There’s a hole in my lawn.
I don’t mean the grass is patchy. Although it is. I mean an actual hole in the earth. It’s in the corner of the lawn tucked away by some lavender bushes. I think it was dug by a mouse.
We used to see a mouse bolt across the patio and into next door’s garden through a gap in the wall. Plenty of food to be had there. They put out seeds for the birds. Between the jostling of the pigeons and the raids from a squirrel, there’s always some scattered on the ground.
I noticed the hole and assumed the mouse was living there.
Last year the hole got some new tenants: some wasps moved in for the summer.
It amused me to watch them. Like little fighter jets there was always a little squadron of them circling the hole. Hovering and then descending vertically into the earth. Before crawling away.
I don’t know how far down the hole goes.
Knowing that wasps don’t nest for long, I just gave them some space. They left in the autumn.
I was enthusiastically watering the lavender when I discovered the mouse had returned. It popped its head out of the hole, bedraggled and indignant from being soaked by my careless application of the hose.
I choose to believe it was the same mouse.
I don’t know if I scared it off but the hole has changed occupancy again. There are some bumble bees living there now. Not many. Maybe two? Three?
Unlike the regimented wasps, the bumble bees make their approaches obliquely. I wish I could see what they’re building in there.
For the most part, I keep the garden tidy and watered. I prune the beech hedge not just because it looks nice, but so the robin and the blackbirds have a space to perch. They dart out after I’ve finishing digging to inspect my work.
I leave little bundles of sticks in the borders. Tucked away beneath the shrubs.
I’ve left the dead branch on the sumac tree, so the carpenter bees can continue to make use of it.
And now there’s this hole in our lawn. I think I’ll leave it.
Having a garden is a privilege. But I’m not just maintaining it for me and our family.
I wonder whether the mouse will come back after the bumble bees have left?