This photo, of what I believe is a Woodland Vole, can create mixed feelings in our house. We knew already since the late summer that the critter is back in our yard after a couple years of absence. The recent development of a system of underground runways just below the grass surface, and even some mounds, is a good indicator. The damage in the yard can be tremendous and Joan is already afraid that none of the flower bulbs in the ground will survive. The diet of a Woodland Vole is diverse and according to several sources it includes roots, bulbs, tubers, nuts, seeds, and even animal material.
I saw the vole for the first time November 17th, a day before this photo was made eating under one of our bird feeders. I kept watching the spot and finally was able to make this one image. I “nuked” the shot with the flash since the natural light was not sufficient anymore in the early evening. It is not really flattering, although it is a sharp image, but I wished I had reduced the output of the flash light a little more. Too much work in post processing... Well, next time… I’m glad I can add this critter to my Iowa wildlife gallery.