Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Backyard Visitor

While the kids were playing outside and I was checking email briefly, E9 came running down to tell me I needed to come see what was in our recyling bin. As any good mom would do, I responded by asking if he could escape just so I had long enough to get the memory card back in the camera before I ran upstairs.

This is what I found. Funny thing is that I had been outside just a moment earlier and had not noticed him.

On the way up the stairs E9 says that I-5 wanted to shoot it (with his foam rocket gun) but that he wouldn't let him. That was a narrow escape for the small rodent. It's hard to keep a good boy down. Kind of like the time I took my then 3yo nephew on a walk and I stopped to show him a caterpillar. He bent down and looked at him, stood up and looked at me all sparkly smiling, and then before I knew what was happening and much to my horror...he stepped on it!

Questions remain: How did he get there? Did he crawl up through a rain hole? Did he climb on something else and fall in? Is there some sor of secret mouse pathway from our foundation?

Should I let him go or keep him as a captive? A prisoner of war of sorts? We do have a mouse dwelling near the front of our house. Is this one occupying the current lease? Where can I let him go? Should I just drop him off by the front door- a door to door service if you will? I haven't heard any activity recently and for a while. We did away with the former occupant quite triumphantly. Dan always get his man...

So, is he a mouse or a vole? A few facts for you courtesy of Wikipedia so it must be right.

A vole is a small rodent resembling a mouse but with a stouter body, a shorter hairy tail, a slightly rounder head, and smaller ears and eyes. There are approximately 70 species of voles; they are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in America. The voles, together with the lemmings and the muskrats, form the subfamily Arvicolinae.

Based on this our guy is a mouse.

Although mice may live up to two years in the lab, the average mouse in the wild lives only about 5 months, primarily due to heavy predation. Cats, wild dogs, foxes, birds of prey, snakes and even certain kinds of insects have been known to prey heavily upon mice. Nevertheless, due to its remarkable adaptability to almost any environment, and its ability to live commensally with humans, the mouse is regarded to be the third most successful mammalian species living on Earth today, after humans and the rat.

Isn't that super?

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Jen said...

Super! i'm glad you have the third most successful mammal and not some stinky vole.

Anonymous said...

Only a former science teacher could be so thrilled with finding a mouse in the recycling bin. In addition, she made it a wonderful teaching moment. Me....I would have screamed!

'glad it wasn't there at our last visit or I5 would have had to save me with his gun!

love, Grandma

Heather said...

I'm so not a mouse person but that last picture is really CUTE! ;)

Alana - The Mommy said...

One compound word friend....MOUSETRAP! Get one!

Your dh said...

It would have been more fun to show the kids how the mousetraps work....