This is "nature" for ya!

on Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'm having a real problem in my blueberry patch. It's where my strawberry patch was two years ago, and I was always busting gray catbirds for flying off with whole berries. This year? These guys are back, and they're getting under the bird netting, OR standing on top of it and weighing it down, so they can pick the berries through the netting. They're VERY determined. So far this is the only one that's gotten caught in the netting and needed some help. I gave it a stern lecture before tossing it into the sky... Check out the blueberry smudges on it's face. Grrr...

And then, while digging up the garlic, I found out why an odd mound formed in the raised bed early this spring (after awhile I gave up on thinking it was animal-related, and figured all the freezing caused an up-swelling). I know some of the garlic was missing from one side of the mound. Anyhow, I'd been digging up the garlic with the pitchfork, started to lift another area, and suddenly there was this awful noise coming out of the dirt!! I had NO IDEA what it was. I lifted a bit more - more noise. Even more - and suddenly little gray fuzzies started pouring out of the ground!

No, that's not a bloody found on the tip of it's nose - that's the star-shaped nose of a mole. Cute, hunh? (Ok apparently these aren't actually star-nosed moles - just regular moles? Those other ones are pretty damn freaky looking!)

And what do they sound like when you dig them up? Thankfully I had my camera on me, so as soon as I unearthed them, I started taking this video.

Now before you all go thinking I did something awful like skewer the moles or stomp on them, don't start giving me the evil eye. This is nature...and while these are considered pests in my garden, I don't go around killing them for killing's sake.

So I fed them to Doogie.

Ha! You didn't fall for that again did you?

Nah... Only one had a small scratch under it's forearm - and there's no way I could've known if I was going to stick one if I didn't even know they were down there! It's possible there's more (and yes, possible some got killed), but since I lifted out 6 and only one showed a slight wound, I'm going to consider them pretty lucky. I brought them up to the house to show Brett (which got me a lecture) and then I put them over in the weeds in the adjacent lot to us. I went back about 10-15 minutes later, and all were gone, although I could see signs of one digging through the weeds. Are they too young to fend for themselves? I don't know. Was their mother still feeding them and was going to come back looking for them? Again, I don't know. Will I regret setting them "free" so close to my own yard? I don't know - quite possibly. I didn't see any holes in the ground where I put them, so it's possibly they're still too young. But at least I gave them a chance, right?


Emily said...

I can't believe you touched those things without gloves! Now I can't figure out if those are what our dogs have dug up in our yard or if ours are voles. I keep going back and forth on that. Fortunately we haven't had any for quite a while--maybe the patio construction and yard redo has scared them away for awhile.

Jeph said...

Moles have a pretty distinctive nose, and get considerably bigger than a vole.

Why wouldn't you touch them without gloves? For living in the dirty, they were INCREDIBLY clean (as you could see from the picture/video!)

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