Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Lazy Wind


It is as we say locally a ‘lazy wind’ meaning, it’s a wind that cuts straight through you, it doesn’t go round. It’s icy underfoot, the sky is brooding and snow laden.

I had to nip to Market Town, it would have been nice to stop and play with the camera, but to be frank it was too bloody cold, I nearly took this shot out of the car window, but was willing to suffer, just a little for my art (jumped out, snap snap jumped back in again) Moments later, this view was lost in a snow squall.


But not as cold as the graves of theses moles, who (after being killed I hope) have been hung on a barbed wire fence.


This is something I have seen all my life, little rows of mole corpses hung out to rot; I haven’t a clue why it’s done, if its just a quaint local custom or the mark of a master mole catcher. I shall ask around and see if I can find out.


Mole dead

If you are unfamiliar with moles,this is what they should look like, they live in holes. I’ll return to the subject, but there is work to be done and  I can’t firtle  about in blog-land all afternoon, much as I should like to, I just haven’t the time.



A very nice mole man has given me the answer

It is the local mole catcher showing all about him, how good he is at his job. It is an age old custom the trappers of old used to do.

They would hang the moles up to show the farmers what they had caught and so could be paid per mole.

So now we know.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

15 thoughts on “Lazy Wind

  1. That sure looks bleak, and very cold!
    I’m glad I’m not eating whilst looking at this entry!

  2. Hung moles probably don’t work well “to serve as a warning to the others”; suspect that the hunter wants the local predators to be able to make nutritional use of the resource, and encourage / enable those predators to hang around. That’s my take on it. Never seen anyone do that around here, tho’!


  3. I’ve edited the post with the answer

  4. I’ve heard of rat catchers nailing the tails to barn doors, presumably also to do with claiming their piece work pay.

  5. It seems like a variation on the ‘gamekeepers gibbet’. About 20 years ago I came across a whole stretch of barbed-wire fence in Anglesey hung with carcasses of moles, stoats, weasels, foxes, crows, gulls, etc – must have been over 100 corpses….I could smell it before I saw it.

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  10. Crule but beautiful and artistic pictures!

    Here in Europe it is said that molecatchers hang the dead molebodys to show the farmers how much they catched… If they would barry them, the farmer who pays the molecatcher, couldn ‘t see his job is clear done…

    Jan Van Mazelen

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  12. Hi first of all “great photos” quite a few mole catchers still display the moles to give the farmer proof of the catch. I don’t do it myself as it doesn’t go down well with the local animal lovers, and if you are still working an area you run the risk that the traps will be stolen or the markers removed.

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