Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Survivors? You bet!




Last week, when we were under a foot of snow, I did a post saying that I worried about how the small mammals = voles, shrews, field mice etc - would survive. I thought that if they came up to the surface they would be so easily seen by hungry predators and if they stayed down their holes they would starve.


Now the snow has almost gone and the fields are green again. And guess what there is in our large pasture? I think we could call it "Vole City"! a whole community of small mammals has created a series of 'roads' under the snow. They have obviously done this by eating away the grass; road building and eating ones dinner all in one go, so to speak. And every so far there is a little hole back down into their underground homes. Don't you think that is clever?
I should have had more faith in Nature - she has obviously equipped these small mammals with terrific survival instincts and they have made full use of them.
Maybe the situation is not so good for rabbits - they seem to be very thin on the ground. The farmer, of course, is pleased about this (they say that 10 rabbits eat as much grass in Summer as one cow) and he assures me that the strongest will still be around. Natural selection at work there I would say - isn't Nature clever?

20 comments:

Dave King said...

Fascinating - even if it does look ominously like our roads just at present. You don't seem to have the pot holes, though. (Keep this sort of stuff a'coming: it's brilliant.)

Textile Art Showcase said...

That is very clever Weaver - what a great find after the snow has gone and what a relief to know that the animals are smart enough to look after themselves when the weather conditions get really tough.

acornmoon said...

How amazing!

I hope you are enjoying the reprieve, although it looks like more snow maybe on the way.

dinesh chandra said...

Hi the nature is great to survive things in it.

Regards

Dinesh Chandra

Golden West said...

Good for the voles! I love hearing news of life on your farm. Don't remember if I've complimented you on the winter header - it's grand! I imagine that tiny peek of a rooftop around the bend is your home.

jinksy said...

Did you hear on the radio in the early hours of this morning, scientists are milking rabbits?! They've been genetically altered to make an extract from their milk acceptable to humans, to be used in the treatment of strokes. Honestly... :)

Jenn Jilks said...

I have written about this, Weaver! The critters are very clever. I see this every spring.

Plus the cats, and the foxes, sit and watch the snow carefully. I knew they were looking for something!

maggi said...

Nature never ceases to amaze me.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

I remember seeing something similar on a smaler scale in our highland garden a few years ago. I wasn't a big fan of the vole!

Arija said...

Life is not always easy and not everyone survives, species vanish and others take their place ... life goes on.

PurestGreen said...

Isn't it wonderful, the way the world can be covered with snow, yet there is still so much life going on around us, which we cannot see? I just love it - makes me feel small.

Titus said...

Oh, that's just fantastic Weaver. Nothing like that round here, you must be a lot more "small mammal-y" there. Brilliant.

BT said...

Wow, isn't that amazing? Great photos too. Well done for finding those little tracks.

Sandy said...

How neat - I have never seen anything like that before. Great post!

Teacup Lane (Sandy)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Dave - no potholes but plenty of vole holes.
Thank TAS and acornmoon - I am trying not to think about more snow coming until it arrives.
GW - sorry to disappoint you but the header does not show the entrance to our farm - the photograph was taken much higher up in the Pennines.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Jinksy - rabbit milk - yuk!

Jenn - yes I do believe that the foxes etc. can smell the voles through the snow - rather like polar bears and seals.

Thanks to everyone else - I have run out of time but do appreciate your comments.

Crafty Green Poet said...

clever voles, poor rabbits...

jeannette stgermain said...

Wow, that is great! Sometimes I think that animals have more resources on surviving than we humans do LOL
Had no idea rabbits could eat that much grass:)

Sandy said...

Great photos! I often see our Golden walking through the snow and sticking her nose into the snow every few feet. My husband says she's following a mouse trail....amazing they can smell something as small as a mouse in the snow!

ArtPropelled said...

Hahaa I can't believe the network of little roads beneath the snow!