Welsh Girl's Allotment

Hello World,(a bit ambitious as only my mam knows I am here yet !) This is my blog detailing my quest for an allotment, its cultivation and hopefully bountiful crops. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE COMMENTS, EVEN IF IT IS ONLY A HELLO !!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Critters

Although I have no photos to prove it I have been busy down at the plot, digging and weeding same stuff different day. However Tuesday I had company in the form of a critter. I lifted the blue tarpaulin, odd bits of lino, underlay and moved them to the far plot to attempt to slow down the grass.

When I started to dig out the roots and weeds I noticed some strange droppings, it took me a while to work out that they had simply swollen in the wet. I wasn't particularly bothered at this point as I thought it was probably field mice. I then spotted a beautifully crafted nest, poked it gently with my boot ... and it squeaked !! I covered it back over with a piece of underlay and decided to have a coffee break. As I was enjoying the sun and my coffee what I took to be a rat shot out from underneath the underlay and off into the long grass.

I am not a feeble female prone to leaping on chairs when rodents appear but I will admit to thinking uch-a-fi , it would be naive to think that there are no rats near the plot - I am next to a pigeon loft and stables and not far from the river but its just the ratty thought . To be truthful I wasn't going to blog about it, for some reason I felt a bit ashamed - Yuk she's got rats type of attitude - stupid I know as it seem quite a common problem on plots.

It has put me off going down the plot for a few days but in true Daddy's girl style my Dad has come to the rescue, he popped down this morning and telephoned from the plot, I went down straight away, 'I think its a vole' he said 'I have found another empty nest and one of its holes I am convinced its a vole'. After more prodding about and whining from me about rats he said come here what do want to do about these - in his hand we two tiny helpless creatures - definately voles. We tucked them back up as quickly possible and hopefully they will be Ok.

When they start eating my plants I probably won't be so luvvy dovey about them but at least we can add to the tally of creatures spotted at the plot so far we have, slow worms, frogs and now voles.... and realistically I expect a rat has run across the plot at some point !!!!

5 Comments:

At 7:42 pm, Anonymous David said...

Hi, I am also trying hard to grow in this wet, windy and currently cold wales. keep updating and sharing your succes with us. I have put a link to your blog on mine and hope if you read mine you will do likewise

www.blog.tryfarming.co.uk

David

 
At 6:14 am, Blogger Matron said...

How sweet! a vole! I found a baby mouse in a nest in my compost heap last year when I was turning it. Not so squeamish, I dispatched it.. and an hour later there was a frantic adult mouse searching the area!

 
At 7:24 pm, Blogger Mrs Be said...

Oh, I'm so relieved. I'm with you on the rats, but voles, voles sound sweet. I don't know a thing about them though!

 
At 12:13 pm, Blogger antipodesgirl said...

I had what I think was a vole on my site before winter. I saw it in teh compost bin, fast little critter, pretty brown fur. It had made a nest and tunneled lots of little tunnels on the site around the compost bin, so my thinking is it is getting fat off the scraps in there. I don't mind, I think they have to live too,and I haven't noticed any crop damage.
I haven't seen it since spring has come, either it got eaten by something or it is hiding in the compost rather skilfully. I couldn't kill anything like that. my limit stops at squashing snails underboot.

 
At 10:22 pm, Blogger redimp said...

I look after the voles and the field mice on my plot Bob. I shooed the neighbourhood cat away the other day when vole sought shelter in my pile of manure.

mrs be - a vole or field mouse should do very little damage. They are omnivorous so do like grains and vegetables, especially during the winter (so watch out for your stored potatoes and seeds in the shed). They tend to be more insectivorous during the summer so are probably beneficial in that respect.

I don't store seed in my shed and sow everything at home so I have no problem with them at all. I have also heard (but don't know how reliable) that if you have a vole or a mouse, you don't have rats. And rats are another thing altogether!

 

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