Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In search of the elusive chipmunks

A township is elementary government; we are the next layer after the folks who elected us. Not only does the buck stop here, it often doesn't leave here as it didn't arrive. The only tax revenue a township may collect is real estate tax. My township has fewer than three hundred homes and possibly thirty taxable businesses properties left.

That’s it. The federal government and other non-taxable entities have acquired over ninety percent of the township’s property in the last forty years. There is no going back, and laments are not taxable, so we go forward.  I’m the fiscal officer, the person with no authority save ensuring the transparency of transactions.

Trustees have the power and the glory posts. Part time. That is, generally trustees have real jobs and administer the business of their townships a few evenings a month. Two thirds of my trustees have always been employed in other government jobs, more layers between them and the public. Bigger budgets, too. And, one-third of my trustees work in the real world, as I did for forty years before this job.

And, we gnash teeth and pull hair at the futility of making government employees understand money is saved in payroll, not in postage stamps. So, we soldier on, a person of no authority and a trustee minority. It is so futile I've considered chucking it, except now I have three grandchildren to keep in lunch money and stuff. And, who would be interested in my new project? No one!

My little old fashioned township has a little old fashioned web page. No bells and whistles, just real stuff. Boston Township has more past than future, and history is most visited. I believe we are the only remaining link to For All People for all Time, a documentary of the federal government’s shameful history of national park acquisition.

There is fun stuff, too, like interviewing old Boston residents to reconstruct the history of Boston Park, which I did last summer. I ran my new idea past the webmaster; he likes it.  A picture page. Bigger and better than all the little pictures we posted of our bicentennial a couple of years ago. The webmaster is working on turning my ideas into a page, and today was so beautiful I took my camera out to capture my opening picture, the chipmunks at the nursery across the road.

The nursery is beautiful, state of the art poly houses, more plants than Laura can ever select among. Out on the front patio, greeting customers all last summer, chipmunks. Little roly-poly chipmunks, fat cheeks bulging with seeds.  Their only danger is all the big feet, and they dart away swiftly. What better time than today to get a picture. Blue skies. White snow. A minimum of customers. And, a quickly amused manager, who told me the little fellows hibernate. Well, the page isn’t ready yet. Here are the pictures I did take today.

 In my yard.
  You looking at me? I'm looking at you, too.

 I didn't want to make a collage of the next pictures,

 So here they are, one after another.

I've seen this youngster around all fall and winter,
One of the last of the fawns.

It has a good shaggy coat, and an old wound on it's hind leg.
It's been a hard winter for the animals.
Lunch is pine needles and twigs.

It finally looked up.
I moved on.

There are goats down the road, 
So I went to see if they were out.

The steps lead to
The Goaten Gate Bridge!

And on the way home the youngster
Ruminated over lunch.


  1. However your township website turns out, I know it will be just great! The chipmunks may be hibernating, but it sure looks like there's enough other fodder around to feed your editor!

  2. Oh wow. How very, very beautiful. The 'little' things are huge in making a day special aren't they?

  3. Hari OM
    (ahem) - chipmunks DO hibernate; grey squirrels on the other hand... fabby shot of him though. As for the deer, well what can one say? It sure was worth that walk!!

    Pettigoat Junction... hhhahahahahahaha love it.

  4. In our township, summer residents with homes on the water complain that they pay 3-4 times what people away from the shoreline pay. They do, but they knew about it when they built or moved to the shoreline.

  5. I love this series of photos, Joanne! In response to you question on my pond photo (from my yesterday's post), there were no fish in that least none that I could see.

  6. " the futility of making government employees understand money is saved in payroll, not in postage stamps"
    And in our neck of the woods, making the elected government leaders understand that, too. We need you to come preach here!

    It's been a harsh winter for animals all over, it seems.

  7. Yes, wildlife is much more interesting than snowbanks. ;-)

  8. Too funny - The Goaten Gate Bridge.

  9. I love the little deer and that name, Goaten Gate Bridge is great. I wish we had chipmunks in Australia, they look cute.

  10. I think I drive past the Goaten Gate Bridge while coming and going from an art show in your area but never saw any goats....Funny or odd, I 'm not sure.

  11. That was interesting to read how your township works. I had to laugh about the Goaten Gate Bridge. Should be a good webpage I do believe!


  12. Your web site will be beautiful if your photos on this blog are any indication. Yes...chpmunks hibernate. I'm waiting to see if the little guy who lives under the air conditioner next door made it through the winter. He often pops up on our porch to say howdy.

  13. When we sight the first chipmunks of the season,we know that spring won't be far behind. You are now officially on chipmunk watch.
    Jane x

  14. I had to do a test when wordpress would not accept my identity for some reason. Anyway, nice shots of such cute animals. Over here in my neighborhood, we see only feral cats and dogs on leash.

  15. how is it you have landscaping with deer in the yard?

  16. The snow in your photos looks so sparkling with the sun hitting it. Liked the part about your job being able to interview old Boston residents to reconstruct the history of Boston Park. -- barbara

  17. Whoever named that bridge had a sense of humour, lots of wildlife moving around always good.

  18. Seems the animals are surviving. The snow appears to be less than in Columbus, OH.

    Love the humor and the photos.

  19. I'm glad to see your deer have nice winter coats to brave the cold. They sure need it this winter.

  20. your pics always leave me feeling so peaceful!!!