Saturday, September 25, 2010


      Last Sunday afternoon we took a trip to the lovely ghost town of St. Elmo.  As a family, we've made it a habit to go up there every year at the end of summer to view the changing aspens and feed the cute little chipmunks...but apparently some people are not aware of this smaller species of animals, because on this last trip, we overheard some tourists calling them "little squirrels".
     Whats great about taking the kids up every year to this ghost town to feed these little animals is that the chipmunks are so accustomed to humans that they will climb all over you.  Literally.  The people who own the "general store/souvenir shop" (only open during the summer) provide little baggies of "chipmunk feed" (I'm thinking unsalted sunflower seeds) for 50 cents.  Hold a few of these seeds in your hand, and you'll be amazed at how fast a little critter will sneak up and devour them.  (I've also discovered that they will eat chewy granola bars, but I'm not sure how nutritious they are for the chipmunks)
      Picking the "right time" to see the golden trees, feed the little guys, and avoid mass amounts of tourist traffic has been an experience for us.  Last year we went up in October and were greeted with snow and few chipmunks.  Our last trip seemed to be "just perfect"-it was still warm in St. Elmo, there were plenty of chipmunks to feed and we were able to see the fall beauty enveloping the mountain side.
     Sometime last summer, the children and I went up with friends, but the aspens hadn't all turned, it was too warm, and there were too many people (my son has sensory issues)...but we did get to feed the chipmunks...until my son (2yrs at the time) stepped on the tail of one...and I'm pretty sure he almost pulled it off.  Poor thing let out this pitiful squeak and we took off.  That was during his "stomping phase" where it was fun to step on things that moved quick...I'm sure a few chipmunks remembered him from last year and hid when they saw us....

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