Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Outdated (and a tale from the woods)

My snow photographs that I took on Sunday are outdated already. Last night I had almost half an inch of rain, so this morning the snow is gone. I am not surprised, really. This is November, after all. November is perhaps the most variable month of the year here. In the space of 24 hours I went from a morning low of 18 degrees to a temperature in the mid-40’s.

I’d love to be posting a photo of the red fox that was sniffing around just 10-15 feet from the end of my back deck. But I was afraid if I moved to go get the camera that it would run off. At the time I was watching my bird feeders, where the activity is finally picking up, when the fox trotted into what would be my back yard if I had a yard instead of a forest.

The fox nosed around, calmly checking out the territory with the aura of an animal who’d been there before. It casually looked under leaves, poked around sticks and branches. A couple of times it stopped and looked right towards me, and we made eye contact through the picture window. That didn’t bother it. It would just check every several seconds to make sure I wasn’t doing anything it didn’t like. Then it would go back to checking out the territory.

At the time, it was perhaps 10-15 minutes before sunset. The sky was cloudy and already darkening but still light enough for me to watch the fox for several minutes. I wondered what it was up to. Then I remembered I had tossed a few apples that were past the point where I wanted to eat them out into the back woods for the local deer. After watching the fox, I’m thinking the deer never got them.

The fox continued its activity, and eventually it got so close that I couldn’t see it any longer. I think it trotted under the cabin (which is raised several feet off the ground), taking the short cut back in the direction it came from. My guess is that it had one more stop before reaching its den. I’ve also seen it by my neighbor’s carport, where he keeps (and uses) his grill. I wonder if he knows??


Ruth said...

How interesting to have a fox about. I have only seen one in the wild. Coyotes are seen more often.

Dana and Daisy said...

they are such cute little animals aren't they? With those big ears and their pointy noses. They don't look like any kind of canine really. Maybe they aren't? I don't know!

phylliso said...

We saw a red fox this summer,the dog led me to him & he was gone so fast I was glad I had hold of the leash tightly.I haven`t seen any since.I`ve seen only 2 gray fox here the whole time we lived here,about 25 years.I guess they stay close to our neighbor`s deer farm.phylliso

Betsy from Tennessee said...

They say we have foxes around here also although I haven't seen one. We are right on the 'edge' of a wildlife preserve area --so I'm sure we do have some critters like your fox. I've read that there are black bears up here also--but I haven't seen one of them. They can stay in the Smokies as far as I'm concerned!!!! Bet the deer didn't get a bite of those apples!!!!

Carolyn H said...

All: Foxes are pretty sneaky little things. This one (or ones) is very used to people and activity, so I see it far more than is typical. They are very curious and, I think, very intelligent. I wouldn't be surprised if they were smarter than the average dog. Pretty, too.

Carolyn H.