Mum is the gardener round here, I dabble, and can wield a spade as well as the next person, but the garden is Mum's domain. Spring is coming round here so there's been lots of digging and planting.
Two days ago she was setting up her Asparagus bed, and had emptied out the compost heap to add in to the soil as they were planted.
Rats and other vermin are a fact of life round here. We live next to the main road, and the rats come out of the drains and up in to our garden. They like to eat the spilt bird food, and live in our compost heaps. We generally know where a current nest is because our dog Gwen sniffs them out. If we are not to end up with a plague of rats we have to do something about them. The something usually involves traps, and poison bait.
We knew there were rats in this compost bin because Gwen had been trying to dig them out for a couple of weeks. Mum got half way through digging the bin out and found these.
Twelve baby rats... who won't grow up in to adult rats, their Mum would have abandoned them, and their warm nest was destroyed. In the open air they will die of cold very quickly. They went over the hedge and nature took it's course. By now they'll be food for a hungry predator.
What to do about the rabbit warren that seems to be appearing in the back garden is not quite so simple. At the moment we're blocking off the holes with rocks, but they don't seem to be getting the hint... A more drastic solution may be required :(