|Vole in one of my new gardens.|
They've been nibbling on Shiner's dog food that we keep in the laundry room. I occasionally catch a glimpse of one in there. Just the other day I saw one just chillin' right next to Nibblet's cage. Nibblet was asleep in one of her boxes. I'm not sure if the thing was trying to make friends or what. I tried to catch it, but was unsuccessful.
They don't seem too scared of people and will hang out even if I'm watching them at a fairly close proximity. The thing is, I've been wondering what the heck they are? My first though was mice. Then I realized that they are too big and fat to be mice. And they are too small to be rats... plus they don't have a rat's tail. So, I started to Google things and found a creature that I've never even heard of before.
They are voles. Apparently, there are lots of different types of voles and mine are probably either prarie voles or woodland voles. Have you ever heard of a vole before? They like to make intricate burrows in the ground, sometimes destroying roots of plants which makes them a real nuisance to gardeners. They eat roots, fruits, nuts, and sometimes insects. Whatever they can get their paws on pretty much. A vole is able to reproduce rapidly, but they only have a lifespan of maybe 6 months or so.
|A vole scratching itself.|
Photo via Peter Trimming
When our old cat, Kitty Kitty Meow Meow, was around we never had any vole (or mice or rat) problems. She was pretty hardcore. Her prey of choice was rabbits, but she also liked other small rodents like mice. Since she passed away last fall, I guess the voles have decided that it's safe to take up residence in these parts.
At least they are cute... well to me anyways, but I know some people aren't so fond of little rodent creatures like I am.