once the festwochenende had wound down, we repaired to the verdant bubble of cabin life, accompanied by my old friend and scrabble-rival spam.  more swimming, frisbee, good food and games followed, along with the next installment of the summer’s project: taming the local chipmunk population.  mom had started feeding the cheeky local chippies on two large boulders in the meadow, and had gotten them to the point where they would stomp and chuck impatiently if they felt they’d been underfed on a given day.  having read about the brazenness of chipmunks and seen the greedy gleam in their little seed-maddened eyes, i decided to see how close they were actually willing to get for a cheekful of sunflower seeds.
answer: very close.

over the next few weeks, we grew able to recognize at least four individuals with relatively distinct characteristics, who also mostly appeared in distinct locations, probably associated with individual territories.  some of them grew bold enough to climb our legs and sit on our shoulders, while others remained relatively skittish, although even these shyer ones would hand-feed if we sat still long enough.  we did feel some initial twinges of guilt about acclimatizing them to humans so shamelessly, but on the other hand, their territories clearly did not bring them in contact with any other humans, plus we read that they would forage on fine-weather days to create caches of food for bad-weather days and cold weather.  so really, we were just giving them some winter insurance, and their brief, strange season of tameness shouldn’t affect them too much.  i also can’t imagine that there’s much room for memory in those little skulls, so i doubt the habituation will last long.  i also suspect we will find a meadowful of sunflowers next year thanks to forgotten caches.
it’s pretty hard to find a creature cuter than a jumping spider… but these guys are worthy competition.

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