A little winter excavation, and a wish for you


It’s the Winter Solstice, a time when we face the coming cold but also think (dream!) ahead to gardening and growing food as the light returns and the wheel of the year turns.  There doesn’t seem to be much going on this time of year outside in the yard and garden, except of course for the animals looking for food and shelter in the cold and ice/snow later.  I feed birds and squirrels on my patio every day once it gets cold, and hungry bunches of birds are out there throughout the day till dusk.

This morning something was different:  there at the herb bed, beside my shark teeth rock…….ground that wasn’t there before, and I didn’t put there.  Hmmm, why is that, where did it come from?  Odd.

So looking around at the one corner of the herb bed frame, I discovered a hole.


Ahah!  A little creature did a lot of excavating for his size, and dug a tunnel under the frame.  When animals dig they have to get rid of the dirt somewhere, and there is a lot of it, so his tunnel must be pretty deep or long. I thought of a mole or vole, but also maybe a mouse. The hole is small but mice can get thru some small places. I then read that voles and moles eat insects and plant roots, and thought maybe a little mouse was planning to have a birdseed buffet right outside his/her  home all winter.

Now I’ll be watching around there to see if I can see who the occupant of the hole is. Winter is a little boring, and every little interesting thing counts. A mouse hole might even inspire me to write a blog, lol.

The Solstice is a time of renewal and new beginnings, and I hope that this time of year is good for all my readers and finds each of you well.  Merry Christmas, Blessed Yule, Happy Holidays of whatever kind your holidays are.  Be thankful for Today, because Today is what we have.


11 responses to “A little winter excavation, and a wish for you

    • And the same back to all of you Herman. I hope your winter is easy and your spring comes early. Scratch that beautiful Mr. Bowie behind the ears for me. ☕️🎄❤️

  1. Oh, the gophers have been horrible this year! There is another rodent that we have not seen before. Like the vole, it does not pile soil outside of the hole. The hole is remarkably empty of loose soil. Where does the soil go? The holes are too big for a vole though. I think they might be creative gophers that are putting the soil outside of other holes, because there are plenty of other holes in the same areas.

    • I didn’t know voles didn’t pile up their dirt. Where does it go, surely they don’t carry it a distance away? So I guess you just told me this critter isn’t a vole. I still think a mouse. We don’t have gophers around here. I do have chipmunk tunnels under the back yard, but this hole is too small for a chipmunk.

      • The absence of dirt around vole holes is a mystery. They are uncommon here; but I have seen their holes a few years ago. There really was no dirt around them. It was weird. I do not know what mice do. The only mice here live inside or woodpiles, not underground. I could not tell from the pictures how small the holes were.

      • About the size of a dime. Tiny animal, but mice squeeze thru some really small places, like finding ways to get into my basement occasionally.

      • Voles are small too, but not that small. The holes that I have been seeing recently are almost as big as gopher holes (and probably are); but in the past, the vole tunnels I found were much smaller, but still much bigger than a dime.

  2. Looking forward to finding out who the occupant of the hole is. May the coming year be filled with many blessings for you and your family. 💚🎄❤️

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