A gardener finds a family of mice and builds them a tiny village.
On the grassy ground of Simon Dell’s lawn in Sheffield, UK, he noticed a cute little house mouse.
He knew he couldn’t miss the chance, so he thought of the best option. Simon built a house for the mouse, George, to shelter it from the cats and provide a beautiful backdrop for his new subjects. He built him a magnificent house out of wood, old fruit, and vegetables. George was quick to notice Simon’s nice home and jumped at the chance to join his fellow mice. Mildred and Mini, Simon. See Simon’s lovely images of George and his little family enjoying fun in their comfortable new house. Visit Simon’s Facebook page for more photos, or his RedBubble page for mouse-themed goods.
“I was out photographing the birds in the garden when I observed something moving on the ground,” Simon told Bored Panda. A cute little house mouse stood up like a meerkat in the freshly cut grass when I pointed my camera at the ground.
“I raced inside to buy a couple of peanuts to put down for the cute animal. He came out for the sweets after only a few minutes of waiting.“
“I decided to provide the small mouse a safe spot to hide and eat.”
It was fun taking shots of wildlife and mice because I used to have a mouse that lived in my garden shed and only came out at night. We named him Stuart, a wood mouse.
“He was a single mouse who left to locate a partner in early spring 2018. Hope he returns this winter to meet the new garden mice.“
“The garden is full of wildlife. Starlings, house sparrows, blackbirds, robins, and more. Even a grey heron that ate half of my goldfish.“
“A fox comes every night, and there are hedgehogs and squirrels.”
“At first, there was only one. George got a cut in his ear. I made a housing for the mouse out of small logs and covered it with moss and straw.“
“I could see the cats sitting just feet away on the opposite side of a fence,” he said.
“I erected wire netting along the fence so the cats couldn’t get to the mouse. I also have a Jack Russell Terrier, so the cats stay out of the garden and the dog ignores the mice.“
“A few days later, I observed two mice inside the log pile, and they both came out for a snack.”
“I built them a housing so they would be protected from cats and other creatures in the garden. Also, feeding the mice was the appropriate thing to do, as I would feel guilty if they became prey. As a wildlife photographer, I wanted to create a great looking environment for my photos.“
“The initial stage of the wood pile took about an hour to create. But as additional mice arrived, I made improvements, adding more rooms. The box structure contains 2-3 exits, so people can escape if necessary. The wood pile settlement has steadily grown over time.“
“I constructed additional room and prepared it for a hard winter, giving the mice a fighting chance. I think we will have a large litter of baby mice around Christmas.“
I may be building a lot more log pile rooms because mice can have up to 14 babies. But I have room and don’t mind sharing it with such adorable creatures.“
“The mice adore the log pile homes and moved in quickly. However, I am able to go close enough with a zoom lens to capture them happily popping in and out for nuts or seeds.
“I normally feed them natural food. I pick berries, nuts, and fruits from the Shire Brook Valley Local Nature Reserve just down the road. I also give them the same variety of seeds as the bird tables, plus hazel or walnuts. I treat them with dry mealworms and suet pellets, but I try to feed them natural, healthful foods.“
Then I slowly built up my kit and upgraded cameras to increase my skills and acquire better mouse photographs and other wildlife images.
Better gear and lenses assist, but nothing beats mastering the camera, its settings, and the species you are photographing. To get closer or find your subjects.“
“The mice are still here and happy. Winter means shorter days and fewer sunbeams. It’s difficult to see them after dark. I see them come out for food during the day, but it’s always gone by morning. I also give them old pillow feathers to line their mattresses with during the cold UK winter nights.“