Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Woodland Mouse

What a joy to step outside this afternoon into bright sunshine and actually feel warm. Not that the temperature is higher today. The difference is the wind. The wild wind of yesterday is gone (for now). One little fellow did not make it through another winter season. I found him lying beneath our retaining wall along the driveway.

Peromyscus, a woodland mouse

These little woodland mice are hardy winter creatures. So, although his body was intact, it is likely that something dropped a meal by mistake. They are cute little things, when you hold them in the palm of your hand and stroke their soft fur. Their numbers are plentiful, which is good for the other animals that eat them -- hawks, owls, foxes, and coyotes. We have at least one resident mouse that makes a nest in the snow blower each summer. Now we check and clean the blower before the first snowstorm. Even then it is tricky getting all the hay and other nest material out of the engine!

Four front toes and long whiskers

The commonly seen tracks of woodland mice, Peromyscus

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