NATURE snapper Gez Robinson has revealed how a chance encounter in his garden sparked a relationship which has more than 20,000 avid online watchers.
Gez started a Facebook page for the field mice who have set up home in his back yard in Kimberworth and was stunned when it became an online sensation.
“They give people so much joy and have done so during the pandemic,” he said.
“I really can't believe they have so many followers.
“The Royal Cornwall Hospital got in touch and said they have been showing the photos to the patients on the wards and they are bringing so much joy.
“They have named them the 'Covid Meeces'.
“The pictures also help my father who suffers with Alzheimer’s and dementia.”
Gez, whose grandchildren, Noah and Minnie Wain (pictured below, with Gez), urged him to set up the Facebook page, added: “I was filling the bird feeder one day and noticed there was a mouse sitting on its back legs.
“I went to get my camera and it was still there so I took some low-level shots.
“It is nice that I can watch them. There are two families on opposite sides of the garden with about six mice each.
“We don’t have to feed them because they eat the seeds and peanuts the birds spill from the feeders and they eat grass, too.
“People thought they were pet mice so I had to start taking some videos so people could see they were wild mice and I’ve not trained them!”
Gez uses a Fuji XTS camera with various lenses at 100-400mm to get his sharp long shots.
He said: “It just takes incredibly sharp photos and I have to do very little editing.
“Even when you have to shoot from far away and crop, it gets that much detail.”
Fans may be able to get their hands on Gez's work later in the year, as he explained: “I sent the hospital one of the calendars I had made up last year.
“I only had a few done and sold them for the Alzheimer's Society but they went down so well I may do some more this year and hopefully can sell even more.”
You can keep up with Gez's work through his Twitter profile and follow the mice's adventures at The Mouse Family that Live by the Brambles Facebook page.