In NebulaHouse’s newest Digital Story App ‘Close Your Eyes Gideon, Gideon the Foodie Cat meets a little garden mole named Jeff who digs himself into the family’s garden. Jeff is terrified that he will become Gideon’s next meal, instead the duo become fast friends and set off to explore together.
While we @Nebula_House know a lot about cats, we know precious little about common garden moles, like Jeff. So, we decided to learn more about this sightless, crafty creature who tunneled his way right into our latest Digital Storybook & App.
The key to the mole’s survival lies in its ability to live underground and in low oxygen environments. Moles use oxygen more efficiently than other animals, which makes them fast and hard to catch. Farmers and gardeners alike often develop elaborate ‘mole control’ tactics to keep moles from burrowing through their crops and plants.
Ever heard the expression ‘Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill?’ It means, don’t make a big deal of something small and unimportant.
What could be so interesting underground that moles spend most of their lives there? Easy — worms. Moles burrow through the earth on a madcap mission to trap, catch, kill and squeeze as many worms to death as possible. Efficient little creatures that they are, after squeezing the worm’s guts out — they eat them. That’s it. Moles aren’t interested in your tomato plants, crops or flowers. Your garden is just collateral damage on the mole’s lifelong hunt for worms. Damage to crops or gardens near a molehill is likely from a weasel or fox that has commandeered the mole tunnel to sneak up on your tomatoes, or in the case of the fox, to sneak up on your chicken house!
‘True moles,’ like Jeff, are mostly found in North America, Europe and Asia. Check out this guy on Wikipedia. That is the star-nosed mole. He can find, catch, kill and eat a worm faster than the human eye can register – a sort of ‘Supermole.’ In fact, moles are so fast and undetectable that in spy novels and movies, a secret agent that goes undetected for years and then pops out to catch the enemy when least expected, is called ‘a mole,’ after these amazing little animals.
There are other animals that, while not exactly moles, have a lot in common with moles — like the ‘golden moles’ of Sub-Saharan Africa. Golden moles are on the endangered or critically endangered red lists which are published regularly by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
If you would like to learn more about moles, check out this page about moles on the BBC. If you want to learn more about Gideon and NebulaHouse’s favorite mole Jeff… download Close Your Eyes Gideon here.
Next up on ‘All the Animals in Your Garden Blog Series’ — ‘My Little Balcony Garden’ and ‘The Secret Life of Worms’