White-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) is commonly called a woodmouse or a field mouse. (Which is usually a confusion with voles, but they're honestly so similar that it's a pretty excusable mistake.) If you don't like mice, you might want to skip to the end of the this post.
White footed mice have brown fur on top and white fur below. The babies however are born blind with their ears shut and look like pink raisin-goblin-sack-weenies.
White footed mice are not particularly picky about where they live, and will likely have a network of routes if you're back in the trees where I was, but they often prefer wooded areas and will line their nest with softer bits of whatever they can find. The young will be completely dependent of their mother for the first 3 weeks of life, then they're on their own.
This little mouse is active year round, weather permitting, and ranges from Saskatchewan/Alberta through much of mexico. It eats seeds, fruits, and insects, and can climb, swim, and burrow. This adaptable lifestyle and the fact that this mouse is sexually mature at around 40 days makes it fairly popular with the predator classes.
Mating season of white-footed mouse depends on the climate. Southern populations reproduce all year round. In northern populations, such as North Dakota, they reproduce during the spring through autumn months.
Mouse And The Chuck Norris Effect
The true story of one mouse in North Dakota and her family. I would like to add, just in case you are unfamiliar with how nature works, that everybody eats, and as a photographer, that's not my fault. And if you're a mum having a bad day, this will TOTALLY make you feel better because no matter how bad parent-teacher conferences went, I promise, it was better than this.
Because mice are rather poor long-term planners, this mouse happened to have put her nest right where a large clean-up project had been taking place. She wisely set about moving her family straight away, if by "straight away," you mean, "when she got around to it." Probably. I couldn't watch the whole time, because Rocko doesn't care for mice. There aren't many things that get this man, but mice and him don't mix. And I was trying to lie and say that it wasn't a mouse, but if it was, it was totally his fault for not knocking first. And that's when Rocko looked at me in that way he does when I'm not sure if he's confused or in pain.
Rocko: Why would anybody knock before they tossed out a scrapwood pile?
Me: See? If we keep cleaning it up, especially the heavy stuff that I cannot lift without you, we'll make the world a better place. So even if you evicted an entire mouse family, we’re still up on the karma points!
I was obviously going to be working solo until the mouse problem had passed, and since there is not a shortage of things to do back in the trees, I was happy to let her work. Credit where it's due, she never dropped a one. And that's fairly impressive when you have to move a family with your face.
But babies cry. It's a thing they do. It was just a baby mouse, so it was actually more of a faint squeek than a cry. But to a mum mouse, that's probably the human equivalent of “THERE’S A MONSTER IN MY ROOM!” and the mum mouse promptly... OK. She didn't do anything actually. Mice aren't really synonymous with extreme maternal guidance.
And cats are curious. So when you're moving fallen branches and other flotsam from your tree row, and the old logs start to chirp, it will get a kitty's attention. And the following photo will only bother you if you are sheltered from how the food chain works.
Moral of the story - enjoy something, because you never know when the universe might trot through the woods and bite your head off. The end.