While I was eating lunch yesterday, I noticed one of the chipmunks digging a shallow hole in the grout between two of our patio stones. Or, at least, I thought she was digging…really, she turned out to be uncovering a food cache she must have made some time before.
(A side note about chipmunk holes: what they dig up, they often re-cover…also, they’re aerating for free, so let them do their thing; chipmunk poisoning is terrible karma. *Ahem,* certain neighbors.)
Anyway, I watched the chipmunk unbury pieces of walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, and almonds; stuffing them in her cheek pouches and scurrying away to relocate them to another location. I remember seeing something similar last year, so I wonder if chipmunks engage in a sort of Fall pantry re-organizing?
I grabbed my camera and knelt to take photos through the window. I focused on the hole at first, so it took me a few minutes to notice that the chipmunk was coming from two different directions. Because she was actually two chipmunks, not one!
I presume the first one was the original maker of the cache, and the second one- who I caught watching from a distance before darting in, once the first one ran off- was a little thief.
The second chipmunk alternated turns with the first, who it seems didn’t notice she wasn’t the only one re-pantrying…until she made one last trip…and found her cache already empty!
Her reaction? A deep-dive into the small hole, probably checking that everything was, in fact, gone; and then, a righteously indignant question-mark tail!
It was a lovely way to spend a lunch break.