This morning we saw a beautiful red fox run across our backyard chased by a crow and a seagull for once united by a common enemy, otherwise they fight quite a lot in a noisy way. There are lots of foxes this year since this has been a good year for the wood mice and the lemmings. Yes you read correctly, in June lemmings were on the move. My parents haven't seen so many for years. Unfortunately the lemming season was over by the time I arrived. The only one I've seen was squashed flat on the road being very dead. They are terribly aggressive and hiss at you when on the move, but so cute and beautiful with their orange-brown fur.
The mice on the other hand I've seen quite a lot of. They are also terribly cute but a complete nuisance. Not only were they chewing off the stems of the potato plants, dragging them off to the compost heap (presumably to make bedding for nests), but they had encamped in the attics of both the big cabin and the small one during the winter. In there they had organised latrine corners where they had been peeing and defecating for months. The result I a was told was not pretty. My mother noticed a strange discoloration of the inner ceiling below and they had to sanitize the attic from mice guano and repaint the ceilings of both cabins.
My parents have tried to use noise scares on them to get rid of them in a nice manner, but with little success. The mouse traps didn't work either, the smart animals avoided them. Lately, my father has been doling out rat poison which they have gobbled up like anything. I feel slightly guilty about it as they are really, really cute, but you can't have a cohort of mice destroying the house.