little striped tail heading up your downspout.



  1. They must have super strong sniffers…….you’re right, EVERY time I fill my bird feeders, the little critters appear out of no where. Cute but so destructive.

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