Thursday, December 30, 2010

A puzzle

This morning we were walking in the very wet snow - it's quite mushy but the pathways on the property are still pretty solid. At the north end, both dogs suddenly stepped off the path and into the deep snow.

This (right) is what they saw. Can you figure it out?

I looked at it for quite a bit of time until I too finally stepped off the path to see better. It's a pile of snail shells with a deep, brownish hole in the middle. I realized that someone has been cleaning house.

A mole must live here. It's finally gotten tired of eating snails for breakfast, lunch and dinner and decided to throw out the garbage. The solitary snail on the left still had it's foot, so I assumed it was still alive and tossed it back down the hole. It might have a better chance of getting away through the grass below seeing as it's so mild, than being left on the surface of the snow.

I had to check on the internet to see if moles eat snails... and apparently they do as do frogs, snakes, foxes and raccoons. So do people, but I'm not sure we eat garden snails. I don't think I'd want to.

The tracks from all kinds of tiny creatures were really evident last night when we toddled (or rather I toddled and the dogs walked or ran) around the trail for the last walk of the day. Lots of tiny bird prints and many many deer mince. Several mole trails too, like you see in your gardens in spring - just under the surface of the snow though rather than the mud - long tunnels, curving and twisting from one set of dried flower stalks to a small red pine and then on. I'm only hoping all these little guys don't girdle the seedlings in the field. I guess wire is in order around them if it's going to stay warm for a day or two.

Hope you've had a good day so far and enjoyed as many meals this holiday season as our mole friend obviously has. Time for you to clean house before the new year?

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating post. I had no idea moles would keep a collection like that, and then suddenly clean house. Reminds me of The Wind in the Willows. Doesn't Mole suddenly get a springtime urge to clean?