Is That Thing a Mole?

I posed the question to the Google to define mole. Here is some of what I got.

  1. A highly spiced Mexican sauce made chiefly from chili peppers and chocolate, served with meat.
  2. A small, often slightly raised blemish on the skin made dark by a high concentration of melanin.
  3. A large solid structure on a shore serving as a pier, breakwater, or causeway.
  4. The SI unit of amount of substance, equal to the quantity containing as many elementary units as there are atoms in 0.012 kg of carbon-12.
  5. A small burrowing insectivorous mammal (family Talpidae) with dark velvety fur, a long muzzle, and very small eyes. Several species.

Interesting set of results, don’t you think? This post is about #5.

Don, my next door neighbor, and I live at the edge of a wooded area. There are lots of moles burrowing in the woods. They tend to come into our yards foraging. To stop them, we have discovered a device that seems to keep them at bay. It looks like a cylindrical stake 12″ long and 1.5″ in diameter. It has a yellow top with a small LED. Put 3 D-cells in it and every 30 seconds it emits a high pitched vibration for 2 seconds. We space them about 30′ apart across the back. The moles stay away.

Last fall, we had several killing frosts and hard freezes. The temperatures have gone to 12 degrees a couple of times. We thought the moles would be hibernating, or whatever they do in cold weather. So, we put our mole stakes away. The next warm day they made dash for the space between our houses. That part of the lawn is now laced with burrows. They were quick.

The Mole Cricket…not the subject of this post.

First, a blockquote from Wikipedia about moles

Moles are small cylindrical mammals adapted to a subterranean lifestyle. They have velvety fur; tiny or invisible ears and eyes;[clarification needed] relatively atrophied hind limbs; and short, powerful forelimbs with large paws oriented for digging. The term is especially and most properly used for the true moles, those of the Talpidae family in the order Soricomorpha found in most parts of North America, Asia, and Europe. It also refers to other completely unrelated mammals of Australia and southern Africa which have also evolved the mole body plan; it is not commonly used for some talpids, such as desmans and shrew-moles, which do not fit the common definition of “mole”, as well.

This post is confined to the North American Species. World wide there are over 30 species according to the official web site of the British Traditional Mole Catchers Registry. That’s a group we should all join.

Eastern Mole

This is the mole in my yard here in Iowa. It is in all of south and eastern TX up to MN and east to the Atlantic coast. Basically, it lives in the SE quarter of the US.


Star Nosed Mole

Widest distribution of any North American mole. It lives farther north than other species including Cape Breton Island and to eastern Manitoba. In the U.S., it is found all along the Atlantic coast from northern Florida to eastern Tennessee and western South Carolina. It wins a prize for most attractive.


Hairy Tailed Mole

This mole lives in Canada, southern Ontario and southern Quebec and maybe to New Brunswick. It is also in the U.S., south into Connecticut, and along the Appalachian Mountains into northeastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.


American Shrew Mole

These little ones are only found in the western parts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California.

American Shrew Mole

Coast Mole

These are also found in the western parts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California. Some are found in parts of eastern Washington and Oregon and a small part of western Idaho.


Townsend Mole

This mole is more confined to a smaller region of western WA, OR, and CA than the coast mole. Townsend’s mole is typically a lowland species.


Broad Footed Mole

This species is a California native. It does reach Baja and western NV and southern OR.


Naked Mole Rat…Not a mole

It is a burrowing rodent native to parts of East Africa. The first picture is a cake made in the likeness of a Naked Mole Rat.  The second picture is the real thing. Pretty good job of baking. I don’t know if I could eat that cake.

Naked Mole Rat Cake

The Real Thing

9 thoughts on “Is That Thing a Mole?

    • LOL…yes perhaps our defs differ. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Isn’t that a good phrase?
      As for a cat or two, we had two many years ago. Raised them from kittens as litter mates. They were Maggie and Stuart. She was aloof and independent. He was a lover. When our son was born, we gave them to another person. We didn’t want our son picking up litter bits as he crawled around. Now, Melanie is allergic to cats and other pets. The dander gets her. So, we admire from afar.

      Thanks for stopping by this morning. School must be starting in about a month. Gotta train those future teachers. 🙂

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