Hard To Say Goodbye

A chipmunk perches on a rock with its tail sticking straight out behind it on the trail to Death Canyon in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming

I grew up in the eastern part of the United States. In the deciduous forests there, eastern gray squirrels and eastern chipmunks are your frequent hiking partners. While the Northwest has many things to offer, one thing I miss is the squirrels and chipmunks. Not that we don’t have them here, just not in the numbers I’d prefer. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that even in parks as magnificent as the Tetons and Yellowstone, I’ll photograph just about every squirrel and chipmunk I come across — which is why no one likes to hike with me. And God help you if I see a newt.

The chipmunks in the Tetons and Yellowstone are the yellow-pine chipmunk, the Uinta chipmunk, and the least chipmunk, similar but different species to the eastern chipmunks of my youth and the Townsend’s chipmunks of my not-quite-youth.