Readers’ wildlife photos

It’s warmed up a bit in Ontario, and Diana MacPherson has some lovely photos of emerging chipmunks. Below are her notes for a series that could be called “Four Ways of Looking at a Chipmunk”, but which Diana calls “Someone is awake from torpor”:

With the warm weather, the resident chipmunk has woken from torpor and is eating some seeds left out for him/her. Check out the mark on the nose & the mangled ear. I think my chipmunks get in a lot of fights with one another as I’ve seen these ripped-up ears on many different chipmunks and it looks like a bite from another ‘munk! The last photo is amusing because the chipmunk has such a wide open mouth for the seed.

Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) Having a Break from Torpor to Eat a Seed:


Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)  Enjoying a Seed:


Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)  Seems to Whisper Something:


Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) Opens Mouth for Seed:


Nicole Reggia, who has apparently rescued at least one member of every vertebrate species in Eastern Pennsylvania, sent four photos. The first is of a hatchling ring-necked snake (Diadophis punctatus), with pennies for scale:


This juvenile groundhog (Marmota monax), who lived in Nicole’s yard with its three siblings, was removed from the yard and temporarily placed in a bucket before the lawn was mowed. Then they were all put back by their burrow.


This box turtle (Terrapene carolina) was snapped having an adventure:

A pet leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius):




  1. rickflick
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    The squirrel’s changing expression is begging to be read as emotions and thoughts. The last image looks like disappointment…a gasp as the seed supply is at an end.

    Fight scene:

    • rickflick
      Posted February 21, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      The tiny snake is a startling image. I’ve never seen any snake that small!

      • HaggisForBrains
        Posted February 21, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        My first thought was, “These are huge pennies”!

  2. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Lovely pictures! All adorable pictures, but who can resist a baby snake? Not me.

  3. Lars
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    It looks as though that box turtle has already had at least one adventure – there’s a big scar on his shell, pretty-much obliterating the second right marginal scute on his carapace.

  4. Posted February 21, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed today’s offerings, thanks to you both.. cool pet gecko.

  5. Mark R.
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    What the hell does a snake that size eat to reach health and maturity? I guess all snakes are small like this at birth, but it never really occurred to me about how they eat. I’ve seen wee frogs/toads and turtles eat aphids and other such small arthropods, but a snake? I always consider them fast striking hunters not interested in insects per se…at the size of a penny, I’d like to know what they eat to live and grow…I’m thinking it must be insects and my prior biases are biases.

    Great photos, thanks as always for the eductation!

  6. Mark Joseph
    Posted February 21, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    OK, the contest for the cutest set of photos for the year is now officially over!

  7. Diane G.
    Posted February 22, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for more of your cute ‘munks, Diana!

    Nicole, great pics & great species! Love the baby woodchuck! Did it/they whistle at you? 🙂

    Some 30 years ago or so my then first-grade son found a baby R-n Snake just like yours, and before we released it he took it to school for show & tell (in a carefully outfitted critter carrier) and, sadly, his teacher had one of those eek-a-snake moments. Over a snake about the size of an earthworm! I was so disgusted.

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