Now that my time with grandkids, friends, meetings, shopping, entertainment of all sorts has been so dramatically curtailed, I have the time to sit on my garden patio. I may read. I may have little snippets of conversation with myself. Or I simply sit.
I have even taken to eating my meals on the patio. It soon became clear to me that I did not have to eat by myself. Several feisty and curious little chipmunks were eager to join me. A couple of weeks ago I started to throw them breadcrumbs, crackers, bits of whatever I was eating. Then I would sit very still and one or the other of them would sneak up cautiously, quickly grab their culinary delight, and scamper off, usually taking refuge beneath large hosta leaves.
By now, they have gotten so used to me that I can move about in my chair, to scratch a mosquito bite or chase away a fly, without notice from them. They are also so comfortable with me that they remain wherever they pick up their morsel and nibble it right there, often right in front of me.
Sometimes, for no reason I can discern, they dart off to their favorite rock some distance away to finish their feast: I call it the “chipmunk throne.” They’ve been known to brush up against my feet as they search for more goodies. Sometimes, when they are truly sated and there is more food to be had, they stuff smaller and larger bites into their cheeks until they look like they have come down with a lopsided case of the mumps.