Most people are quite stressed out when they discover that mice have infested their house or yard. Typically, they will run to get a trap or perhaps even a cat to take care of the problem. For a man named Simon Dell, however, the reaction was quite different. He is a wildlife photographer from Sheffield in the UK. He wanted to deal with the house mice he found in his garden but he didn’t chase them away, he built them a home.
“Being a keen wildlife photographer, I am often taking photos of birds on the feeders in the garden,” Dell said. “Then one day, I looked down to see a very cute little house mouse standing up in the grass.”
His construction project became a family mansion for the mice.
Dell wanted to get some pictures of the happy couple of mice and their little baby. He found it difficult to get them close enough for a good picture so he built them a house. It was his hope that they would stick around.
When you look at the new property, you have to admit that it is quite impressive. For a mouse, it is downright luxurious! It has a small pond, a log cabin and a ladder that goes to a sheltered woodpile. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the mouse family was more than happy to stick around. They were exploring the new home in no time.
Those amenities included a waterfront property as well as a playground and some delicious treats.
Most people (and mice) would be more than happy with such a nice home but Dell decided to take it a step further. He started constructing some of the parts of the home out of old produce. Can you imagine how much a mouse would love a home made out of food?
Now that he was a landlord, he needed some names for the lease. The mouse tenants are now known as George, Mildred, and Mini. They seem happy to be in their home sweet home. He makes sure that there are plenty of fruits and nuts stocked in the pantry and sometimes, he even makes them a feast, complete with tiny plates.
Dell continues to work on the property and has become quite attached to the new tenants.
He also has concerns about their safety, especially from nearby predators.
“Knowing there are cats just over the fence I thought I would give them a little more safety, so collected some logs and made them a log pile home,” Dell said. “The mice are very trusting and know I mean them no harm. I love nature so am happy to live alongside such cute creatures.”
When all is said and done, the adorable new tenants are quite happy in their new home. Dell continues to enjoy having them around and he even decorates their home for the holidays and provides some transportation. At the same time, he maintains a degree of humbleness about the project.
“I saw the opportunity to take some nice photos,” he said. “At the same time, giving the mice a nice home and a safe place to live. I’ll put a bit of food out each day for them, and on local walks, I’ll pick berries, nuts, blackberries, stuff like that, and put them out.”
This photographer loves nature and he takes advantage of any opportunities it provides.
He regularly posts pictures to his Facebook page, including wildlife, personal pictures and beautiful locations from around Europe. He even has a post dedicated to his late dog, Charlie, who passed away in September. His photography is adventurous but it has a personal flair.
“Don’t let fear or insecurity stop you from trying new things,” his Facebook page reads. “Believe in yourself. Do what you love. And most importantly, be kind to others … Hate photography snobs.”
Dell is not only limited to taking pictures of the mouse family. He enjoys capturing the natural beauty near his home in Sheffield in many different photographs. When he is on his regular walks, he may take pictures of local cattle but you can find everything from birds in trees and lizards under rocks to stags and beautiful summer vistas. He even does some wedding and event photography from time to time.
At the heart of it all, however, is the cute little mouse family. It adds some humor to his photography. Sometimes, he even adds a patriotic flair to his pictures of the mice, as was seen during the 2018 World Cup.
In the end, we all hope that his friendship with the mice continues as their family grows. Hopefully, they will enjoy their home sweet home for a very long time.