July 1, 2016 Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing

Hummingbirds and Chipmunks

Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird

Cloudy skies and the threat of rain today, so I decided to stay in camp and finally get some shots of the uniquely colored Rufous Hummingbird that has been terrorizing my nectar feeder for the past week.

Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird

An incredibly territorial and aggressive little bird, he has taken up residence in the tree the nectar feeder hangs from and absolutely will not tolerate any other hummingbird feeding from “his” feeder.

Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird

Very unique coloring, just a stunning little guy.

Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird

Finally, After Twenty Years

Chipmunk
Getting to the Bottom of Things

Let me say right up front, I am not sure if these guys are chipmunks or some kind of ground squirrel, but, one thing for certain, they are very entertaining little guys.

Chipmunk
Eating In !

A long, long time ago, probably close to twenty years or so, I was camped somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and missed what I thought was just a great photo opportunity. I was having breakfast on the picnic table, got up and went inside to get something, and when I was coming back out the door, I saw a chipmunk’s butt protruding from my coffee cup, that had been left on the picnic table. Just cracked me up, but by the time I could grab a camera, he was on to other things.

Chipmunk
Eating In !

Now, the coffee cup was just a standard, non-photogenic, travel mug, so I went out and bought the blue metal, “cowboy by the fire” type metal mug you see in the images in this blog post. Now I have carried this mug with me for two decades waiting for another opportunity to get that shot I missed back in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and I finally got my chance.

Chipmunk
Chipmunk
Chipmunk
Chipmunk

For you purists, the two shots above are what this guy looks like in his natural environment, but that was not what I was after on this day.

Chipmunk
Waiting for Service
Chipmunk
Balancing Act

I wanted to get that shot I missed so many years ago, and I believe I did. In fact, as you will see, I kind of got carried away with project over the next several hours …

Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing

…..especially when this little guy was joined by another of his kind, and there was non-stop action for the next two hours, and I just couldn’t help myself, I must have taken a thousand shots.

Food Fight
Food Fight
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Food Fight
Food Fight

These two would not tolerate each other feeding out of the cup and would aggressively chase each other anytime they both appeared at the same time.

Food Fight
Food Fight
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing
Trouble Brewing

It just cracked me up the way they would cautiously approach the cup to see if the other was there, then all hell would break loose if the cup was occupied.

Food Fight
Food Fight
Food Fight
Food Fight
Chipmunks
Next!
Chipmunk
Up and In
Chipmunk
Up and In
Jump Right In
Jump Right In

An entertaining couple of hours and now I can put the coffee cup back in the cupboard for another twenty years or so.

22 thoughts on “July 1, 2016 Pagosa Springs, Colorado”

  1. The chipmunk pictures were worth the wait. Side splitting funny!

    I don’t know about putting the cup away though. You never know who might visit it next.

  2. The chipmunks are just hilarious. I love watching them.. The hummingbirds were an added benefit. This is the first time I have been here, but I like your site, so I will be back. Just jumped over from RVSue’s blog.

  3. Love the pictures!!! We are in Colorado Springs for most of July … I have saved so many of your posts and sometimes just open them to relive the beautiful pictures. How are your dogs? Suzie is still giving us days of companionship. We were back in New England this spring to sort of figure out what to do with all the stuff we moved out of the house and to see if we couldn’t do anything to move along selling it. It’s rented now but we really want to sell and stay on the road a couple of years. How are you???

    1. Good to hear from you again, but you asked a very painful question. I had to put Jenny to sleep just the day after I did this cheerful post and there is an enormous hole in my heart. Almost 16 years of constant devoted companionship from the best little dog I have ever known. She had a long, blessed life, always had a canine companion, and since I owned my own business, they were always with me 24 hours a day, she got to travel all over North American and found many unique and beautiful places to nose around. Samantha, her attached at the hip companion for the past ten years is one of the saddest little creatures you would ever wish ( not ) to see. Her normally curled tail, always held high, has been stuck in the down position now for two days, but I guess she, like I, will eventually get over the hump. It seems strange and lonely moving to a new site with just the two of us.

      Yesterday I arrived at the Ridgeway State Park here in Colorado for a couple of weeks exploring the area and am slowly working my way up to Estes Park by the end of the summer, keep in touch and maybe we will run into each other.

  4. Great stuff Bob, and I love the story about carrying the mug around for 20 years. For a guy that lives on the road that’s some dedication.

    BTW, I vote Chipmunk although ground squirrels are more common in Colorado. If I remember right the distinctive characteristic is that chipmunks have the stripes on the face and the back. Thanks for sharing, always a pleasure to see a new post in my inbox even if I haven’t commented in awhile.

    1. Well, Rick, then chipmunks it is. I had no internet where I was staying at West Fork CG in the San Juan NF and I was limited in my computer time at the Pagosa Springs Library where I went to do this post, so I couldn’t research just what they were, so you’re the final authority on this.

    1. It was all I could do not to set up again the next day and shoot another several hundred shots. I felt rather silly at times sitting in my rocker and just laughing out loud, with no one else around to hear me.

  5. Oh Man! You NAILED it! This sequence of events just made my day! I ‘m going to quit fretting about those da….ed raccoons that destroy my feeders every night and replay in my mind your chipmunk escapade. And, (by the way), your blue spatter-ware coffee cup makes it SO much more colorful!

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