'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...
Perhaps very soon, but...
Just after Thanksgiving, when it twasn't yet
There was a stirring near a cam I'd set
Seems the seeds I'd sprinkled had attracted a mouse
But in manzanita near Mariposa, and not in the house.
That longer than body-length bi-color tail, tufted tip, big ears and eyes, and brown-gray fur and white belly ID this character as Boyle's Deer Mouse, Peromyscus boylii, aka a Brush Mouse. At least in my humble IDing opinion (IMHIO). Brushies are climbers that forage up in shrubs and trees, and are well-known to live in manzanita groves, so the habitat fits too.
Have to say - I love the dark gray on the face and legs. Reminds me of our dusky-footed woodrats, Neotoma fuscipes, for which deer mice are the nearest living non-Neotoma relative.
Btw - there's a ton of confusing info out there on Peromyscus boylii and Peromyscus truei,
the Pinyon Mouse. Both on the web and in respected books. For
example, multiple references, such as the Smithsonian website and Animal
Diversity Web, suggest that boylii is only found above
2,000 meters. That's not correct - they've been studied extensively
in the Sierra Foothills and California Coastal Ranges below 3,000 feet -
aka under 1,000 meters. Perhaps these websites are meant to read "below 2,000 meters," and it's just a typo.
Also, the indispensable Jameson and Peeters, Mammals of California, shows truei in the Santa Cruz Mountains and not boylii. Well, it's the other way around. From what I can tell, no truei has been found, and boylii has been well documented and studied.
So, whether you're scurrying around the Intertubes, or flipping notable pages - be cautious as a mouse with those references. Knowledge changes.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.