Why do I notice things when I do?

This Friday, I rode my bicycle to Monroe, Oregon, which is 18 miles from Corvallis. It is January, I have limited options during the pandemic, so despite the cold weather and lack of daylight, I want to ride my bicycle places.

One of the interesting things to me is that in Monroe, I made a new observation: Townsend's Chipmunk. This isn't a rare animal, but it isn't a common animal, either. Mine was the 22nd observation in Benton County. I had never seen one in or around Corvallis, where I live, and yet within my first half hour in Monroe, one ran right across my path!

It is interesting to guess why I saw one there. There is a good chance that Monroe might be a friendlier environment for them-- Corvallis has around 60,000 people, Monroe less than 700. It might also have less of the invasive mammals and plants, such as crows and eastern grey squirrels, that gather around human habitation. So maybe Monroe is a friendlier environment for them.

It could also be that because I was in a new place, I just had a wider awareness. Just a marginal change in scenery might have made me see things I wouldn't normally see. It is very possible that I see Townsend's Chipmunks regularly, but because I am in my "normal environment", they just slide by,under my awareness.

So that is (one of the reasons) why I like to get out and go to new places---Monroe is obviously a lot like where I am, it is within 20 miles of where I live, but just the opportunity to see somewhat new terrain opens up my eyes and lets me notice new stuff.

Posted by mnharris mnharris, January 12, 2021 03:06

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Chipmunks (Genus Neotamias)

Observer

mnharris

Date

January 8, 2021 02:27 PM HST

Description

Sometimes I see a bird hopping along the ground, and wonder why it doesn't take off. And then I realize it is some type of mammal.

Comments

Cool! I've never seen a chipmunk in or right close to Corvallis. I've seen them in the Coast Range and near the coast, but not too often.

Inspired by your pictures from Monroe, I went to the city park there, by the baseball diamond and the sewage ponds, and found a lot of fungi and other things to post.

Posted by sedgequeen over 1 year ago (Flag)

Now that I know what to look for, I saw one of these today at Crystal Lake...but was unable to get an observation.

Posted by mnharris over 1 year ago (Flag)

Cool!

Posted by sedgequeen over 1 year ago (Flag)

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