Several days ago I finally found out what the little critter was that I saw scurry into a hole in one of the cement blocks that I have stacked in a corner of the garden. As I have been digging in my garden this spring, every now and then I would hear some little creature scurry through the brush. Once I even saw it briefly, a brownish blur. Mouse? Young rabbit? Finally this week I got to see the little animal who has been nibbling at my rue plant near its hole. It is a little meadow vole or meadow mouse.
Here it is nibbling on a blooming turnip plant I placed in front of its hole.
This is the first time I’ve ever seen a meadow vole in my garden, so I had to read about voles and guess what?
I discovered that the impact of meadow moles upon their ecosystems can be quite significant. Voles ingest a high rate of vegetable matter which stimulates its decomposition and nutrient release. Their nutrient-rich fecal pellets then are widely dispersed throughout their habitats to the benefit of new and growing vegetation. These little creatures consume a large number of plants classified as weeds, but of course I don’t know how I would ever train my vole(s) to help me weed my garden beds! 😊
So now when I walk around my garden I stop by the back corner and check on the vole to see if it’s out and about. I’ve left red clover leaves and lettuce at its front door and have seen it nibbling at my gifts. Wouldn’t it be fun to make friends with a meadow vole!