A rodent's tale

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A rodent's tale

As much as I searched my photo library for a suitable graphic for today's blog post I have come up empty. We are in the nature category and a lot of imagination may be needed if you, too, are in unfamiliar territory.

 Having been raised in a land of fascinating marsupials where oddity is the norm, I have been adapting to American wildlife, over the last few years, sometimes not sure whether I am seeing reality or looking for cartoon equivalents (eg an encounter with a roadrunner, making friends with a very thin squirrel who accepted hand offered cookies, a skunk who thought it was one of the neighborhood cats, or deer who were of the notion that newly planted shrubbery was just their own personal food supply).

I had noticed earth movement, new earth scattered on nearby grass, sometimes carefully mounded, sometimes not. Holes too small for a mole, unless a very emaciated one. Next clue came when a very overweight mouse or other rodent waddled past my chair in the evening cool, not in anyway trying to to avoid pursuit, and getting no interest from our house cat, asleep near me. A hamster with a tail - not likely.

I had seen a very wet version of similar diabetic mouse standing near one of the afore mentioned holes, and earth rearrangements, waiting for the lawn watering system to shut down (and for water levels in the hole to get back to survival level?).

Turns out I was not looking at a mouse or a rat, nor correctly blaming an errant mole. My visitor is a vole ~ I hadn't registered the name previously. Seems they are common in the desert areas of Utah. They tend to make incursions into suburbia when conditions are prolonged dry, after all we live in a high altitude desert, and we have room to share in Sandy UT.

So Mr Vole; I am happy to make your acquaintance and to add our meeting to my life experience.


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Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

Now that is news for sure a Vole never heard of one, but left up to the imagination is pretty cool.

Jun 27, 2012 01:09 PM #1
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Larry - by your description of the holes and mounds of dirt in your yard it sounded like gophers.   We have lots of those here.   I've never met a Vole, but you never know.   Nice post.

Jun 27, 2012 02:23 PM #2
Larry O'Sullivan
Sandy, UT

Charles - pesky little beasties can get to pague proportions in really dry weather. Supposedly in excess of 150 species of voles in North America.

Jim - I've yet to meet a gopher, but I am surprised often. Makes being in the US a whole new adventure.

Jun 27, 2012 11:43 PM #3
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

Here in San Diego, Ca -we have gophers and squirrels that are a nuisances. I tried to start a vegetable garden and had such a time with keep the gophers at bay.

Jun 28, 2012 01:25 AM #4
Larry O'Sullivan
Sandy, UT

Lorraine/Loretta - sounds like another form of taxation. Another penalty for attempting to become self-sufficient. We even have a pair of mallards that fly in for a few days each spring to see what's around for them.

Jun 28, 2012 05:46 AM #5
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Hi Larry ~ When my daughter lived in the Chicago area, she had experiences with voles in her yard.  When she first told me about them, I thought she was mis-pronouncing "moles" LOL -- but soon learned much more about voles from her.  Here in Oregon, we have gophers and moles that love to "work" in the lawn!

Jul 01, 2012 03:21 AM #6
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