Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Can't top it

April 29, 2012
 It's hard to top finding half a dozen showy orchis plants in bloom during my walk on Sunday (see yesterday's post for photos).  My walk was still in its early stages when I found the orchids on this day of glorious weather.  The euphroria of that carried my feet further into the woods, but my mind was still on those orchids.

So perhaps that's why I didn't see the red fox earlier than I did.  The fox was just off the left side of the trail and was climbing over a log and rock. I stopped dead, expecting the fox to bolt.  Amazingly it did not.  It kept coming towards me, no more than 15 feet away for at least another 4-5 steps.  Finally, it did see me and faster than I could blink it disappeared into deeper the woods.

I went over to the spot where I first saw the fox, wondering if there was a den there.  No den.  I believe the fox was napping, though, in the sheltered area under the log that was resting atop a good-sized rock.   Perhaps it heard my footsteps and got up to investigate, not realizing in those first moments that I was Right There.  A few seconds later and from just across the stream, I hear the fox bark.  The poor thing was probably complaining to its mate, "I had to move!  I'm over here now!"
Jack in the Pulpit
That was, I think, the closest I've ever gotten to a fox in the woods.  It was a beauty, too, red and plump, with no sign of the mange that I saw on foxes a year or so ago.  Even though I had a camera in my hand, the whole incident happened too quickly for a photo.  The only way I might have gotten a photo is if my eye blink had been a camera shutter.

Jacks-in-the-pulpit (or is that jack-in-the-pulpits?) are up this week, too. 

I found these odd fungus on my walk. At first I thought they were "expired morels," but photos I've seen of fading morels don't look like this, so I don't know what they are.  Interesting fungus is about the best I can come up with.

I'm glad I took good advantage of the superb weather to traipse down along the stream this past weekend. The rest of this week has been foggy and humid, with spates of much-needed rain and occasional thunder.  The rain is appreciated, but it's not the kind of weather that makes for great photos!


Elora said...

Lucky you, girl!! All those wonderful sights! The "odd-looking fungus" is, I believe, Foxfire, said to "glow in the dark" and spooked many a nightstalker! Don't know if you have to shine a light on it to get it to glow....maybe bring in a stem or two of it if it's quite common where you are, as it is here, and see if you can find it's reputed bioluminescence. (sp?)


Carolyn H said...

Elora--Funny that the Foxfire fungus was right near where I saw the fox! I'll have to see if I can get a piece of it to glow!

Woodswalker said...

How lucky, to find both Showy Orchis and a pretty fox! I can tell you what that "fungus"-looking thing is, and it's not a fungus at all, but a parasitic plant called Squaw Root, related to Indian Pipes and Pinesap. I think it feeds off the roots of oak trees.

Carolyn H said...

Woodswalker: Gee, who would have guessed this fungus-lookig thing was not a fungus after all. Well, there's certainly plenty of oak trees around for it to feed on.

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your blog! Always nice to find fellow York County birders! I myself had an encounter with a red fox yesterday,but it ran before I was within 50 yards.

Carolyn H said...

thebirdingjournal: Cool! Glad to "meet" you. My blog is bird-heavy but really covers anything that happens in the forest around my cabin!