A Mole in the Greenhouse


Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Thursday, 16th August, 2007

molemole diggingI NOTICED a fresh pile of crumbly soil between two of the tomato plants in the greenhouse; that mole gets everywhere! It made several mole-hills in the little meadow area, then we noticed its excavations by the compost heaps and the edge of the path nearby. It must have connecting tunnels below the paths, which lie on weed-suppression fabric.

rabbitAfter meetings and web work this week I was feeling rather groggy today so I took some time out to give the garden a bit of a trim; it always seems to get a bit out of control at this time of year. With the new shears I found that I could do the first stretch of the hedge down to the crab apple at one go. Barbara followed behind picking up the trimmings from between the plants, which is the part of the job I like the least.


This evening the rabbit is sitting, apparently deep in thought (if that's possible for a rabbit), on the path by the greenhouse. Hope he's not thinking of burrowing his way in there too.


foxfox scatFox

A few weeks ago we put in a three sisters bed at Barbara's mum's. It's a companion planting scheme used by North American Indians, consisting of squash, beans and sweet corn, each of which helps the others to grow. We mulched the whole bed with some composted bark that had a intense but not unpleasant woodland odour. A fox has visited and used this pungent landmark as a suitable place to leave his or her own territorial marker in the form of a dropping, which is, as is often the case with fox, pointed at the end and with a clayey texture.


At a Wakefield Naturalists' field meeting at the weekend, people were commenting on how many garden snails there are about this year and wondering if this was somehow related to an apparent decline in hedgehog numbers. At one time you used to see them dotted around squashed on the roads. Road casualties might have contributed to their apparent decline but no doubt there's more to it than that.

I was glad to hear that my mum had recently spotted a hedgehog in her garden, snuffling around in by daylight.