Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rodents of Unusual Cuteness

Still haven't gotten a new camera yet... too busy getting ready for the big soap meeting, and now that it's over, have too many other things to catch up on. (I think every scrap of clothing in the house needs laundering.)

These pics are from Mother's Day at my mother's house.

Eastern Chipmunk, Tamias striatus. Did somebody change the spelling while I wasn't paying attention? I could've sworn he was a Chipmonk.

My Dad was constantly at war with them in the yard. Once he thought to burn them out of their tunnels with gasoline. I'm sorry I missed it -- the roaring whoosh of flame from the drainage grate was apparently something to see. As was the look on his face when he realized that the chipmunks could just as easily have tunneled under the house.

Melanistic Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis.

Melanistic = overabundant pigment
Leucistic = reduced pigment
Albinistic = no pigment

OK, not really a rodent, but my sister's unusually cute small dog, Elvis the Bichon Frisé. He was this small at Christmas.


Jochen said...

I am always surprised at how unpopular chipmunks and squirrels are here in North America. Well, just come over to Europe where you won't see a single mammal on an average day, maybe then people here would somewhat change their mind.
Do they do any damage?

Rurality said...

Squirrels chase birds off feeders and I believe they are bird nest predators, so birders aren't normally nuts about them. They gnaw through wires and love to build their nests in attics.

Chipmunks dig tunnels underneath lawns. I have sprained my ankle several times when I didn't see their holes! They also eat flower bulbs. (I'm not sure if squirrels do too or not.)

Rurality said...

I forgot to say, Flying squrrels, now that's a horse of a different color. :) People tend to love them. They are waaaaaay too cute.

robin andrea said...

We saw our first chipmunk of the year just the other day. It wasn't in our yard, but at a place we like to hike. A very cute critter.

We put up a baffle under our bird feeders and it keeps the squirrels away from them. But we just took all of our bird feeders down last night because of a terrible salmonella outbreak that the birds are contracting at backyard bird feeders. Good thing it's summer, and there's plenty of other food around for them.

lime said...

no matter the spelling...i used to know a kid who called them 'chipnapunks'

we also had an albino squirrel that used to frequent our yard in town, such an interesting thing.

pablo said...

They were always 'munks to me. Saw my first one of the season yesterday, cleaning up under the birdfeeder. (The chipmunk was cleaning up. Not me.)

That dog sure looks like it has a comfy attitude.

Linda Hanney said...

Your pictures are great. You have time to do your wash before shopping for the new camera:)

Bobby said...

'Varmint Cong,' as Bill Murray's character in Caddy Shack might say.

Ki said...

Since you haven't bought your new camera yet...I was not aware that the LCD screens on DSLRs are used just for viewing/editing the picture just taken or reviewing pictures on the card. It is not meant for composing the picture. For that you use the viewfinder up to your eye like the old SLRs. Only three DSLRs at this time have live view LCDs which can be used to compose pictures on the LCD.

I prefer composing on the LCD and wouldn't buy a camera that didn't have that function. For some reason my pictures are framed crappily when looking through a viewfinder...it seems like I'm into the scene and I'm not aware of the edges. Looking at the LCD seems more like looking at a framed photograph and it's easier for me to compose the picture that way. We even bought an old Rolleiflex film camera several years ago just because of this problem. I could look on the waistlevel screen and compose the picture although it posed it's own problem with the upside down image on the ground glass screen.

Currently only three DSLRs have live view LCDs. The Olympus E-330 EVOLT, Panasonic DMC-L1 and the Leica Digilux 3. I would consider buying the Olympus but it only has 7.5 megapixels and the Nikons and Canons are much better cameras, with better resolution/pixels and a bargain too with their new entry level cameras. Too bad they don't have the live view feature.

'munks are cute. I wish we had them instead of the squirrels. When we were driving through Canada, we came upon a highway that had thousands of chipmunks alongside the road. They would dart out into the road like playing chicken and run back to the shoulder as the cars approached. The road was littered with dead 'munks. Why the strange behavior?

KFarmer said...

I have a loathing for any kind of rodent- if they did something useful, I would probably not feel that way. But no, all they do is aggravate me- chew on my pecans and tear up the yard. Yuck.

The dog now, what a cutie!

swamp4me said...

I absolutely love chipmunks. They are a rare sight here in the swamp so last week when I saw one I was very excited. In the past 26 years of living here I have only seen chipmunks about 5 times.

lisa said...

My 'munks are my favorites! Heh...the squirrel's scientific name is so appropo-"scurius"...that they DO! I have flying squirrels at my house too, but so far photos have been elusive. I'm persistent, tho'....