When I first sat down to write this week’s blog posting, my intention was to celebrate the passing of the last warm days in Michigan until probably May. It was to celebrate happy things like garter snakes taking in the last of the sun’s warmth a few days ago.
This one was all smiles, too.
I saw a total of seven garter snakes including this one, which I stopped and picked up for a photo. I called my run the Seven Snake Run and it was the year’s last run in shorts, with snakes.
But before I could post my happy snake photos, I found myself on a date with Mark. It was Friday evening, and like most people, we wanted to spend quality time in the woods in camou hanging out near a sapling rubbed raw by a buck. Our goal, of course, was to get a photo of the buck. We parked the car where I frequently run, which is where a neighborhood ends and dense woods begins. I had just stepped onto the trail when Mark saw a northern short-tail shrew. It was, unfortunately, dead, the only benefit of which was seeing it up close and being able to appreciate its very soft, dense fur.
We buried the hapless little fella, and walked down the path for some fifteen minutes or so before we found our sapling and sat, unmoving, for over an hour. We heard stomping and romping behind us in the woods and below us in the marsh, but saw nary a deer. It was chilly and dark by the time we tromped back to the car, and we’d just passed the first house when we saw these two does.
Nearby, was this 8-point buck. We snapped several shots before the rude owner of the house in the background flicked on their porch light and peeked outside. The buck ran off.
On Saturday, as I was working on my blog about happy snakes AND happy deer, Mark went out to feed the mallard ducks and stumbled upon a wounded white-footed deer mouse. The tiny thing wasn’t moving, had a mangled back leg, and no chance of surviving outdoors. Mark brought it inside and held it in his hands to warm it up. I took over and held the tiny fuzzy in my hands while we watched our beloved MSU football team go down the dumper to Iowa.
It was around the middle of the fourth quarter when the little mouse finally opened its eyes and wiggled its nose. I took the mouse to the faucet, let water drip off my fingers and watched as he gently licked the water with his tiny tongue. Assured he was willing to give life another shot, I gave the mouse to Mark to hold while I got a small plastic container with a perforated lid. I lined the container with bedding, added some hamster food, and some water in a milk jug cap. We put the mouse inside and watched him drink. Later, he ate a few sunflower seeds.
Our little mouse pal was alive on Sunday, and since the tiny container seemed small even for a mouse, we bought a Play Palace for Little Buddha, the hamster. We cleaned out the aquarium Little Buddha was in, put him in the Play Palace, and set the aquarium up for the mouse. Like most pet mice and hamsters, ours took up residence on our kitchen counter where they can be tended to quite handily.
We think Little Buddha was okay with the new arrangement.
And we think we did okay for the little mouse. Because, so far, so good.
So, welcome little mouse. Stick around as long as you can. With any luck, your wounds will heal, and one day you’ll be as happy as Little Buddha, the deer, and snakes when they can sun themselves. . . which we probably won’t see again until May.