Saturday, April 19, 2014

Death Along The Trail

This is the sight that greeted me as I crested the hill leading down into our dead ice sink.  Shock and sorrow were quickly replaced with a feeling of envy.  Nearing my seventieth birthday, thoughts of my inevitable end sometimes fill my mind.  Dropping alongside the path seemed, at the time, like a good way to pass.

Dead wild animals are part of the natural cycle and are usually taken in stride.  Somehow the death of this fox created unexpected emotion.  A wild fox moving across the meadow is a thing of rare beauty. Poise and confidence are evident with every move.  Displaying characteristics that are at the same time feline and canine add to the mystic.  A thick bushy tail that is almost as long as the body attracts and holds ones attention.  

Black ears could be photographed without disturbing the carcass.  I failed to look for the white tip on the tail although one can be seen in the first picture.  Only the imported red fox displays the white tail tip.  Our native gray fox sports a black colored tail.  The red foxes were imported for sport hunting.

Our fox was laid to rest at the base of an ancient gravel borrow pit.  A huge white pine tree shades the spot and its fallen needles build pleasantly scented soil.  Large rocks will keep this spot undisturbed although two of them would otherwise make excellent wall stones.

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