Signs of Spring - Iowa Wildlife Federation

Signs of Spring

Photography courtesy of Lowell Washburn, all rights reserved.

Nearly everyone has a favorite sign that says spring is on the way.  It might be melting snow drifts, a noisy echelon of northbound geese, or the sighting of the season’s first robin.  This year, I’m adding chipmunks to the list.  That’s right, I said chipmunks.

I know, of course, that chipmunks are still supposed to be deep into hibernation, sound asleep in their cozy underground dens.  But I also know of one chippie that isn’t.  I could scarcely believe my eyes when, early Sunday morning, I spotted the little striper scampering atop what was left of North Iowa’s rapidly receding winter snow cover. 

To say that seeing a chipmunk running around in slushy snow at 34 degrees on March 7th is a bit out of the ordinary doesn’t quite cover it.  Not only have I never seen such a thing; I’ve never even heard of it.  Exactly what prompted the little munchster to come out of its slumber is hard to say.  What I would suggest, however, is that the chipmunk goes back to bed until it hears the sound of April showers.

                                                                  Lowell Washburn

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