Of Voles and Holes

Image courtesy https://www.thetimes.co.uk/

If you have country property here in my corner of Oregon, you have probably noticed an explosion of small mammals, including ground squirrels, rats but especially voles this year.  Rodents have population cycles peaking every few years and then falling after the predator population catches up to them.  This is a banner year for voles

Voles are rodents, bigger than mice with smaller ears and short tales.  They are chiefly vegetarians munching on roots, nuts, young plants, and bulbs.  They are proficient tunnelers.  You don’t want them in your garden.

On the positive side, they aerate the soil and distribute nutrients in the soil layers.  My inner biologist recognizes their role in the great circle of life but my outer gardener is extremely frustrated.  I am perhaps the first person to write a poem about vole holes?.  Adding a bit a humor has made the situation in my lawn more tolerable.

Vole Hola

They appeared slowly

Like stars one by one

Vole holes

Holes from voles

Not a rat, nor mouse, nor mole

But a vole

Tracks from one hole to another

Blades of grass flattened by tiny feet

In the dead of night

In the light hours, they huddle

In dark underground tunnels

Dreaming vole dreams

Out of sight by the watchful attention

Of hawks, owls, and perturbed humans

Their doings impart a rather swiss cheese look to the lawn

I shrug

In thirty years here of fighting natures ways

I put them in the category of dandelions

Conceding defeat

For I know this equivalent of wild hamsters

Will party themselves out of existence

on the bottom of the food chain

leaving a lot of fat owls and smiling cats

Then life will go on

Leaving a multitude of empty holes

In my lawn.

Alanna also blogs at onesweetearth.art.com

6 thoughts on “Of Voles and Holes

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever read a poem about voles. You captured the essence of voles with a twist of humor. 🙂 We don’t see many voles but the population of rabbits is way up this year.

    Liked by 1 person

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