Saturday, February 4, 2012
A Fox Tale
Our lack of snow at the Stone Wall Garden makes watching the wildlife a bit of a challenge. The animals blend in to the point that you can be watching a deer and as soon as his movement stops he disappears as if by magic. The animal is still right there in plain sight, but matches the background perfectly. This morning I was lucky enough to spot a fox walking down the hill on Ed's curved path. I got the binoculars to get a better look. This fox is in magnificent condition. Her huge bushy tail looks black, but with a white tip. Her red fur glistened even in the subdued light of this cloudy morning. Her front legs were black. I watched as she walked along the top edge of the mowed area. The leg movements fascinate me because I want to understand exactly how a fox manages to leave those single line tracks in the snow.
When the fox reached the patch of long grass beyond the wall, she stopped to hunt. I watched as she stood there motionless, listening. Then she stuck her nose into the grass to get a good whiff. Finally she pounced like a cat. Alas she came up empty. The entire process was repeated again. This time she caught a grey critter about the size of a red squirrel. I couldn't see what it was for sure. The furry critter menu here is extensive. I watched as she ate her prize.
This is a closer picture of the area where the fox was hunting. After she finished eating she stopped to mark this spot with urine and then headed toward the trees. I thought the show was over, but the fox took off with incredible speed. She had found a rabbit. The rabbit had a considerable lead on the fox, but as they headed up the hill the blinding speed of the fox was closing the gap. They disappeared over the crest of the hill. Once again I thought the show was over, but in just a minute or two the fox appeared again walking down Ed's curved path.
This time she walked along the edge of the grass and climbed to the top of the rough compost pile. As she stood there I just had to try to get a picture. The windows of the kitchen door were a little foggy. I set the camera and then carefully opened the door. I never saw the fox leave or saw where she went. This fox tale came to a quick but final end.