Well, there I was, feeling all zen about having a mole in my backyard, recognizing the great things about moles and feeling very accepting of critters in general. Then, I went outside yesterday to set out some winter sowing containers and what should I discover in the melting snow but the distinctive tracks of not moles, but voles. You can see the tracks in the photo right behind my dog Lily’s backside and running across the yard. Looks like Lily is on the scent, though she is way too old and slow to catch anything. What we need are a few more hawks around here.
Unlike moles, which generally are solitary creatures and not that harmful to plantings, voles can wreck havoc with trees and shrubs. They also reproduce wildly, with female voles ready to start making babies at three weeks of age. Yikes! I’m not sure what will be my plan of action in the spring. Apparently vole populations tend to hit a peak every four years and it looks like we’re in that peak.