I Unveil the Christmas Mammal Box 2018!
Every year, I transform my mammal box into a Christmas scene. For the last few years, it has been based around a Christmas sitting room. This year, I decided to design something different. Much searching on doll’s house websites and I chose this year’s theme…. Santa’s sleigh! I also decided to take this opportunity to also change the camera I was using in the box. Up until now, I have used a Vivotek IP camera, which is great, but it has a very shallow depth of field at such close quarters to the scene. It was also very sensitive to focus and would alter if the mammals climbed over it, which they frequently did!
I have swapped it to a Hikvision mini dome IP cam, which has a better depth of field and also the dome means that the small mammals cannot fiddle with the camera.
I created the scene in a mini scene box. These are designed to fit within the mammal box. These removable sets mean I can easily change the appearance of the mammal box pretty easily.
I started by checking that the reindeer and sleigh, I had bought, would fit in and be viewable by the camera.
I chose a matt black plastic as the background so that the scene would stand out. It looked a bit bland, so I bought some Christmas confetti that was made up of snowflakes and gems. I stuck these on to create the festive backdrop to the scene…
I needed something for the ground. I chose a white plastic floor and then bought doll’s house fake snow (Yes, you can buy just about anything in 1/12th size!) I glued some down and sprinkled a little around.
A few extras such as presents and a Christmas tree finished the scene. …..
New lights illuminated the scene and it was almost ready to go!
Once the camera was set up for Iive streaming, it was ready to get it outside. This morning, I placed the new set and cam outside into the mammal box. It will smell new and the lights are a bit brighter, so it may be a few days before the mammals venture in. It has been baited with peanuts and suet pellets… their favourite, so I am hoping it won’t be long before we have a mouse or vole on Santa’s sleigh…. fingers crossed!
A big thank you to CJ Wildlife who have funded this project and to iCode who have had to fiddle with camera settings and live stream options to get this camera online! My cameras can be viewed on the CJ Wildlife website, as well as on mine. Let’s hope we get some visitors very soon! Watch out on my Twitter account for updates.