Friday, 2 June 2006

The sweetest thing

It was nearly carnage on the lottie yesterday. Have been in full digging mode, ruthlessly casting aside dandelions, bindweed and other such horrors. The ground is so thick with weeds that I have to dig a bit and then hand sift the soil.

Had just turned some more soil ready for sifting when I heard a strange, but persistent and alarming noise. With a bit of trepidation I started to pull away the surface weeds ... was it a bees nest I'd disturbed, had I accidently injured a small critter ?? Saw some dried grass that had been made into a circle, gently pulled it away to discover some lovely little mouse / vole babies !

They came unbelievably close to being sliced or stood on, poor little things. Covered them up again and sat down next to them to sift the soil I'd dug, thinking maybe the mother would move them that evening, when a small movement to my right caught my eye.

I glanced down and there was the nervous but very focussed mother. Managed to stiffle my scream, after all this is their territory more than mine, and sat stock still.

She moved really quickly, using the weeds as cover, ran under my feet, into the nest, grabbed the first baby and quickly made her way back to where she'd come from.

She made another 6/7 runs until all of the babies had been moved. She's a beautiful little thing, has a very short tail so I don't think its a mouse, but perhaps a vole ?

Maybe thats where my peas disappeared to ...