Front Range Seed Analysts
1992 Seed Forum Volulme 6 Number 1
MARAUDING MOUSE RAIDS ASCO SEED HERBARIUM
written by Jane Hall
It is a nasty New Year "revelation" to open one's seed herbarium to find plastic seed packets shuffled to and fro with nibbles, some quite significant, and other tell tale markers in great quantity all scattered throughout the cabinet. The ASCO herbarium is housed in a wooden cabinet containing ten drawers. This gourmet mouse had quite a time checking out each and every drawer carefully selecting seed to his liking. To the mouse it must have been like a ten story apartment complex with tasty treats on each floor!
As I began the clean up process it became interesting to find which seed was preferred. The Asters appeared to be a big hit, with a packet of sunflower seed completely destroyed, yarrow nibbled, desert marigold sampled and about ten other packets had ragged tooth marks where the little fiend, tried the contents and found them to his disliking.
At first the Brassicas appeared to be untouched, until I progressed to the Raphanus genus where both the cultivated and wild radish packets had been tested. Most of the wild radish was eaten out of the thick seed pod. It was a sample collected from the beach at Trinidad Bay in Humboldt County California. Was it salty like a pack of salted peanuts?
So the mouse progressed. In the Lamiaceae, horehound seemed to please. Linum grandiflorum was ravaged which might explain the quantity of mouse droppings found in every corner. Every packet of Onagraceae was full of holes like a sieve'. Oenothera missouriensis was gone, two seed coats cracked in half left in the packet. The Pinaceae were attempted but apparently the seed coats are a bit to dense for mouse teeth. Poaceae ranked right up there with the asters.-Switchgrass packet empty, millet tasted and the favorite and ultimate undoing for this mouse, Lagurus ovatus, hare's tail. All three packets with huge holes gnawed through and seed hulls everywhere.
The mouse came back thrice to dine on hare's tail. The third time I had made up a special treat of sunflower seeds, wild strawberry and hare's tail all nicely arranged and glued in place on a mouse trap. He dines no more on the ASCO herbarium.
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