Photographer Simon Dell has always had a number of wild animals that pass through his garden in Sheffield, England. Squirrels, hedgehogs, foxes and birds. But a few critters have taken up home and he’s made them feel welcome in the most charming way.
When Dell noticed a mouse in his garden he right away knew the cute little fellow would be the perfect subject to photograph.
“I knew instantly he was a star and ran back inside to get a couple of peanuts to put down for him,” he told the Bored Panda. “Sitting there, waiting, it was only minutes before he came back out for the treats.”
He decided to make George a little home, and it soon became a much more elaborate home than one would expect.
The resulting pictures have a Beatrix Potter vibe, with George and his friends peeking out of their log house and nibbling on the goodies Dell leaves out.
The log home in all its glory.
Here’s a tiny home he built that’s currently not occupied.
But soon got a resident.
There’s lots of nooks and crannies to explore in the intricately made village.
He has ensured that his garden home for the mice is a fortified against cats or other predatory animals.
The log home expanded to a larger structure as George had a few friends join him for the winter months.
He makes sure to feed the mice foods appropriate to their diet – nuts, fruits, seeds and berries with the odd insect and mealworm.
He sometimes leaves the tasty grub(s) on tiny plates, although they’d probably tell Dell to hold the plastic water bottle next time.
He leaves all kinds of nutritious foods for them – apples, cherries.
Sometimes they even live in them. Pumpkin houses are great shelter and there’s always a snack inside.
A chestnut abode.
He of course uses a zoom lens so as to not scare the mice. He’s been taking the photos for a few years now, but they recently went viral. He says he’s been fielding offers from all over the world to show his photos.
Their “home” also gets decorations of holly for the holiday season.
The mice have gotten used to Dell’s presence. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to negotiate with them when it comes to special poses.
“The Christmas mouse. Cost me half a bag of nuts and 2 apples to get him to wear this hat,” he wrote.
The family of mice have been living in Dell’s garden for a few seasons now.
And made themselves right at home.
“The mice are still here and living a very happy life,” Dell said. “It is winter now, so the days are shorter and they come out less often.” But he’ll still make sure they are comfortable and warm. He will leave out some old down feathers that they can use to stay warm in their humble log homes, safe and snug in his garden.