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Wood Mouse

Dave Simpson (February)

Anyone who has ever walked up to Cwm Glas should know that it can be a bit of a slog up the steep hillside from the Pen y pass road. A sandwich stop here is almost obligatory, allowing some time for a little rest and the opportunity to gaze across the wintry crags of Crib y Ddysgl. It was during a little lunch stop here, that we were joined by an esteemed guest who was quite sociable and friendly. Perhaps a little hungry from the winter freeze, this little wood mouse was only too happy to pose for photos in exchange for some bread. We spent a good five minutes enjoying our lunch together before going our separate ways to enjoy the mountains in all their glory.

Also known as the long tailed field mouse, the wood mouse is the thought to be the most abundant species of mouse in the UK and they are usually nocturnal. They have excellent night vision and an acute sense of smell which I am sure are vital in the woodmouseâÂ.Â.s eternal struggle to evade its major predator - the owl.

Wood mice live in small burrows about a foot under the surface where they store food, usually seeds, berries and fruit. They do not normally hibernate but if a winter is particularly severe they will become lethargic and less responsive, in a condition called a torpor or torpid state that enables them to survive when food is scarce, which may explain why this little fellow seemed so relaxed in our company.

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