Simon Dell, a photographer, is a lovely host. While photographing birds in his yard one day, he became aware of something moving beneath his feet. “I put my camera at the ground and was astonished but overjoyed to find a really cute tiny house mouse standing up like a meerkat in the freshly cut grass,” he remembered.
Rather than chasing the creature away, Dell opted to entertain him. He retreated to his residence to grab some peanuts for the mouse since he understood the mouse’s potential star power. “I was sitting there, waiting, and he came out for the snacks in minutes.” Dell then had another idea: he would construct a little shelter for the mouse, now known as George, in which he could “hide and feed.” To begin, the photographer piled tiny logs around a box and covered it with moss and straw. (The logs shielded George from an inquisitive cat who was lurking nearby.)
Dell discovered another mouse in the shelter a few of days after constructing it. “I chose to construct them a home because I wanted to provide them with a secure haven in the garden where they wouldn’t be preyed upon by cats or other animals.” For both the mouse and Dell, it was a win-win situation. “As a wildlife photographer, I wanted to establish a pleasing environment for whatever photographs I might capture.” He built little houses out of wood and hollowed-out fruit, as well as small objects for them to engage with. The ensuing images of the mice are charming; they appear to have returned Dell’s charity by posing nicely among their feast of berries and apples.
Dell has subsequently increased the number of mice houses available. There are now more of them, and one of them looks to be pregnant. “Knowing that mice may have up to 14 kids,” he continues, “I might be building a lot more log pile chambers.” “However, I have plenty of room and don’t mind sharing it with such adorable and attractive pets.”
It wasn’t the first time Dell had dealt with mice in this picturesque community. Stuart was the name he and his family gave to another mouse that lived in his garden shed. Stuart departed the garden in the spring of 2018, but Dell is hopeful he returns to meet the new mice. Until then, the images will have to suffice.
Simon Dell decided to give a little mouse a treat after noticing him darting around his yard.
Initially, he constructed a barrier to protect the mouse from a nosy cat…
…and when more mice appeared, Dell constructed more houses and shelters for them.
The photographs of mice that resulted show the critters in their wooden homes, eating sweet snacks.
The mice appear to have reciprocated Dell’s hospitality by standing nicely among their feast of berries and apples.