Mouse

Cute little mouse munching on foamflower seeds.

Our first day on the Cape Scott trail, and we came to a sign board that pointed to a side trail in order to explore a former settlement. A few metres along the trail something caught my eye and I looked down to see a tiny mouse perched in a foamflower plant, feasting on the seeds of this diminutive flower. I expected the mouse to run away as soon as we approached, but it stayed put, being quite intent on its food. I bent down to get a closer look and it still didn’t move! Even then I thought that by the time I’d got out the camera, it would have disappeared, so we carried on to look at the old settlement.

We found no trace of the farm buildings that used to be here, and headed back to rejoin the main trail. As we neared the junction, I spotted more mice in the flowers, perhaps 4 or 5 in total. A couple did dart off into the grass, but the rest stayed. I had the camera ready at this point and crouched down to get a closer shot. The mouse still didn’t move, and I was able to take a handful of photos (hoping that one would be sharp, given the low light and unstable position I was in). I stood up and moved on; the mouse still didn’t move! I nudged the tip of its tail with my hiking pole (never with a bare finger – those things can bite, and they can carry some nasty diseases), and it still didn’t move! Only after some prolonged prodding did it scurry off, but only to the next flower to resume its feeding.

As ever, it was good that I took multiple shots as only one of them was sharp enough to use; crouching down with a full overnight backpack while trying to focus on a subject the size of a ping-pong ball is not the most stable platform!

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