Mouse "hunt".
(Trip to reserve)

Photoreports: Animals and birds   Reserve nature

    There were Christmas vacations last eight days. I and my friends decided to spend a part of them in Prioksko-Terrasny reserve. This reserve is situated near Oka river in 90 km from Moscow in South direction. We started there on 3rd January at the morning. Unfortunately, Natalie had to go work that day. I drove her to Moscow and then arrived to my friend's house. Then we waited for another members of our trip and visited supermarket to buy some food. We spent there a couple of hours.
    Way to reserve was not so long. After an hour and a half we were at the entrance. This winter leaves us without snow and we drove through reserve roads in strange January forest. Sometimes we saw snow pots in the forest and pond near cordon was covered by thin ice. There were only tokens of winter. The dog Baikal met us at cordon with barking. We had soon occupied our places at cordon two-store house. They were situated at the first floor and we had to rise upstairs. We settled there and then have a dinner. After dinner we walked toward Oka river and then returned and walked around pond. We found trees gnawed by beavers there. When darkness came we had to return home.
    Next day we had excursion to aurochs nursery. That nursery was founded at 1948. They growing aurochs there and than release them into another reserves in wild nature. We spent there about a two hours and then returned to cordon where made barbecue. Another meeting with nature waited us for during we have meal at the evening. We had a supper in the room where some plastic bags with food stood near sofa. Then I heard some sound near one of the bags. I came and saw that bag was gnawed through and cardboard box with chocolate was gnawed through too. Then we got bags away from sofa and tied one peace of chocolate with long rope and put it near sofa. We also took our cameras and sat or lay on the carpet and began to wait. And mouse had come soon. It showed her muzzle from under sofa and than came to chocolate. Next half of an hour we watched mouse's fight against tied peace of chocolate. Firstly mouse was afraid any movement and hid under sofa. Then it came again and was fighting with chocolate. We were making photos. When it was trying to gnaw rope Alexey pull by rope. At last, mouse just untied(!) rope, had a look with a honour on us and proudly went away under sofa with merited chocolate. Later biologists said that it was field mouse who came to live into house. It was not domestic one.
    Next day I started again to aurochs nursery to make some shots (photo) of aurochs and bisons. And returned to cordon at midday. And then deputy director of reserve came to us with his family and we started to have an excursion through some place of reserve. We visited some relict dunes and white-moss pine forest, drove a little along splendid ground roads of reserve, watched a couple of little forest lakes covered with ice and cave craters where water wasn't frozen and, at last, we saw a little plot where grow relict steppe plants. There was not any snow and it was so strange to see that in the beginning of January.
Of course, plot was cut and we couldn't see such plants as steppe tulips or "king of steppe" - feather-grass. But glade surrounded with pine trees was splendid under the sunshine which had come to us, at last. Then we returned to cordon and made a barbecue again. There was nice evening in a company of deputy director and his wife and pretty daughter.
    Next morning we said "good-bye" to cordon and started home. But before our returning we visited ostrich farm, where also grows pheasants. Because our winter is not like itself we can see ostrich walking into corrals and made some photo of them. Then we watched full covered corral with many pheasants into it. Two hours later we were at home.