Mole

Post your warm-blooded air-breathing vertebrates!

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
PrimitiveTim
Posts: 154
Joined: September 8th, 2013, 8:05 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Mole

Post by PrimitiveTim » June 13th, 2014, 10:44 am

I'd never cared much about moles. Out of sight out of mind sort of thing I guess. Every so often I would flip one and it would promptly disappear. It wasn't until I was shining a ditch for sirens and the like, that I found a mole. Up the ditch a little bit it was dry and I heard something scurrying around. I shined the light over there and saw a little fur ball running around. So went over to it and it took off and began to dig into the damp earth. I wanted a closer look so I gently grabbed its back legs with one hand and scooped out the rest of it with the other hand. At this moment I realized something. This is an awesome animal! I had no idea how cool they were until I was holding it up and giving it a close look. Those forearms were massive and extremely strong! The fur is the softest thing I've ever felt. Later that night when I got home I did a little research on them and their lifestyle is just bizarre and quite amazing. I just hadn't really thought about how a mammal would live underground for the majority of their lives. I released it pretty quick after getting my friend to snap a picture as it really did not like dangling by its legs in the hands of the apparent giant.

Image


I'm not sure what species it is but it was found in central Florida toward the east coast last week. I'd love for y'all to share any info you can on moles or experiences with moles that you may have had.

User avatar
soulsurvivor
Posts: 531
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:09 am
Location: NE Florida
Contact:

Re: Mole

Post by soulsurvivor » June 13th, 2014, 11:08 am

When I was a kid growing up in the wilds as a latch key kid, my dogs and I roamed as a pack, the dogs sometimes killing small animals. Mind you, I am an adult now and a lover of all animals, not wishing harm to any of them. But back then, that's just the way it was. The dogs often dug up moles and killed them, and I could even point at a spot on the ground and yell "DIG!", and they would dig. Once the mole was dead, the dogs no longer had any interest in it, and I was able to examine them closely. You are correct - their fur is extremely soft, and their front paws are huge. Very curious animals indeed.

Last week I was driving down the street by my house and noticed something small and dark scurrying across the road. It took me a moment to realize it was in fact a mole, and I swerved to miss it. I've never known one to come out of the ground like that, except once or twice that I recall finding a drowned one floating in our swimming pool.

User avatar
mrichardson
Posts: 127
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 4:12 am
Location: Yorkshire, England
Contact:

Re: Mole

Post by mrichardson » June 15th, 2014, 12:36 pm

I'm no expert but I think in Florida you only have Eastern Moles Scalopus aquaticus. In the UK we have the European Mole which are extremely common but rarely ever seen. In fact it's the only British mainland terrestrial mammal I have yet to see! I know plenty of people that have seen them crossing roads etc but it's not an animal you can really look for.

User avatar
Andy Avram
Posts: 897
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:37 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Mole

Post by Andy Avram » June 16th, 2014, 12:18 pm

Nice. Moles are awesome. I have presumably Hairy-tailed Moles all over my yard and was watching the dirt move from one digging around the other day, but it never appeared above ground. Finally saw my lifer today under a snake board. But yours is, as mrichardson suggested, an Eastern Mole, the only species in Florida. Such cool animals...

User avatar
dery
Posts: 1793
Joined: October 1st, 2011, 11:01 am
Location: huntsville

Re: Mole

Post by dery » June 19th, 2014, 6:47 pm

I just wish moles wouldn't trap themselves pools so often in summer rains.

User avatar
PrimitiveTim
Posts: 154
Joined: September 8th, 2013, 8:05 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: Mole

Post by PrimitiveTim » July 16th, 2014, 10:04 pm

Thanks guys! The more time I spend in nature, especially at night, the more crazy stuff happens. Finding a mole was the last thing I thought I would find that night. I think it was going to cross the ditch above ground rather than try to dig under it. The path of the mole sort of like this: ----\/---- with the V being the cross section of the ditch.

User avatar
Rich in Reptiles
Posts: 494
Joined: November 30th, 2012, 7:45 am
Location: Fayetteville, Tennessee

Re: Mole

Post by Rich in Reptiles » July 17th, 2014, 5:29 pm

Hah! Awesome!! The first time i saw an Eastern mole (my dog found it) i was so baffled at it's morphology and extremely soft fur i had to just stare at it for a few minutes! Tennessee has star-nosed moles... that would be something to see!

rtdunham
Posts: 219
Joined: January 11th, 2011, 2:43 pm

Re: Mole

Post by rtdunham » July 17th, 2014, 7:01 pm

PrimitiveTim wrote:...I'm not sure what species it is but it was found in central Florida toward the east coast last week. I'd love for y'all to share any info you can on moles or experiences with moles that you may have had.
Here's one I turned with a shovel in my yard in northern ky. They've done considerable damage to the yard. I put on work gloves, dug it up, and held it. amazingly strong critter. I put it in a pail of soil to test it's prowess, which was considerable. It then got a five minute ride to a park/woods edge where it was released. Unfortunately, it apparently left behind way too many offspring. :-)

Here's the video:



(it seems to me the youtube vid isn't appearing automatically in a viewer. What are the html codes to make that happen?

User avatar
BillMcGighan
Posts: 2297
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Location: Unicoi, TN

Re: Mole

Post by BillMcGighan » July 18th, 2014, 7:40 am

RTD, Remove the "s" (security) from "https" and it will work.




Moles are amazing and I've caught a few with a shovel blocking their tunnel when activity was present.


What is more amazing to me is the amount of folks I know who think the moles are eating their plants! Neighbors recently showed me the damage done by Voles on their hosta roots and tulip bulbs, but they continue to blame the moles.

(One neighbor hated them so much that he tried to hit me in the face with a shovel, just cause I had a mole on my cheek!)

rtdunham
Posts: 219
Joined: January 11th, 2011, 2:43 pm

Re: Mole

Post by rtdunham » July 18th, 2014, 11:23 am

BillMcGighan wrote:RTD, Remove the "s" (security) from "https" and it will work.

thanks, bill.

(One neighbor hated them so much that he tried to hit me in the face with a shovel, just cause I had a mole on my cheek!)
it's a jungle out there.

terry

User avatar
PNWHerper
Posts: 667
Joined: July 8th, 2011, 1:04 pm
Location: King County, WA

Re: Mole

Post by PNWHerper » July 24th, 2014, 7:43 am

PrimitiveTim,

Cool find! Moles are amazing creatures. I get to see dead ones a few times a year around here near Seattle. They are really common, but not often seen above ground. They are most likely to surface active in spring when they pop up to seek out potential mates.

Many predators, such as house cats, foxes and coyotes will catch moles and discard them. They have a foul taste, apperantly. Two animals in my area that regularly prey on them are weasels and owls.

If you are curious, this is what mole tracks look like: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/587667

Oh, on a final note... Did you make that long bow? Hickory or Osage? Looks good.

User avatar
PrimitiveTim
Posts: 154
Joined: September 8th, 2013, 8:05 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: Mole

Post by PrimitiveTim » July 25th, 2014, 10:53 am

PNWHerper wrote:PrimitiveTim,

Cool find! Moles are amazing creatures. I get to see dead ones a few times a year around here near Seattle. They are really common, but not often seen above ground. They are most likely to surface active in spring when they pop up to seek out potential mates.

Many predators, such as house cats, foxes and coyotes will catch moles and discard them. They have a foul taste, apperantly. Two animals in my area that regularly prey on them are weasels and owls.

If you are curious, this is what mole tracks look like: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/587667

Oh, on a final note... Did you make that long bow? Hickory or Osage? Looks good.
yeah, when I posted that photo on facebook everyone had to tell me how many their cats and dogs kill. That was disheartening. They didn't even care that their stupid pets are killing wildlife.

that bow is made of hackberry. In Florida we don't have any osage but I have made a hickory bow and I got some more hickory drying. There is a fair amount of white wood that will make a decent bow. Check out my youtube channel. I've got a how-to for a primitive bows in the works. I'm going to wait until it's cooler to start on the bow though. It's too hot and humid to be making bows. lol I've got videos on all that primitive sort of stuff. Once you start making bows you can't stop!

User avatar
PNWHerper
Posts: 667
Joined: July 8th, 2011, 1:04 pm
Location: King County, WA

Re: Mole

Post by PNWHerper » July 25th, 2014, 3:29 pm

Very cool, Tim!

Its great to see another fellow primitive skills enthusiast and practitioner around these parts. :beer:

Making longbows is something I'd like to spend more time on when I am finished with this tracking project.

I have, thankfully, also seen several live moles. It is sad to see how many are killed by people's dogs and cats. Shrews also get hammered, and abandoned for the same reason. Most carnivores think they taste bad.

hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: Mole

Post by hellihooks » July 25th, 2014, 4:57 pm

Somewhere I've got a video of a Santa Cruz (Ca,) mole digging till he's out of sight...3 seconds worth. maybe... :lol: and a bunch of crappy out of focus pics (maybe one good one) them guys just do NOT stay still... put the energizer bunny to shame... :lol:

User avatar
PrimitiveTim
Posts: 154
Joined: September 8th, 2013, 8:05 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: Mole

Post by PrimitiveTim » July 26th, 2014, 5:53 am

PNWHerper wrote:Very cool, Tim!
Its great to see another fellow primitive skills enthusiast and practitioner around these parts. :beer:
Making longbows is something I'd like to spend more time on when I am finished with this tracking project.
.
:beer: letely i've been expanding my interest from reptiles into other animals, to plants, and to man's historical place in nature as primitive man. There's so much to learn about nature.

Post Reply