The Smiling Chipmunks of Riding Mountain~

Cheeky little chippers,

stand their ground when you come close!

Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba Canada has a ‘Red Chair Program,’ where two red Adirondack chairs are placed at random, often remote locations throughout the park, encouraging you sit for a spell and soak up the scenery.

The park consists of 1,146 mi² of mostly remote, scenic forest.

It is filled with pristine lakes,

and endless opportunities to soak up the solitary scenery.

Unfortunately we were a bit too early to see the birch leaves turn.

Cheers to you from Riding Mountain National Park~

260 thoughts on “The Smiling Chipmunks of Riding Mountain~

    1. My son did and I have photos of him seemingly walking forever into the lake. The water is incredibly clear and he walked out for what seemed like a mile before the water started to get deep. It had extensive shallows but an incredibly deep center. Beautiful park.

  1. Gorgeous! I love chipmunks and squirrels. We have both here in the pacific northwest, but mostly squirrels. A couple of years ago, a chipmunk climbed up the stairs to our second floor landing and stared at us just a few feet away. My lady friend thought it was so cute, and I was laughing at its audacity. We both thought it was begging for food, but now I’m not so sure after reading this post.

  2. Thanks for those lovely photos, Cindy. I looked up the Riding Mountain National Park and was amazed by its rich history. Grey Owl, a white man adopting native dress and customs lived in this park, which also served as a camp for German POWs during World War II. It is a very beautiful place and offers the kind of recreation that other crowded parks don’t have. Greetings from Fauquier, BC!

    1. I have seen these historical POW/internment camp markers in several places in Canada. It was a history I had never heard of until I came upon the markers. It wasn’t just WWII either. Check this out:
      I think we came upon a camp marker in BC and Alberta but I may be mistaken.
      Riding Mountain park is simply understated loveliness and one can get far away from the hustle and bustle there. Next year we head back to woods of Quebec! Canada is stunning. And now I am making my own poutine!

      1. There were several internment camps in BC and Alberta, which were for Canadian citizens of Japenese descent. They were robbed of all their possessions and deported from the coast to the Interior out of fear they would join forces with the Japanese invasion forces. A very sad story!

        1. Yes, this was similar to what the US did. The confiscation of property was particularly heinous. There were also internment camps in Canada during WWI for Eastern Europeans. “During Canada’s first national internment operations of 1914–20, 8,579 men, and some women and children, were interned by the Canadian government acting under the authority of the War Measures Act. While most were recent immigrants from the multinational Austro-Hungarian, German and Ottoman empires, some were Canadian-born or naturalized British subjects — most of the civilian internees came from the western Ukrainian regions of Galicia and Bukovyna. Held in 24 receiving stations and internment camps across the country — from Nanaimo, BC to Halifax, NS — these “second class” prisoners of war (POWs) were generally separated from “first class” German and Austrian POWs. Many were transported into the country’s frontier wildernesses and obliged to work for the profit of their jailers. Personal wealth and property was confiscated, not all of which was returned on parole or following the end of the internment operations.” (Canadian Encyclopedia)
          I knew nothing about this until I saw the markers in Canada. There were photos of the brutal winters.

  3. As always, the photos are extraordinary. The Park is really cozy and has a very special history that keeps the memories of a part of the history. Everything is complemented to make your article an exciting story. Regards.

    1. Amen! You just probably just summed up why I love nature and photograph,y with the added benefit that being in nature and taking photographs shuts down the most annoying thoughts of all, my own. Thank you for your perceptive comment.

  4. I can’t imagine what it would be like to get to spend time in such splendor! I love chipmunks and squirrels and everything else. Nature has all the answers. How kind of them to offer chairs at random to sit a spell and enjoy the view. Just, WOW!!

    1. Nature does have all the answers even if we don’t completely understand, it’s okay, because look around at all the beauty. Red Adirondack chairs supplied for just this purpose and chattering chipmunks tell me what I need to know. Love to you Marlene.

  5. How amusing to hear The Chipmunks again – thank you for including that in one of your reponses. I think the Red Chair project sounds marvellous.

  6. Hurrah to Canada for setting aside these square miles as a park. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos with all of us. I often encounter chipmunks during the summer months (both on Cape Cod and in upstate New York), but I don’t ever get the closeup view that your photos capture so well. And I enjoyed the comments following your post almost as much as he post itself. I agree that “Nature does have all the answers even if we don’t completely understand…” Now let’s sit down in one of those red chairs! Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

    1. Exactly, those chairs are red so you’ll find them, set in serene and beautiful spots, and they definitely lower your blood pressure when you sit, and even nap, in them! Your comment was thoughtful, kind and most appreciated. Be well & thank you 🐿️

  7. Gosh, Cindy, I had never even heard of this park in Manitoba, and it is now on my bucket list. We must go to Canada if at all possible. How wonderful for the red chairs – they must know how much I’ll need to stop and rest! Thank you as always for your awe-inspiring pictures.

    1. The red chairs idea is clever isn’t it. They are so fun to find and they stand out and look lovely the the lush forests. I do hope you and Pretty go to Canada <3

    1. Oh lucky you! We don’t have them at The Holler, but there are in the local mountains. It is always a treat to see them. They make me smile. Cheers to you Linda <3

  8. Really enjoyed these crisp photos and learning about Riding Mountain NP, Cindy. This is a NP of which I am not familiar, so I looked it up and it sounds wonderful. Thanks so much.

  9. Manitoba often gets overlooked in our country as a destination to visit. Love that you have highlighted a bit of this beautiful province!

  10. I remember drinking water directly from the lake during my childhood living in Northern Manitoba. The lakes were pristine at that time! The water was very cold! I remember swimming when there was still ice on the lakes! We were brave souls! Couldn’t imagine doing that now! Yikes!

    1. How wonderful those days must have been. My son swam in the lakes but it was warm and there was no ice. They still seem pristine to me compared to the lower 48, so crystal clear and beautiful.

  11. Are those white birches in your last photo, Cindy? We had one when I was a kid, but it’s long gone (and I miss it). So much beauty here. The chipmunks are all over one of our golf courses — they’re fast little critters!!

        1. Actually, I think you are the one who is right. I googled it. Apparently birch trunks peel and aspens don’t. These trunks look like are peeling so I think you are right and they are birch. Maybe someone who knows trees better will confirm this for us. Thank you pointing this out.

  12. The chipmunks are delightful and beautifully photographed.  Glad they are at ease near people.  Have heard that Siberian chipmunks are also mellow.  My only experience is with the high-strung chipmunks in NE US.  They chirp loudly and run away, but they are cute while still in sight, which is not for long.

  13. Your photography skills are fantastic Cindy, so colourful and beautifully photographed, not only that but the background is vibrant and shows a wonderful panorama, a beautiful post.

  14. So relaxing to step into these pictures and just be.

    I love the chipmunks. They are so inquisitive, and
    so busy, yet they always have time to stop and
    chitter for a minute. Your photos are just spectacular
    and your comments enhance even the perfect.

    1. I was kinda bummed I didn’t see any chippers on the chairs. That would have made a great shot and title. I once photographed chickenz on Adirondack chairs in Rarotonga. Loved the shot. People said, “Oh, nice chickens. Do you just let them wander all over your yard?” Laughing…..If I had chickens I probably would.

  15. Stunning parkland, and a wonderful home for those sweet as sugar chipmunks.
    Cindy, I’ve never see a chipmunk in person. Squirrels aplenty, chipmunks, not.
    Raccoons… well I do live in the Raccoon Capitol of the World (dubious honour)
    Now skunks, there’s a cute animal …… to avoid. LOL!

  16. The Red Chair Program – what a great idea to encourage visitors to just stop for a while and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the park! And I didn’t know the name of the chairs is Adirondack even though I’ve always liked the design. Thanks for that as well as the gorgeous photographs as always, Cindy!

  17. I enjoyed seeing the chipmunks up close and personal. Of course I was reminded of naughty Alvin and his sidekicks. Nature’s color palette is spectacular in the park photos. I also like the Red Chair program.

        1. It is so big and so much of it is remote. I remember Canadian campgrounds as a kid and how surprised I was by the difference from the US. The campsites were set up so you couldn’t see the next door campsite. What a concept!

    1. Seeing any species that is not endemic to where you live is always a thrill. Did I tell you about the lady in S. Africa who was rather dismissive of my thrill at seeing the crocodiles? She sniffed, “Well, they are quite common.”
      I replied, “Not in California,” and proceeded to takes tons of photos of them in the river.
      The memory is still a thrill.

  18. We took a train ride in Jim Thorpe, PA. A little early for the leaves too, but we did see a couple of ‘red’ ones. It used to be coal country with most of the trees gone. A gal on the train said most of the trees we were seeing were new growth of about forty/ fifty years at least on either side of the train.
    Lots of mountains and lakes, but we didn’t get to the lakes.

    I’ve got some chipmunks or (smaller) voles in my yard. I can’t get up near close enough for a photo they are quick!

    1. That train ride sounds like a fun adventure. I will miss the leaves turning this year which is sad, except for a couple in my yard. Cheers & Happy Fall to you Jules <3

      1. I’ve got relative who have different seasons… they never see the fall leaves change. Palm trees just shed and the city has to come and collect the dead fronds.

  19. Your photography never disappoints Cindy. I couldn’t help but smile at the pictures of the chipmunks, they’re so darn cute! The scenery is spectacular. I hope you are doing well. ~Steph

      1. You’re welcome Cindy. This summer I traveled a bit and couldn’t help but think of you while I was hiking a mountain out in Utah. I was on a retreat for blind and visually impaired women and as I soaked in the environment around me I felt so free and lighthearted. The scenery was so beautiful and memories of your adventures flitted through my mind. You are so fortunate to be an adventurer and now that I’ve got a small sampling of what it’s like I hope to expand beyond my comfort zone.

        1. Oh your makes me happy! How wonderful you did this and I am so so pleased you will continue it. I have been aware that I calmest when I am in the wilderness and happiest when I am around wild creatures. It makes me very feel wonderful to think of your hiking in gorgeous Utah and I do hope you continue to explore. Love to you & happy wandering <3

  20. We lived in Dauphin, Manitoba for a few years. It’s just a few kilometers from Riding Mountain Park. We loved the hiking trails, and having picnics surrounded by the natural beauty of the park. I’m glad you got to visit it, and post some great pictures. I love the Red Chair project!

  21. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    At the end of the day, I do enjoy sitting quietly and my preference is to have a beautiful view in front of me.. not always possible. However, you only have to pop over to Cindy Knoke’s blog to enjoy a wonderful collection of images, including these from Riding Mountain National Park.. with some adorable chipmunks. “Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba Canada has a ‘Red Chair Program,’ where two red Adirondack chairs are placed at random, often remote locations throughout the park, encouraging you sit for a spell and soak up the scenery” perfect

    1. I hope you do know, the greatest thing about blogging for me, is getting to interact with creative talents like yourself. I wouldn’t likely be able to meet you Sally, in the grocery line.

  22. I always love to see chairs and benches situated in natural areas to give us the hint to hey, take a few minutes to soak in the beauty.

  23. Anonymous

    Looks like a fascinating forest and place to explore and what a wonderful clever idea to put the two red chairs in remote locations. After a long hike or walk they would be a most welcomed addition for seniors like me. 🙂

    1. Cindy, the above comment is mine also. As I explained before in your most recent post I had some trouble with my log in profile not working right and had to update or correct it. Sorry for the confusion. 🙂


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