The chickarees want my car

The chickarees have gone crazy. They spent the summer curious but shy, often fleeing us and then scolding from the safety of a tree. Now they seem to have no fear. They run under our table as we eat breakfast. They jump on top of our tents while we are inside. Sometimes they sneak in under the tent fly and look right at us, giant mammals separated from them only by some tent mesh, then saunter off unimpressed. As I was sitting with my back against a tree, one of them went up the other side of the trunk and then crept around to my side, at eye-level, until our faces were a bare few inches apart.

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this new friendliness. On the one hand, they’re cute.

Juvenile chickaree

Photo by M. LaBarbera

On the other hand, when we call them “plague squirrels,” it’s not just a term of endearment.plague

And then there’s the fact that they seem to be planning to steal my car.

They are smart, though: they checked the quality first.

Is the window clean? Not really...

Does the door lock work? Yes.

The window could be cleaner, though.

The window could be cleaner, though.

Seats look comfy...

Seats look comfy…

...but it's always best to check.

…but it’s always best to examine things with your own paws.

Bounciness check.

Bounciness check.

2014_chickaree6

Okay, bounciness check passed. Now what about some snacks for the road?

Okay, bounciness check passed. Now what about some snacks for the road?

This food container is not very convenient to open.

This food container is not very convenient to open.

Maybe the snacks are in the plastic bag.

Maybe the snacks are in the plastic bag.

Just trash in here! How rude.

Just trash in here! How inconsiderate.

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