Saturday, March 14, 2009

snouty surprise!

I was out doing a little bit of cleanup (a very little bit, it's tremendously soggy out there still) and made an interesting discovery.

We have moles.

Part of me thinks, "Hey, wow! Cool! More backyard wildlife! Excellent!"

Part of me thinks, "Oh crap. That's not good for the garden."

The "cool wildlife" part of me is kind of winning out at this point, because I haven't noticed them doing any major damage. Because nothing is growing yet. They've got quite a little nest of holes underneath the big miscanthus grass in the back (which provided them with a tremendous amount of cover, but kept the snow out of the entrances -- it was while chopping the dead grass back that I noticed the holes, and I hadn't seen them before). I hope they haven't damaged the miscanthus roots -- it's one of the plants we have that makes me look good.

There are only two types of mole this could be: a hairy-tailed mole, or a star-nosed mole. And chances are, given the characteristics of the soil we have, they're the former. Either one is pretty darn cute (in a "what the heck is that, good lord, it's so ugly" kind of way) and I'm not about to [attempt to] evict them unless they start causing serious problems. I'm not all that attached to my lawn.

I am more attached to my earthworms, but moles have a habit of eating them. They also eat grubs, snails, centipedes, and slugs. So... I think the benefit of moles may outweigh the disadvantages, as long as I don't step in any holes and break myself.

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