Most people don’t react well to finding out their house or yard has a mouse infestation. The usual reaction is to run for traps or maybe even get a cat. This wasn’t the case for Simon Dell. Dell, a wildlife photographer who lives in Sheffield in the United Kingdom, had a different idea for dealing with the house mice in his garden. Instead of chasing them away, he built them a house.
“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.”
Dell’s homemade construction is a mouse family mansion.
Dell was very interested in capturing some pictures of the happy mouse couple and their tiny baby. Unfortunately, he couldn’t coax the animals to come close enough to get a picture. So, he built an entire house, hoping to convince them to stay.
Dell’s new property is impressive by any measure. For mice, it’s practically luxury housing. There’s a small pond, a tiny log cabin, and a ladder leading to a sheltered woodpile. Unsurprisingly, the mouse family was convinced. In no time, they were exploring their new home.
The amenities include a waterfront property, a playground, and plenty of delicious treats.
If the amazing house wasn’t enough to make them want to stick around, Dell constructed some parts out of old produce. A house made out of food must be a mouse’s dream come true.
Of course, the new landlord needed some names to put on the lease. Dell named his new tenants George, Mildred, and Mini. They seem very happy in their new home. Dell keeps their pantry stocked with fruits and nuts. Every now and then, he even prepares a mouse feast complete with tiny plates.
Dell is now attached to his mouse friends and continues working on the property on a regular basis.
However, he says he does worry about their safety, especially from predators nearby.
“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.”
The tiny residents seem happy in their new home.
They certainly are adorable tenants. Dell continues to have fun with them. An exemplary landlord, he even decorates for holidays and provides the family with transportation on the house. But he’s humble about his 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.”
Although nature is near and dear to his heart, Dell plays with all sorts of photography opportunities.
His Facebook page is full of all kinds of pictures. These include wildlife, locations around Europe, and even personal pictures. He even has a loving testament to his late dog, Charlie, who passed away at the beginning of September. Dell’s photography is both adventurous and personal.
“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’s nature photography is vibrant and simple with a sense of humor.
The mouse family isn’t the only subject of Dell’s nature photography. The artist also enjoys taking photos of natural beauty all around his home in Sheffield. This includes local cattle and views found on walks. His Facebook page is full of summer vistas, local birds roosting in the trees, lizards hiding beneath rocks, and stags caught midjump. Dell even dabbles in wedding and event photography.
Of course, there are always fun photoshoots with the mouse family, interjecting a sense of humor into Dell’s brand of nature photography. During the 2018 World Cup, the mice became very patriotic, with plenty of yard signs cheering on their favorite soccer team.
For now, Dell’s friendship with his mice continues. Hopefully, they will continue to be comfortable and safe in their new home.
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