Do moles drown when it rains?


These are the kind of questions that occupy my mind, especially if I have a quiet time. Recently I was perplexed by the thought that ‘if it is dark outside and you have the lights on and you open the curtains, will the room become darker? Will the light seep out of the window rather than being reflected back into the room? Will you notice? Clearly not. Perhaps the real question is do you care?

My wife always complains at me that I think too much. She asks ‘why do you let these things bother you?’ to which I reply, ‘why don’t these things bother you?’ It must be the way I am wired.

Driving on my way to town the other day I noticed some mole hills in the verge by the roadside. It  was raining and I was thinking about the floods in Yorkshire when I started wondering what happens to moles and other subterranean creatures when it is wet. Do they drown when the land is waterlogged?

The obvious answer is that they don’t. It rains often where I live yet there they were, mole hills by the side of the road. They must have some sort of coping mechanism, or reproduce often enough to compensate for those that drown. Perhaps they are able to sense impending inundations and move to different ground or it could be that they are able to create pockets of air in the ground, reservoirs in time of trouble.

It’s not just me who wonders. A look at (from a decade ago) shows that ‘Moles are very buoyant and are extremely good swimmers. As for their runs getting flooded, they move! It’s not often that they will venture out above ground for fear of being picked off by a bird of prey or fox, but in the cover of darkness they will go cross country to steeper sided land where rainfall runs off. you will also find that their runs become deeper in wet weather to avoid the surface water. Moles don’t need to see as their hearing and sense of smell are excellent.’

The world is an interesting place with many wondrous things to find out. I am wondering now, how this person became such an expert in moles.

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