Monday, July 02, 2007

Alvin, Simon or Theodore?

One of the real pleasures of my brief trip to Boston was the chance to spend a morning wandering around the Arnold Arboretum. For those unfamiliar with this venue its a short tube ride from central boston and is a marvellously landscaped collection of trees and shrubs. The roughly rectangular site is bisected by a meandering two mile road that winds up and down across the site. The arboretum is really well laid out and a must visit for nature lovers in Boston. As well as having some truly wonderful trees, of which more later, the Arboretum seems to be maintained in a fairly naturalistic fashion with grass allowed to grow to its full potential and attract a lot of wildlife. In addition to some very nice birds (I'm rather jealous of you east coast bird feeders) there were also a number of mammals (I suspect a fair few amphibians and reptiles too but I didn't manage to find any). The highlight for me were the beautifully patterned Chipmunks. They were far more arboreal than I expected wandering through tiny thin shrub branches but not very helpful to an underequipped photographer. I did see this one bolt down its hole though.


I had hoped if I waited long enough he'd get comfortable and come out but his natural wariness outweighed my natural patience so we watched each other from a safe distance and called it a draw. I have no idea which species this is so if anyone is familiar with the mammals in this region and knows I'd be most grateful.


Granny J said...

They are pretty little creatures, aren't they. And definitely more arboreal than I realized, even tho I've lived with them up my hill for many years. And tho I hear them chirp every day, I've never gotten a picture!

tai haku said...

Grrr. I rsponded to your message Granny J but blogger seems to have eaten it. What I wanted to say was that what surprised me was a) how much more relaxed they appeared in the trees than on land and b) how thin a twig they could walk on. Not what I was expecting at all.

Sandra said...

I am watching one form my work window today. He is a bit of a bane to me as he is constantly figuring out how to get to my bird feeder no matter how much I baffle it. I would say from the location and what I I can see of the little fellow he is an Eastern Chipmunk. They are very arboreal though they prefer rock walls and dead trees. The one here by my window does all sorts of amazing feats of climbing on the tiniest branches of the bushes to get to my bird feeder.

tai haku said...

Thanks for the comment Sandra. I know its just personal preudice but I'd much rather have one of these on my feeders than those big grey squirrels that torment uk bird feeders!