|"What in the bejeebers is going on in there?"|
Chipmunk (in this case, the shadow chipmunk Neotamias senex) showed up an hour after we made the camera trap set.
It cased the joint and disappeared.
The rodent was back later that week, after the bear and shrew appearances.
The coast was clear, so it stripped down and dived into the sawdust.
Yes, carpenter ants provide some useful services, including sawdust production.
For a long time the ant gallery in that tree has showered sawdust on everything poking its head in the door.
But it's not really sawdust per se. It's frass, which is actually insect poop.
Carpenter ants, however, just chew up the wood without passing it through their system; so their frass is a wholesome product that smells like a wood working shop.
Chipmunk seems to have developed a powerful hankering for the stuff, because it came back a week later to luxuriate in it.
It tumbled and rolled with reckless abandon,
and then soaked a while, having chipmunk thoughts.
No doubt this is an impeccably clean chipmunk, with the outdoorsy musk of Paul Bunyan.
Here's an instructional sequence intended for hygienically challenged chipmunks, just so they know how it is done.
And yes, in case you were wondering, the codger did doctor the opening picture of this blogpost.