Mouse Tracks

I believe that yesterday’s mystery tracks were made by something like a white footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) although it could easily have been the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). If you look closely at the tracks, especially in the larger version (click on the photo to see it) you’ll notice the tail dragging along the tracks as it hops along. Another possibility is the meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius) which I believe I’ve seen although it is less common. That might explain the plop, plop, plop movement. It definitely was not a vole as I’ve watched them in the snow – they have more of a borrowing movement rather than the hopping. I’ve seen quite a few different varieties of mice, moles and voles in our pastures and woods. The fields are alive with the sound of mice. :)

There is no photo today because I have never succeed in getting a good photo of these little guys. By the time I point to shoot Kita or one of the other dogs inhales. I’ve seen a single dog suck down fourteen mice in less than half an hour as I was working in the field and that is just the ones I counted. I’ve read that mice, snakes and small birds are a big part of their natural diet. It is amusing to watch the dogs eat snakes, you would think they were slurping up spaghetti! One thinks of wild canis in packs hunting big animals like moose, elk or deer but it is really the small prey that make up the major part of their diet. Fortunately little critters breed like, well, like rabbits. :)

Check out the various tools at the Smithsonian to learn about the native wildlife in your area.

On the topic of NAIS, thank you for everyone who contacted me via email and in the comments. I have added a few more resources in the end of the article from yesterday. I strongly urge you to take action, to contact your reps, write letters to the editor for local newspaper, etc. We need to make people aware of this issue. The government is trying to push it through with as little comment as possible from small holders and the public. And yes, please do link to yesterday’s post from your blogs if you like. No need to ask permission before doing so. Spread the word!

We value our freedoms most when they are threatened.

30째F/17째F, Partly Sunny


About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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8 Responses to Mouse Tracks

  1. RL says:

    One spring here at our place we had an unusually warm day which melted the majority of our snow in a matter of hours. I was fascinated and amazed to see the mashed grass that had emerged from beneath the snow. There were tunnels galore all through out the field as far as the eye could see where perhaps thousands of mice had been burrowing all winter long.

    I could only imagine how many mice it took to make all those burrows. There must be thousands and thousands of them of all kinds and varieties.

    When we first moved to the farm we were over run with mice. Then we got some cats, which soon thinned out the mouse population, at least around the house and barn yard area’s. Then we became over run with cats.

    Have you ever seen that movie about the man who studied wolves in some northern region?(I can’t remember where it took place,it’s been years since I saw it) In the movie the man determined that the wolves survived primarliy on mice. To prove it he began a diet for himself consisting soley mice.

    You’ve had some very interesting dialog going on below regarding NAIS. I’m going to print that post and show all of our area friends. Maybe we can spur a local out cry.

  2. ………..but what about Maria?

  3. Lené Gary says:

    I’ve noticed some of the mice tunnels through the snow, which always crack me up. Thanks for the Smithsonian link too.

  4. Oh joy! Someone (Scott) got my reference. I was afraid I was being too obscure. :)

    LenĂŠ, if you lay a board on top of the snow and leave it for a week and then come back and move it often there will be lots of mouse trails under it. It is like an ant farm!

    RL, please do spread the word. This whole NAIS thing is very upsetting. I fear that they, big brother government and big agri-biz corporations, are going take away our independence. They have figured out a way to outlaw homesteading and make everyone suck at the big-gov/corp teat.

  5. Lené Gary says:

    Thanks for the experiment tip. :)

  6. karen says:

    I am from the uk and have half a dozen hens in my back yard,now i can understand your governments thinking,with the rapid spread of animal disease these days knowing where all the critters are makes sense.Having said which tagging all of them is really not feasible,i cant afford to have my chooks tagged the whole point of keeping them is to save money they eat garden waste produce the best compost and lay gorgeous eggs.Here in the rural area i live in everyone is worried about the bird flu because to be honest its a matter of when not if it arrives,our government have no idea who has what and although it would be reluctant i would comply with any culling order but i do know a lot of people who wont and will just hide their birds……………… tagging even if we could afford it wouldnt work,a goverment department cannot check every property in a small country like the uk let alone a vast continent which is what looks like whats coming to you.

  7. Rita says:

    Ah, the vicious cycle of too many mice then too many cats. You should forget the cat idea and get a good trap. Victor makes one that has a 100% kill rate. And it seals the mouse inside, including any diseases it may have. Here’s the trap we’ve used with success:

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