Original Painting Medium: Pastel
Scientific Name: Micromys minutus
For my painting of a Harvest Mouse I collected a few stalks of wheat from a nearby field and using a variety of photographic reference materials portrayed my Harvest Mouse in pastels.
This tiny mouse is a good climber and its size and lightness allows it to clamber up a stalk maintaining its balance with its prehensile tail. Holding on with its hind feet and tail, it uses its delicate but manipulative front feet and incisor teeth to cut off the ripe ears of wheat. This species is one of the worlds smallest rodents and the smallest British rodent; half of its 41/2 inches (11cm) is taken up by its tail.
A harvest mouse fashions a round nest with a side entrance, off the ground and between stalks, in a reed bed or corn field. As yet, I have not seen a Harvest Mouse in the field, but I was once lucky enough to find the remains of a nest.
Sadly their numbers are declining and in Scotland they are rare and they are absent in Wales. In by-gone years the Harvest Mouse may not have been a favourite with farmers – but to portray the features of this cute little chap was a great pleasure and I still hope to see a Harvest Mouse in the wild one day.