Windows on Wildlife: Time Spent With a Red Fox
Welcome to the 6th edition of Windows on Wildlife! If you have a recent post about wildlife you’d like to share – it can be anything: birds, insects, mammals – scroll down to the end of the post and add your site; a compilation of all additions will be posted the following week. Please don’t forget to link back here (I’d love it if you’d add the Windows on Wildlife button on the sidebar to your post) and visit other blogs that have articles to share. Thanks for stopping by!
We’re currently up in the Catskill mountains at my family’s house (so if I’m a bit slow approving/ responding to comments, and absent from visiting with friends’ blogs, my apologies – we don’t have internet or cell service at the cabin; I go into a nearby town for wifi every few days) for a summer vacation. When my father and step-mother arrived they informed us that there was a family of red foxes living under the barn on the lower part of the property.
As example of how supportive my husband is of my passion for wildlife, he was the one to remind me last night that it was 8:30 PM and I wanted to try to get a glimpse of the fox family. He’s awesome – he puts up with so much weirdness from me.
I took binoculars and crept down the steep, gravelly driveway as quietly as I could in sandals. It was deliciously cool after the hot day. A near constant breeze felt like the softest water flowing over my skin, and the crisp mountain air won’t be equaled back home until autumn.
I saw the fox as soon as the lower meadow came into view; she was sitting by the near corner of the barn, perhaps 30 or 40 yards away from where I was. When I raised the binoculars, I found her looking straight at me. “Yeah, I see you”, her cool gaze seemed to say. Clearly not concerned with my presence she then laid down and curled up, still within view. I watched both her and the spectacular sunset for a bit. High, thin clouds rolled by overhead, first purple, then bright pink as the sun lowered over the horizon, then fading gradually to purple again.
I wished for a moment that I had my camera. But I knew I could never capture the true essence of the sunset I was witnessing, nor the awed feeling I had of watching the small, graceful fox. I can do a better job of sharing through language these 10 or 15 minutes spent outside than my pictures ever could.
A white Jeep driving down the road startled the fox. She stood alert for a moment, then bounded away over the grass and disappeared under the barn. I stayed for a while longer, trying to memorize the pattern of pink light over the rippled clouds, and listening to the murmur and occasional twang from the green frogs in the pond below me.
As I came around the back of the house on my way back up the drive, I flushed something large in the woods just ahead of me. A deer perhaps, or a bear. Given the clumsy way it was moving in the underbrush I assumed bear. I paused for a moment hoping for a glimpse, then decided it would be wise to watch from the back step where I could quickly enter the house, if needed. I lingered there, listening to the animal moving about, hoping it would appear if I was still enough, but it never did.
I love my time spent up here in the Catskills, the amazing opportunities for immersing myself in nature are unparalleled in most of the rest of my life. More post will be coming this week and next about some of my adventures here in the mountains.
Ann from Harvest Moon by Hand joined us for the first time, with a wonderful lesson on owl pellet dissection. And another new contributor, Amanda from Things to Learn, shared some interesting facts about fireflies and bioluminescence - fireflies are definitely the topic of the summer! Jenny moved her Windows on Wildlife post over to her photography blog – Just Photos by Me – and shared a gorgeous photo of a beetle (?) perched on a flower. And Fergiemoto at Creativity Aroused shared a picture of the mama deer of last week’s baby mule deer, along with a few other beautiful photos and thoughts on the meditative qualities of art (I couldn’t agree more!).
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