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Remember Me

Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 09/08/2008 01:34 AM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 09/09/2008 03:43 PM
Expires: 01/01/2013 12:00 AM

Holey Mole-y!~By the PineTree Pedaler, Brett Loring

Calaveras County, CA....We sat outside watching the earth billow up and settle leaving reverse furrows between the flowers and vegetables we had so painstakingly been protecting from the deer for the past couple of months. Days before, we noticed that something appeared to have “tilled” the ground near our front porch, providing soft spots in which to twist an ankle.....

"Mole Nibbling at Strawberry Peace Offering"

"Mole Pre-Tunneling Position"

My son had spent nearly an hour after school staking out the industrious little critter that was creating these geoglyphs. He watched as the tender shoot of a young sunflower plant disappeared beneath the soil. That disappearing act drew his closer examination and he discovered the diggings to be that of a mole as he noticed the charcoal gray fur of the rodent emerging occasionally when it “topped out” in its tunnel. Immediately, it was a call to arms! He grabbed a shovel while commanding his older sister to fetch a box and a net. Soon the hunt was on.

Eventually, my son was able to strategically, but unknowingly, plant the shove blade in front of the critter. He heaved a shovelful of dirt in the direction of his former helper, and…well…let’s just say the neighborhood alert system was sounded as the mole landed at her feet amidst the flung dirt. It was hard to tell who was more freaked out, the sister or the critter, because both were shrieking at different decibels, the former the louder. After being catapulted the dazed and confused rodent make a squealing noise, almost like a muffled pig.

Following a brief recovery period for lass and beast, the mole was scooped up in a net and left on the ground while the hunter rounded up a box. However, the net proved to be no match for the mole as there was a quarter-sized hole in it, and the day’s trophy was lost.

Long story short…Two days later, the hunt is on again as now gardener and offspring alike are on a mission to stop the plant-thieving rodent. In mole vs. family, family prevails. Remaining plant-life is spared from yet another garden infiltrator. Son traps mole without incident. Mole is transported to holding tank, held for observation then released a day later in an undisclosed, isolated location.

Lesson learned: you build it, they will come, whether “they” be deer, raccoons, skunks, bees, or meddling moles. You leave the dog food inside by the back door, a skunk is smart enough to operate the doggie door. You plant pretty flowers, a rodent bypasses the fishing line that kept deer out for a month. My spring project: 18-inch high raised planting beds with mole-proof cement bases, natural insect-repelling plants and mechanisms, in an 8-foot high deer resistant fenced area covered with half-inch bird netting.

Then again…how much are tomatoes at the market?

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