So many pretty colors popping out in my flower gardens right now. Thought I'd best get some pictures while the gardens shine, because next summer they might look like this –
Because of these –
I'd noticed some kind of odd marks in the lawn, but didn't give much thought to them because we've had 4 baby skunks ambling thru the yard thIs last month. (I took a bunch of pics of them, but until Bruce can get the Apple/iPad situation under control, those photos are in limbo.)
Then I noticed a few small holes near the stacked rock garden retainers. I pulled some of the plants back, and, holy smokes, the flower beds are full of raised tunnels! We have a terrible problem with voles in the yard around the cabin, so I recognized what they were right away. It doesn't much matter up there because there aren't any flower beds or gardens that will be sacrificed.
I'm really miffed they decided to move in here. Gardening isn't an inexpensive hobby, and if these buggers kill all my plants off, I will not be a happy camper having to replace all my plants next spring. And the bigger problem is, I don't know how to get rid of the pests. My options are limited, having critters. I sure can't use poison bait. One website recommended snap mouse traps. They would be hanging off the end of my dogs noses if I tried that. My Mom's friend said she heard placing a stick of unchewed gum near the opening of their holes will have them eating it, then dying from it. I don't know why that would kill them. And I would have to take out a bank loan to keep the dog groomer paid for removing gum from my dog's and cat's hair for sure.
Even if mice are a pain in the neck, at least they are cute. These voles are creepy. They don't hop like mice; they kind of scurry/slither. I told Bruce they move like mercury balls, and look a lot like a big drop of water when they move.
The rodent population is getting a bit out of hand around here. As is the lagomorph population (bunnies). I looked into it a bit and learned that the fox population in several areas in Montana was nearly decimated a few years ago from distemper. That is one of the main reasons the rodent and rabbit population is so great. They are tremendously prolific, and there are presently very few predators to control them. Especially in town. The folks who have good mousing cats are very lucky right now. So far this Spring and Summer, my kitty has brought 3 mice into the house (to feed us, the good girl), but no voles, and thankfully no bunnies. But she is no spring chick, and it's probably not the easiest task for her to catch stuff.
So, I will appreciate my flowers for now; try to hope for the best and plan for the worst.
Better add some bubble gum to my grocery list :-/