Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The voles have gone too far!

The view from my window (in my nicer dreams).

It is rapidly becoming apparent that those charming voles on Allotment Major are making themselves far too much at home. Last year I met one, a delightful creature (though as the co-owner of degus my first instinct was to think 'Oh, no, it's got out!' and had to restrain myself from making a grab for it). Then I was clearing a neglected corner of the plot, where other people's litter snags in the wind, and found a cut off plastic cola bottle full of grass. I tipped out the grass for the compost and tossed the bottle to the rubbish pile, only to realise the grass was squeaking. In it was a vole nest, full of somewhat distressed and rather bald baby voles, making a tremendous noise for their size. I covered them and backed off rapidly, to allow the mother thus being summoned to come and deal with the situation. Later in the year I found they had worked their way along a line of sown sunflower seeds, neatly removed each seed from its husk, and left the husks. Well, I can live with that: the sunflowers were only intended to be ornamental. But now the blighters have taken my tatties! Of a whole bed of potatoes sown as is my wont with broad beans, there is one potato plant nervously breaking the surface, and even the beans are depleted. I wouldn't have minded so much but the self-seeded potatoes in the adjacent bed, interfering with my squashes, are untouched!

Scorching today on the plot, though now the rain has broken through a little. I'm trying to get my head round starting the next Murray of Letho book, Out of a Dark Reflection, and have indeed scribbled down the first hundred words or so, but it's set in late October - it's far too hot to think myself into late October!

The stand-alone book, Windhorse Burning, is still due out next week as an e-book (print to follow but the proof hasn't turned up yet).

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