Chipmunks are cute, striped rodents and it’s not uncommon to see them running along branches and the forest floor.

What is uncommon though, is what Michael Langenek’s grandchildren brought to his attention in the middle of the summer season.

Langenek lives along Kootenay Road #3, halfway between Windermere and Fairmont; his grandchildren live close by.

“They said, ‘There was a white chipmunk here’, and I think they actually asked me if it was a chipmunk because of the nature of its colour,” he said.

Langenek followed the young folks to a wood pile. “And it was there, running between three brush piles. It was picking up seeds and eating them as it went.” It was the first time he’d seen such a creature, and he’s been on the property for 30 years.

Langenek took photos immediately. “I got quite close to it; I didn’t have to hunt for it at all. It was probably used to the children.”

Langenek caught sight of the unique rodent a couple of weeks later; his grandchildren saw it frequently throughout the rest of the summer.

“None of us have seen it lately,” Langenek noted. He said chipmunks in general settle down this time of the year. “You see them less in September and October.”

Being such a conspicuous colour may have worked against the chipmunk too. “We have several small hawks in the area present from time to time,” Langenek said.