May 1, 2011

Fox lesson #2 Stop looking and you shall find

Hi Fox Watchers
Did I tell you that I thought my gray  foxes were living on the other side of the hwy from me?
Well a couple of weeks ago, I saw, from a distance, a fox crossing the road in front of me.. but it was too far away to tell what it looked like..
So I have been riding my bike or walking every morning in hopes of seeing it again.

Well, yesterday, April 30th,   I said to myself that you never find something you are looking for  until you stop looking for it and decided  that the only way to see a fox again was to stop looking for one!
 In fact, I was chatting with a Local  woman, named Ann, in the little town of Evinston, Florida, where I ride my bike to, and she said she had not seen any foxes lately. I also heard several people tell me they had to shoot a fox because it was acting strangely and either had  rabies or distemper.  This made me sad and I began to wonder about my own fox clan and the fox I had seen this spring.
People around here like foxes and would not shoot one unless it was sick.

Anyway, yesterday I had been walking for almost 3 hours ..about 4 miles, taking photos and chatting with people along my way. It was about 11 am as I walked home and the sun was high and hot. I stopped to rest a minute actually thinking I couldn't make it up the next hill and was walking very slowly, not looking for a fox at all, just too darn tired to pick up one foot and put it in front of the other slowing my pace.

About that time I looked up to discern just how much farther I had to go and there to my amazement  was a  red fox prancing across the road about 20 feet in front of me!
It was clearly a red fox and not one of mine. Though I was thrilled to see a fox at all, I was also disappointed that it was not a gray fox. I was not able to get my camera turned on in time to take it's photo but I took one in my head and decided it was a good day even though the fox was not my clan.

That was Saturday.

This morning, Sunday, I took off on my bike at 6 am and road on past where I had seen the fox the day before, and pursued my goal of getting to the cow pasture before sunrise hoping to get some interesting shots. On my way back, I decided to wait awhile by the road where Red Fox was crossing yesterday.
However, no fox. But instead of going home I decided to ride a little while longer down a dirt road I had not explored yet and come back to that spot around 10.
When I got to that spot I leaned my bike against a tree so I could handle my camera. I watched the road for a few minutes but didn't see a fox there.
 However, I just had a feeling that a fox was near. So I switched my viewing and  I looked down the dirt road, adjacent to the main road, towards an abandoned  house that I have been photographing.  I knew I had seen some fox tracks in the sandy dirt road a few days before.

Low and behold, right down that road was the same beautiful red fox I saw yesterday. It was just walking through the grass in front of the old house!
Wow, How lucky and excited  I I fumbled with my camera and got a few shots of her.
When the fox became aware of me it turned around and started walking up the dirt road towards me and I took the photo below.
However, it kept coming right at me, non threatening but all the same, with the rabid storiesI had heard about  I decided to just say "no, no" .and gently put my hand up and it turned right around and disappeared into the woods.
It was approaching me in a friendly manner, like a dog would do but still... it was probably best that I just snapped the one photo....instead of letting it get closer....of course, I have to wonder, if I had not scared it away, what would have happened... maybe it would have come up to me and licked my hand......  well, probably not....
Below are the photos from today.

This is the abandoned house where I saw the Red Fox. It is a perfect place of a fox to have a litter of kits!
I fumble to get my camera focused but this is the best I could do.
I am sure she or he was going to this house where their kits probably were born.
This is Red, walk right towards me about 50 feet away.
Part of me wishes I had just let her keep approaching but
my first instinct was Better not....yet anyway.

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