Wednesday, 1 July 2015
The voles have gone too far!
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).