Mole Hills Part Two

I told you that Furry Fury herself caught two large moles in quick succession the other day.

I generally try to put the unplayful carcass out of Harm’s way when they are done moving and are no longer of interest. So I picked up the first one to toss up onto the shed roof where the dermestid beetles can find it and feed their little bug bellies.

I noticed on the black velvet coat underneath was an orange splotch under the throat and a larger irregular patch of lemon yellow fur on the belly. I assumed it was peculiar and rare and a mutation in coat color of that particular mole.

The second mole came along a short while later, some 300 yards from the first. When it came time to do the Dead Mole Toss again, I found what you see in the image: the same color pattern underneath.

So I learned something I had not known: moles can come in fancy colors! Thank you, Gandy. Sorry, Mr. Mole, that learning to appreciate you required such a high price on your part, but you really, really did give the dog almost an hour of entertainment and exercise out on the driveway where we could keep an eye on her. Your sacrifice was not in vain.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. How decorative. I haven’t had a mole digging dog for several years but remember the years I did. I don’t recall any with as much character as yours. I also remember that nothing seemed to have any interest in eating the carcass. They appeared to be very durable in decomposition too, partly because they were most often dug up in cooler weather. I also thought they might make a lovely novelty gift if mounted on a headset style spring. MoleMuffs.

    How’s your paw treating you? Apparently well enough to toss a mole or two. Update the maul experience.