Kit wish comes true

I didn’t have to take my 10-pound hunting dog, Arthur, into the woods to search out the fox den after all. The kits cames to me.

Red fox kits

They were a little bigger than I imagined, but then I don’t know how old they are.
Playful red fox kitTheir playful behavior left little doubt that they were kits.

Red fox kit

And the fact that they hung out on our driveway for at least fifteen minutes,

Two Red fox kitsscratching,

Red fox kitsitting in the sun,

Two red fox kits

apparently completely carefree and relatively unconcerned about me and my camera staring out through the kitchen door.

 Red fox kits

They knew I was watching them.
Red fox kitBut they weren’t too concerned about that. One sat down and scratched some more,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAa little scratch here,

Red fox kita little bite there.

Red fox kit“I see you watching me.”

Red fox kit in garden

One enjoyed the garden,

Red fox kit

and tried out some of the decorative grasses.

Red fox kit

“Uh oh. I think I’m going to have to sit down and scratch some more.”
Red fox kit “Dog gone it, something is driving me crazy.”
Red fox kit
The red fox activity has been high around here lately. They have become Arthur’s latest arch enemies. It used to be the neighborhood feral cat.

 Little White Peek-a-poo

My little hunting dog, Arthur, alerts me to their presence from his view out the study or kitchen windows. He is armed and ready. He doesn’t know it, but he is never going to step foot one foot outside while fox are visible in our yard. He also doesn’t realize he’s never going to catch a squirrel, but that doesn’t dampen his enthusiasm.

Red fox in garden

“Can you see me now?”

Red fox.“Can you see me now?”

Red fox vixen

About 45 minutes after they left, the vixen came trotting by. She doesn’t look too good. It kind of reminded me of how I looked some days when I was raising babies.

Red fox vixen

No wonder she’s tired if she has to chase these kits down every day.

Do you know where your children are?


The Red Fox are busy around here

The first time I saw a red fox in the wild, or anywhere for that matter, was shortly after we moved here in January of 2010. I was looking out the kitchen window at the snow-covered, wooded hillside beyond the creek that runs across the bottom of our backyard hill. The red fox was jogging through the bare trees of the woods, parallel to our yard. It crossed the creek, and then jogged back across our yard. It was beautiful and stunning against the white winter landscape. I was afraid to leave the window to get my camera for fear of losing sight of it.

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January 21, 2012.  Notice the bushy tail, and how slim the fox is.

Over the next couple of years, we had the occasional surprise visit by a red fox. One morning as I sat at our kitchen table, I saw one in our garden right below the deck outside our kitchen door. It was moving towards the front of the house. I grabbed my camera from the kitchen shelf and raced through the house to the study where I caught a shot of the fox before it disappeared from sight. They’re usually on the move and don’t stay around very long.

September 2, 2014. This red fox was lurking behind a bush in my garden. A doe and fawn were nearby.

September 2, 2014. This fox has a much longer tail than the fox in the first picture.

This red fox was lurking behind a bush in my garden. A doe and fawn were nearby. I had heard from neighbors that we had a fox family with kits in the area last summer. I never saw the family. In the fall I was lucky enough to see two young foxes right outside my study window one morning. They looked more like young adults to me, than kits.

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January 24, 2015. The long-tailed fox.

This year the fox activity has picked up even more. According to National Geographic, “Red foxes are solitary hunters who feed on rodents, rabbits, birds, and other small game—but their diet can be as flexible as their home habitat. Foxes will eat fruit and vegetables, fish, frogs, and even worms. If living among humans, foxes will opportunistically dine on garbage and pet food.”

Should I put out some of Arthur’s food for it? Probably not.

January 27, 2015

January 27, 2015. The bushy-tailed and long-tailed fox.

One day in January I got lucky when I happened to look up from typing on the computer where I sit in my study. Outside the window, in the wooded hillside across the drive, I saw these two foxes. I watched for a while, thinking I didn’t have time to retrieve my camera from the kitchen. But they were just kind of hanging out over there so I took the chance, ran and got my camera, and shot a few pictures.

One of the foxes has a bushy tail, and the other a long one.

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January 27, 2015

If you look at the bushy-tailed one, you might notice that it looks a little thick around the middle. My theory is that this is the female who may already be expecting babies at this point.

Red fox

January 27, 2015

According to All About the Red Fox, “Red Foxes are often mates for life. Mating occurs between mid-January and March, depending on the climate they live in, and the babies (called kits or cubs) are born about 58 days later.”

Red fox

June 3, 2015

Does this look like a tired papa to you? He’s starting to look a little gaunt.

A fox can have from two to ten kits in a litter. According to National Geographic, “Both parents care for their young through the summer before they are able to strike out on their own in the fall.”

The mother stays with the kits constantly for the first two weeks and the father hunts, bringing food back to the vixen. After a few weeks, the parents give the kits regurgitated meat to eat. Then later they bring them small, live prey. (All About the Red Fox.)

Redfox_Blog-12-20150705

July 5, 2015

One evening, Mark and I were sitting on our screened-in porch, that looks down on our back yard from a second-story level, when Mark taps my leg and points down to the yard. A red fox was trotting past with a dead squirrel in its mouth. Arthur started barking. The fox dropped the squirrel and ran into the woods. “That fox will be back for the squirrel,” I said. I had my cell phone in my hand, and sure enough, the fox came back out, grabbed the squirrel and high-tailed it across the yard.

A short while later, we saw it run past again with what looked like a small rodent in its mouth.

Then we saw the stubby-tailed fox jog by a little later. Arthur barked at it. It ran faster. Then it stopped, looked up to see where the noise was coming from, and stared at Arthur. After a short while, it turned and went on its way. This one seems a bit more bold than the other.

They sure are busy. They must be trying to feed hungry babies.

That hard-working fox just ran past the front of our house as I sit here typing this.  I believe it was the male.

A couple of days after the squirrel incident, I saw a fox in our garden. Looking for a nice juicy chipmunk, no doubt. I am convinced there is a den nearby with kits in it. When I take Arthur out on our screened-in porch some mornings he stares at a point in the woods where it seems he senses something. Dogs have a good sense of smell.

I think Arthur is a hunting dog.

Maybe I should take Arthur for a little hike in the woods to find the kits. I’ll be sure to take my camera if I do.


The red fox makes an appearance on my blog anniversary.

One year ago today I started my blog. The very next day, I wrote the post that I copied below about a missed opportunity with the red fox.

Mark was diligently chopping celery for our crock pot stew and I was loafing around the kitchen, looking out the window, when I saw a beautiful red animal running though the monochromatic snow-covered woods at the foot of the hill behind our house.

“That’s a red fox,” I said.

Not that I was an expert on such matters. In fact I’d never seen a red fox before in my 53 years. But you would have said the same. If you see a red fox, you know it.

Mark joined me at the window and as I was unwilling to turn my back on the bushy-tailed, pointy-nosed, red-furred or haired (not an expert, remember?) animal leisurely jogging through the woods, over the creek and across our back yard, and was equally unable to convince Mark to do the same, and as my camera was not close at hand, the event went unrecorded. Sadly.

When I recounted the incident to my sister Carol, she said, “Why don’t you look up the significance of a red fox sighting online? Try a native american site.”

I googled it. Here’s a brief run-down.

Foxes are symbolic of camouflage and shape shifting, cunning, wildness and diplomacy.

A fox sighting is a warning to keep one’s counsel, a guide into the Faerie Realm, a signal from the spirits of the deceased, a good luck omen.

A sighting of multiple foxes is bad luck.

The meaning of the sighting depends upon what is going on in your life and in your head at the moment the fox was sighted.

As my mind was fairly well blank to the best of my recollection, I’m really not sure what it meant, except that it was a beautiful moment and in the future I will keep my camera on a kitchen shelf within easy reach.

Snowy woods sans red fox

This morning I was finishing up my breakfast and checking emails on my iPhone. Mark was reading the paper on his iPad. My camera was within reach beside me on the tripod because I was trying to get a photo of a bird on the icicle-covered bird feeder.

I glanced up from my iPhone and couldn’t believe my eyes. A red fox was was in my garden.

Happy blog anniversary to me.

(I think he wanted to make it into wildlife week at Random Thoughts).

A red fox jogs down our private drive. January 21, 2012

The above information regarding fox sightings came from the following websites which offer further clarification on the matter and make for interesting reading.

http://www.suite101.com/content/fox-pagan-symbol-camouflage-a27106#ixzz1BlpCn06B

http://www.symbolic-meanings.com/2008/03/28/interpreting-a-symbolic-fox-sighting/


Missed opportunities— or the red fox eludes digital capture

Mark was diligently chopping celery for our crock pot stew and I was loafing around the kitchen, looking out the window, when I saw a beautiful red animal running though the monochromatic snow-covered woods at the foot of the hill behind our house.

“That’s a red fox,” I said.

Not that I was an expert on such matters. In fact I’d never seen a red fox before in my 53 years. But you would have said the same. If you see a red fox, you know it.

Mark joined me at the window and as I was unwilling to turn my back on the bushy-tailed, pointy-nosed, red-furred or haired (not an expert, remember?) animal leisurely jogging through the woods, over the creek and across our back yard, and was equally unable to convince Mark to do the same, and as my camera was not close at hand, the event went unrecorded. Sadly.

When I recounted the incident to my sister Carol, she said, “Why don’t you look up the significance of a red fox sighting online? Try a native american site.”

I googled it. Here’s a brief run-down.

Foxes are symbolic of camouflage and shape shifting, cunning, wildness and diplomacy.

A fox sighting is a warning to keep one’s counsel. a guide into the Faerie Realm, a signal from the spirits of the deceased, a good luck omen.

A sighting of multiple foxes is bad luck.

The meaning of the sighting depends upon what is going on in your life and in your head at the moment the fox was sighted.

As my mind was fairly well blank to the best of my recollection, I’m really not sure what it meant, except that it was a beautiful moment and in the future I will keep my camera on a kitchen shelf within easy reach.

Snowy woods sans red fox

The above information regarding fox sightings came from the following websites which offer further clarification on the matter and make for interesting reading.

http://www.suite101.com/content/fox-pagan-symbol-camouflage-a27106#ixzz1BlpCn06B
http://www.symbolic-meanings.com/2008/03/28/interpreting-a-symbolic-fox-sighting/

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