Harvest mice are Europe’s tiniest rodents, and with their short noses and button-black eyes, they are definitely adorable. There is something else, though, that makes these cuties unique. You see, harvest mice have a prehensile tail like a monkey — it helps them cling to plant stems.
That tail makes for some of the most adorable photos you will ever see.
So, for photographer Dean Mason, who lives in Dorset, in the United Kingdom, harvest mice are an obsession.
Harvest mice are tiny acrobats
Mason, who’s 53, has been photographing since the age of 17, Bored Panda reports.
“I have been a dedicated wildlife photographer for the past 20 years and enjoyed every single second [of it],” he said. “Wildlife fascinates me for many reasons: It’s always challenging and I thrive on a challenge. I love the peace and tranquility of nature and the outdoors, and I’ve always suffered from anxiety, so having spent 1000s of hours with nature and my camera equipment, I’ve always found it to be therapeutic and calming.”
Harvest mice are just so cute!
Mason is the owner of Windows on Wildlife Photography hides and Workshops, which offers photography courses, located in Dorset.
“I breed captive-bred harvest mice and am fully licensed under the new DEFRA animal welfare legislation to do so,” he said. “We offer other wildlife photographers the opportunity to photograph our harvest mice under controlled conditions, however, our mice are free to do as they please — they are never handled, so never get stressed.”
That makes for some very happy harvest mice. And some absolutely adorable holiday cards as well.
These tiny mice can be challenging to find
“Harvest mice … are natural climbers so we give them various plants, stems, flowers for them to climb upon which offers opportunities for photographic images.”
Many wildlife centers also keep these cuties on hand for public display. You see, their small size makes the little guys difficult to spot in the wild.
And these captivating creatures, which live about 18 months in the wild, are natural show-offs.
“Photographing harvest mice is fascinating,” Mason says. “They can be incredibly quick and offer a challenge to photograph. They are incredibly acrobatic and fun to watch, always giving the awww factor! They are never shy to pose for the camera and this is why hundreds of photographers take the opportunity to visit us on our photography workshops in Dorset.”
Mice aren’t Mason’s only subjects
Mason also photographs animals like the red deer stag above mirrored in the water.
The little owl.
A tiny nuthatch.
The Eurasian Jay.
…And where would we be without the British robin?
These woodland creatures are beautiful. They are proof that even our very own backyards can offer a glimpse into a world full of fascinating creatures. Of course, the secret is that we also need to stop and look (or photograph them). What animals live in the woodlands near you?
Photograph courtesy of Dean Mason/Windows on Wildlife