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.