Breaking The Fast

A chipmunk on the edge of the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 26, 2018.

The headlong rush has begun. The plants and the animals waited through the unusually cold start to spring for their chance. It arrived on the third Saturday in April when the overnight temperature rose above 32 degrees and stayed there.

The following Thursday, I noticed a chipmunk watching me from the edge of the woods. He felt safe enough to finish eating one of last year’s acorns.

The sharp sound of tapping interrupted the search for wildflowers in the woods. High up in a tree, a nuthatch chiseled wood. Was he digging for his breakfast or widening the entrance to a nest? Only time will tell.

A chipmunk on the edge of the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 26, 2018.

A chipmunk on the edge of the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 26, 2018.

A chipmunk on the edge of the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 26, 2018.

Dutchman’s-breeches wildflowers in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 26, 2018.

A male white-breasted nuthatch in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 26, 2018.

A male white-breasted nuthatch in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 26, 2018.

A male white-breasted nuthatch in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 26, 2018.

A male white-breasted nuthatch in the woods in Jester Park, Iowa, April 26, 2018.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Sarah

About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
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17 Responses to Breaking The Fast

  1. Shady_Grady says:

    The chipmunk was so hungry he wasn’t going to let anyone spoil his meal.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I think you are right about that. πŸ™‚ The cold early spring has been hard on the animals. Their food supplies dwindled and they had to keep warm. He went looking in the leaves for more acorns after he finished the one I saw him eating. Then, he decided to run off behind the tree.

  2. A wonderful observation, Sarah… and great pics of these smart creatures! Thanks for the interesting write. Hope you’re enjoying Spring weather and activities. Have a lovely week! πŸ™‚ ❀

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Iris πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed seeing the chipmunk and the nuthatch. πŸ™‚ In the days since it warmed up, the activity level in the natural world has gone way up. Busy. Busy Busy. πŸ™‚ Now, they have to find or build nests and raise their young before the cold returns. I am happy to have my windows open and breath in the fresh spring air. I find it exhilarating. I almost have too much energy if such a thing is possible. πŸ™‚ I hope you have a wonderful week as well and enjoy the turning leaves! πŸ™‚ ❀

  3. Fantastic video Sarah, we have very similar nuthatches here in Spain and UK. One has been visiting our bird bath but have not managed to get my camera zoomed in yet. I am trying out my new Lumix but need a steady hand or tripod when zoomed in. Jester Park seems a great place for wild birds.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Georgina πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed seeing the little nuthatch in action. πŸ™‚ The sound of his tapping was echoing through the trees and I had to investigate the source. It is hard to keep the camera steady when it is zoomed and even without the zoom if the action is overhead. I was using a monopod which is a new addition to the camera toolkit this year. It was still difficult to keep it steady since the bird was way over my head. It would be fun to see who visits your bird bath. πŸ™‚ A tripod would work since it is a fixed location. The park is full of bird activity. I am wondering if I will see any new-to-me birds this year. There are small birds that live here in the summer that I haven’t seen yet. I like to stand still in the woods and listen and watch to see who shows up. πŸ™‚

  4. Hi, Sarah. So glad to see that Spring is springing your way! Your pictures are quite delightful to view and how exciting to see the activity astir! Great job with the post. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to be here so it’s good to see your work again. I hope you’re having a wonderful Spring day! 🌹πŸ₯€πŸŒ·βš˜πŸ¦‹

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Amy πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed seeing the activity. πŸ™‚ Spring has definitely sprung. Since I took these photos, the natural world has turned green. Rain to water the plants. The sun is shining today which is really nice. I have my kitchen and living room windows open and the apartment is filled with fresh air. I love the fresh air! I am looking forward to seeing how your garden grows as the seasons changes. πŸ™‚ I hope you have a wonderful Spring day and weekend as well! πŸ™‚ ❀

  5. zirah1 says:

    Hmmm, I must have missed this post somehow, so I’m glad there was a link to it in your new post. I can back to remind myself of what Dutchman’s britches looked like and realized I don’t think I’d seen it. Are nuthatches part of the woodpecker family? Their actions seem so similar. p. s. And it’s always fun to see chipmunks. Had one in my backyard earlier today foraging where the squirrels had spilled nuts and seeds from the feeder. Chippies are so much harder to spot, so I was glad I happened to see one.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Zirah πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you enjoyed seeing the little chipmunk, the nuthatch and the Dutchmann’s breeches. πŸ™‚ I was checking the woods for wildflowers for a few weeks and noting where the leaves were located for the flowers I remembered. I was happy to see the Dutchmann’s breeches and looking forward to the other little woodland spring flowers. There were all kinds of storms, though, many of them intense and by the time I made it out to the woods again, they had all gone. The late spring and summer flowers are growing and starting to bloom and there is much to admire now. πŸ™‚

      The chipmunks are really cute, aren’t they? πŸ™‚ I was happy to find this one staying still while I watched. They usually rush off when they see me. I think he was hungry! It is nice that you have a vantage point to watch the wildlife in your backyard. πŸ™‚

      The nuthatches are in a family by themselves. There are four different ones in the bird book I have (Peterson Field Guide to North America). The white-breasted nuthatch is a year round inhabitant here. The red-breasted nuthatch only spends the winter here. I haven’t see one of those. This might be because I don’t have woods to walk in except if I drive a bit and I don’t like driving in the snow so I usually walk around here in the winter. The other two nuthatches live in the southeast and the west, respectively. They are very interesting birds to watch. πŸ™‚ I thought the nuthatches might be making a nest in the spot I saw them on this day. I went back a few weeks later after the storms and didn’t see them by the tree so I guess not.

      • zirah1 says:

        I know what you mean about the flowers. We had a number of things that I only got to appreciate for a few days because the winds and heavy rains did them in pretty quickly. And it would be interesting to know what the nuthatch was up to…..I thought he was after food/insects he suspected were under the bark of the tree, but i guess we’ll never know. πŸ™‚

        • Sarah says:

          I hope a few of the spring wildflowers managed to bloom and be pollinated before the storms came. Like what happened where you live, the storms here were strong some of them with warnings attached. It poured and poured. It was good for the water table. πŸ™‚ It would be interesting if I could ask the birds questions and have an answer. πŸ™‚ I figured if I saw him again at that spot, then maybe there would be a nest with little ones. I didn’t so I think you are correct that he was after insects under the bark.

          The birds are all pretty well hidden now. I hear them singing and tapping, but rarely see them. It is dark in the woods as well. I only get to see the birds now if they decide to visit the garden or fly to one of the trees outside or on the edge of the woods. It is fun to go for a walk in the woods and stand still and listen. πŸ™‚ There are more sounds that I can’t identify than ones I can.

          • zirah1 says:

            Yes, the plants and trees are so thick and jungle-y in the backyard I have a hard time seeing any of the “critters.” That’s why I was so amazed when I happened to spy the chipmunk, who was foraging in a shaded area and blended in so well. It seems like everything has grown bigger in the last couple of months than in the whole last couple of yrs.

            • Sarah says:

              The greenery is thick! I am happy you were able to see the cute little chipmunk. πŸ™‚ I am turning my attention to the flowers now since the birds are hard to find. There are many flowers in the gardens and opens areas that I haven’t taken photos of yet and ones I’d like to add more photos of. I might get lucky and see some new-to-me butterflies. I am always happy to see the Monarchs. I think they must be around by now, but I haven’t seen one yet this year.

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