I’ve been walking in Edmonton’s river valley and ravines for over 20 years – taking photos, writing stories, and generally bubbling over with appreciation for the beauty and diversity of nature with every step I take into the woods. I’ve seen a moose, deer, coyotes, a bobcat, and every kind of bird, rodent, and even one or two snakes in my travels. Most I’ve been able to capture on film, but some (like the moose), I saw when I was without my camera. (After that travesty, I never leave home without it.) There is one creature, however, ubiquitous in the woods, who should be on a film roll somewhere but isn’t. In 20 years, this tiny creature is so shy and so fast, I haven’t a single shot of a single hair on its tiny, striped head.
Yes, it’s the chipmunk. My white whale.
Not only did I get a bunch of photographs, I had three different opportunities to snap them. What up, chipmunk? Why now? Anyway, it was a critter-filled afternoon in Whitemud Ravine. People-filled too, with plenty of gorgeous birdsong, some of it familiar, some tantalizingly unfamiliar, in the greening canopy. I tried to capture the birds on film, but was unsuccessful. But that’s OK. I got a chipmunk today. My god, first the NDP win and now this. What have I done to deserve this happiness?
Yeah, the chipmunk may not be on any life lists for nature enjoyists, but it was definitely on mine.
1:00 to 3:00/16C