During the heyday of space exploration, ocean researchers felt a bit neglected. So, they attempted to get the public’s attention with stories of how exciting and dangerous it was to go beneath the waves and into the deep.
True, but there are other worlds below and that’s what we want to talk about today. So, go outside and get a shovel. Dig up a big chunk of dirt and look at it. Wow! how many different types of worms do you see?
Oops, there’s an ant colony under the stone walkway! Watch the ants scurry as their city is disturbed. Lift up a rock or board – hard-shelled insects cling to the hard surface. Only the roly-poly bugs (we don’t know their official name) roll up when you touch them.
Go deeper and you’ll see huge tunnels, bored by moles, gophers (link names what may be the best way to get rid of them), voles and snakes. A few more links are here (this has the best explanation of how to tell whether you have moles or gophers), and here (confusing explanation of signs of moles or gophers.)
The Original Critter Village, pictured above, is actually their second home on our property. Their earlier city, way west out in the meadow, had been disturbed by a caterpillar this summer and they headed uphill.
Both pictures and explanations we found on the Web are confusing, so we still don’t know what we have. But we do have a city of boring critters of some kind. Yesterday, we looked out our windows and saw a new batch of dirt piles. Either the critters are moving, or dissidents got thrown out.
We immediately thought of Roger Williams and his followers getting thrown out of Massachusetts and founding the new state of Rhode Island. Anyway, this was a brand new set of dark mounds and right in the middle of the baby evergreens! Will those critters hurt our trees? We shall see.
Below is our final illustration to show how far away the new place is from the old. The new place is on the far left (dark mounds) and the old city (lighter, flatter mounds) is in the background on the far right.