When 1 hill=3 gallons of mole moundage…


Moundage is probably a word of my own invention, but I couldn’t think of an apt descriptor for the mountain of soil we found in the middle of our south lawn yesterday morning.  It was by far-and-away the biggest mole hill either Nyel or I had ever seen.  It must have been produced by a very brawny Mole-With-An-Attitude or by an entire mole family working cooperatively.

It took me several (maybe ten) minutes with my trusty trowel to scoop that huge quantity of rich soil into a five-gallon bucket which, when all was said and done, came to well over the half-way mark.  It was too heavy for me to lift, so Nyel ferried the bucket (resting on his feet!) by wheelchair to a spot where he needs some good soil and was pleased at the amount of territory it covered.  I might add that there were several earthworms within the mound — missed by the mole people but very gratifying to our free-ranging chickens.

Townsend Mole

It seems likely that Mr. Mole is “the coast mole or Pacific mole (Scapanus orarius) —  a medium-sized North American mole found in forested and open areas with moist soils along the Pacific coast from southwestern British Columbia to northwestern California” according to Washington Department of Fish and Game.  They are common here and their average length is 6.2 inches with a 2.2 ounce body mass.  Pardon me for saying so, but in this case, I’m skeptical of the those particular facts.

It’s all a bit worrisome.  If the size of the mole is commensurate with the size of that mole hill, it is cause of concern, indeed.  I actually have visions of a beaver-sized critter threatening lawn, flower beds and perhaps even our house foundation.  The largest mole in this area, according to Wikipedia, is the Townsend Mole, and I guess it could be that one.  I don’t know if their mole hills are appreciably larger.   And I don’t know if they share territory with the Pacific Mole.  Obviously, I need to continue my research…

Comparison with my Size 7 Boot

What I do believe from that website is that “the Chehalis Indian word for mole translates into hands turned backward.”  Unfortunately, the site did not give the  word.  It’s probably preferable to “mole” and is certainly more descriptive.



Leave a Reply