In The Larder of a Wood Mouse

Photo: Mike Howe

Photo: Mike Howe

If you go down to the woods today….in a remote Welsh valley, and have a little rummage around, it’s surprising what you sometimes find.  Here’s where a wood mouse has been storing and eating hazel nuts.  The lovely circular openings are the give away for what’s been eating these nuts.  If the openings had been perfectly circular, that would have been the work of the much rarer (and cuter) dormouse, but these were eaten and stored by a wood mouse.

And this is where he or she lives….

Photo: Mike Howe

Photo: Mike Howe

In the next few weeks some of the commonest and some of the rarest butterflies in the country will emerge and bring these woods and grasslands to life, such as this beautiful silver-washed fritillary.

Photo:  Butterfly Conservation

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About Mike Howe

I am an ecologist and a composer of guitar based instrumental melodies signed to the Real Music label in California. I like to write about my work, music and nature conservation and how it all comes together. I try not to write about things I don't know much about.
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10 Responses to In The Larder of a Wood Mouse

  1. Fritillary butterflies are perhaps less unusual here in Sweden – but not less beautiful. When I was hiking the valleys in the Pyrenees, there was a hidden valley with a multitude of different butterflies. Those mornings I will never forget. It’s such a pity that the habitats of many animals and plants is not protected enough.

    This post made me feel good. Which most of your posts do. You seem so relaxed and have the time to notice the tiny and beautiful things in nature. Love it.

  2. montucky says:

    I really like the photo of where the little mouse lives and what it sees from its home. I think of that sort of thing often when I encounter animals in the forests. I really believe that some species choose their homes at least partially because of the landscape within their view (the Montana mule deer in particular).

    • Mike Howe says:

      Yes it’s really nice and interesting to get an insight from the animals point of view sometimes, and you’re right I’m sure, animals select their home using subtle indicators that we are mostly unaware of. How does the landscape affect the montana mule deer home selection? I’m not familiar with that species, would love to know 🙂 Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it.

  3. Gallivanta says:

    I guess with such a wide habitat we won’t see a photo of a dormouse or a wood mouse nibbling on hazel nuts! I have just googled fritillary ( I thought it was such a pretty looking word) and I see that there is also a fritillary plant (in spring time). I opened the google images for fritillary and the combination of the images of the flowers and the butterfly is so beautiful.

    • Mike Howe says:

      Hi, yes fritillary butterflies (there are a few species as you now know!) are lovely things but are becoming increasingly rare because of habitat loss, and the fritillary plant is also quite a rarity, it doesn’t grow in these parts, it grows in the water meadows (don’t they sound nice?) of southern England. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  4. elkement says:

    Interesting and beautiful pictures… as usual.
    When you take your photos … do you do this in passing, when you are working for example, or do you deliberately watch out for something beautiful or remarkable?

    • Mike Howe says:

      Thank you Elke. I tend to take photos of things I see in passing, as was the case here. Sometimes I’ll rummage around a bit in the undergrowth, otherwise you miss things 🙂

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