Sunday, March 27, 2011

What happened this winter?

Many people, when the deep snow disappeared, me included, were dismayed to find several small trees and even a few large ones, completely ringed below the level the snow drifts had reached.

While I was wandering around the park at the Heathcote river, I saw this small apple tree. At least 18 inches of bark completely stripped away.

Immediately at its base I saw these pathways dug into the
soil - mole and vole tunnels. These little critters have even managed
to chew away the base of the dogwood branch (the red stick on
the left of the picture) a bush they don't normally like. They have created tunnels everywhere.
And they have ruined many a garden, tree plantation and lawn in their munching. Wonderful for them that they have been able to survive under the snow all winter, but tough for those of us who now have to repair or replace the damaged areas.

I've lost a few small red pines, a large 10 foot red pine, some wild apple and ash along the windrow, and who knows what in my gardens. The little creatures have left behind evidence of a very busy winter.

It's also evidence of the inability of hawks and coyotes as well as feral cats and fox to dig through the snow and catch them.

I haven't heard coyotes howling around here in a while. I suspect the guns I heard last weekend, cleaned out at least one pack. Sad for us to be destroying nature's attempts at retaining balance. Some people just can't abide nature's ways and must impose some of their own.

However grass will eventually cover over the muddy tunnels, coyotes will move into the area that's been stripped of others of their kind. And nature will roll over, eventually, most of the control attempts. An ongoing battle.

My solution has been to plant more than I need and try to live with nature rather than fight it, as much as I can that is.

So far so good. And today it's cold and sunny, a good day to tidy up some of the dead and dried up foliage from last year and make plans for spring planting and fall harvest. Always fun to think ahead.

Hope you are enjoying a delightful Sunday wherever you are.


  1. That hurt my heart a little to hear that they had killed the coyotes :( as well as the trees that have been destroyed. With the amount of snow you had I can't believe it didn't do more. I am looking forward to see your new plants grow :)

  2. Yesterday I saw a couple of mice on my back patio polishing off fallen bird seed. I am surprised to see them so out in the open during the day . I guess they are hungry. It has been so cold I was even more surprised to see a chipmonk scuttling about too.