Gopher Mud Cast

Gopher Mud Cast
Photo Credit: Picture provided by John A.Beebe, taken after snow melt.
I know, this is probably the most unusual thing you have ever seen. You may ask "Has my neighbor played a trick on me?" No- this is a phenomenon caused by Pocket Gophers. Since Pocket Gophers do not hibernate, they continue their excavations under snow cover. Soil and refuse are packed in snow tunnels and form distinctive "Mud Casts" that settle to the ground after the snow melts. These cylindrical "Mud Casts" radiate out from tunnel openings in early spring.