Underground critters on the move

Something—or more likely, several somethings—has been digging holes in my landscaping. This mystery visitor digs holes that are generally and inch or two wide that seem to head right down into the earth. (There’s one that is distinctly larger that leads me to suspect that I have more than one hole dweller around.) I keep hoping to catch a glimpse of one these visitors on its way into or out of a hole one of these days just so I know who the culprit is. No luck with that so far.

The thought of something living in these holes that could jump out at me any time makes me a bit nervous. I don’t know whether to expect mice or snakes or chipmunks or voles or some other mystery critter. I tend to envision the worst. I imagine poisonous snakes that will bite me when I’m not looking. I have visions of rodents tunneling down to destroy the very expensive work I recently had done in my crawl space. I worry about damage to the bushes and plants nearby. But I’m not sure how to deal with the problem without first determining what kind of critter (or critters) it is that’s living down there.

I came the closest I’ve come yet to catching a glimpse of something tonight as I prepared to go out to water my trees and bushes yet again. (We’ve got a severe drought going on here.) As I looked out the window by the door while putting on my shoes, I could see one area of mulch near the largest cluster of holes shaking and heaving this way and that. There was clearly something moving around just below the surface. I waited anxiously to see if it would emerge through the mulch, but the shaking gradually stopped without any sign of the cause. I even crept out quietly to the area and tried poking around a bit to see if I could flush something out of a nearby hole. Still no luck.

Watching this spectacle of the surface of the mulch heaving this way and that without any sign of the underlying cause reminded me very much of how I have been feeling lately as I move through my days. I can feel things shifting and shaking just below the surface of my consciousness. I see the effects of these shifts in the way I react to and interact with the world around me. I know things are changing. But I can’t see into my subconscious just yet to tell what kind of critter is on the move.

I don’t know what it is that’s moving around. I can’t see what’s changing. I have no idea what’s causing this sense of instability. I just know something is in motion. And all I can do is wait until it’s ready to show itself to me so I can explore it in a more conscious way.

In the meantime, I just keep watching the shifting I can see at the surface, letting it do its thing underground for now. And I keep reminding myself not to kill anything without knowing what it is. Despite the mystery, it just might be a helpful critter.

That’s  a good thing to remember in my landscaping too.

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