Saturday, September 10, 2016

Not for the squeamish

You didn't think I'd let Bertie's present go unphotographed, did you? If you've never seen one, this is a mole. It's dead, obviously, but there's no blood or guts. Thankfully. Bert just dropped it on the deck, presumably for us to eat (we didn't).

It's kind of cute, even if it is dead.

And, in case you didn't know, the color of a mole is taupe. That's also what a mole is called in French, une taupe. I've only seen two alive. One of them was a mole that Bert had caught and brought to us many years ago. I killed it rather than let it go back to dig up my yard. The other I actually saw scurrying on the ground; it disappeared into its hole just as I realized what it was.

When we first got moles in the yard I was upset. They create little mountains of dirt all over and the ground is spongy where they burrow. And when they dig in the vegetable garden it angers me. But I've long since given up trying to battle them. They're supposedly good for aerating the soil, and they eat the larvae of nasty flying insects. I've also learned to use the dirt from their hills to fill in ruts and other low spots in the ground. Still, I don't lament the occasional kill.


  1. Well done Bert!
    We found Daisy chasing a live mole around the garden when she was quite young. She yanked it out by the tail every time it tried to escape back into the ground, poor thing. Like you, we find mole hills very annoying but have a wheelbarrow load of goos soil that has come in very handy.

  2. I've not seen a live one but I found one on top of the levee here in a similar "pose". Don't know if that was because of a dog, a cat, old age, or too much booze (which is what it kinda looks like). In any case I agree with your conclusion, that there's not really any way to keep them out of your yard so you might as well try to appreciate 'em.

  3. coucou Walt - I'd read on French gardening forums that if you plant Incarvillea delavayi, the smell of the rhizomes deters moles and other small creatures Plante anti taupes
    We planted four this spring, three came up, the flowers are lovely, a bit like gloxinia - realise it's not that useful if they dig in your lawn or vegetable plots - can't really say if they work, we haven't had moles (so far!) - bonne chance!

  4. If you're brought up on Wind In The Willows, but don't have a garden or a bowling green to care for, you tend to have a soft spot for moles.....

  5. oh no these creatures damaged my garden last year

  6. At my Mom's property in Pennsylvania her cat Rusty would bring such "gifts" to her on a regular basis. Always unmarked. I suspect the creature died from a bite to the back of its neck.

  7. What Autolycus said.
    Next thing we know, you'll be siccing Bertie on Rattie, too, when all they want to do is mess about in boats.

  8. jean, that must have been fun to watch!

    stuart, too much booze! That must be it.

    mccork, thanks! I had not heard of this one before.

    autolycus, I have a soft spot, too. It's called my garden!

    gosia, they can cause a lot of damage.

    ron, Bert also brings us other "presents," but he eats those. Not so with moles.

    emm, lol!


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