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The Daily Bucket is a place where we post and exchange our observations about what is happening in the natural world in our neighborhood. Each note about the bugs, buds, and birds around us is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns of nature that are quietly unwinding around us.
I posed the question to the Google to define mole. Here is what I got.

  1. A highly spiced Mexican sauce made chiefly from chili peppers and chocolate, served with meat.

  2. A small, often slightly raised blemish on the skin made dark by a high concentration of melanin.

  3. A large solid structure on a shore serving as a pier, breakwater, or causeway.

  4. The SI unit of amount of substance, equal to the quantity containing as many elementary units as there are atoms in 0.012 kg of carbon-12.

  5. An abnormal mass of tissue in the uterus.

  6. A small burrowing insectivorous mammal (family Talpidae) with dark velvety fur, a long muzzle, and very small eyes. Several species.

Interesting set of results, don't you think? This diary is about #6.

Don, my next door neighbor, and I live at the edge of a wooded area. There are lots of moles burrowing in the woods. They tend to come into our yards foraging. To stop them, we have discovered a device that seems to keep them at bay. It looks like a cylindrical stake 12" long and 1.5" in diameter. It has a yellow top with a small LED. Put 3 D-cells in it and every 30 seconds it emits a high pitched vibration for 2 seconds. We space them about 30' apart across the back. The moles stay away.

We've had several killing frosts and hard freezes. The temperatures have gone to 12 degrees a couple of times. We thought the moles would be hibernating, or whatever they do in cold weather. So, we put our mole stakes away. The next warm day they made a bee line for the space between our houses. The lawn is laced with burrows. They were quick.

Come below the orange mole burrows for more.

First, a blockquote from Wikipedia about moles...

Moles are small cylindrical mammals adapted to a subterranean lifestyle. They have velvety fur; tiny or invisible ears and eyes;[clarification needed] relatively atrophied hind limbs; and short, powerful forelimbs with large paws oriented for digging. The term is especially and most properly used for the true moles, those of the Talpidae family in the order Soricomorpha found in most parts of North America, Asia, and Europe. It also refers to other completely unrelated mammals of Australia and southern Africa which have also evolved the mole body plan; it is not commonly used for some talpids, such as desmans and shrew-moles, which do not fit the common definition of “mole”, as well.
This diary is confined to the North American Species. World wide there are over 30 species according to the official web site of the British Traditional Mole Catchers Registry. That's a group we should all join.


Eastern Mole


This is the mole in my yard here in Iowa. It is in all of south and eastern TX up to MN and east to the coast. Basically, it lives in the SE quarter of the country. Map link.



Star Nosed Mole


Widest distribution of any North American mole. It lives farther north than other species including Cape Breton Island and to eastern Manitoba. In the U.S., it is found all along the Atlantic coast from northern Florida to eastern Tennessee and western South Carolina. Map link.



Hairy Tailed Mole


In Canada, southern Ontario and southern Quebec and maybe to New Brunswick. In the U.S., south into Conneticut, and along the Appalachian Mountains into northeastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. Map link.



American Shrew Mole


These little ones are only found in the western parts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Map link.



Coast Mole


These are also found in the western parts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Some are found in parts of eastern Washington and Oregon and a small part of western Idaho. Map link.



Townsend Mole


This mole is more confined to a smaller region of western WA, OR, and CA than the coast mole. Townsend's mole is typically a lowland species. Map link.



Broad Footed Mole


This species is a California native. It does reach Baja and western NV and southern OR. Map link.




So, what do you think? You got mole problems? What do you do about them? What else would you like to toss in the bucket for today? Tell us where you report from. Don't be shy.



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