Friday, June 5, 2009

A Window On Foxes, May 5, 2009

Dear Fox Lovers,

One night, back in January, I returned home to a stench at my front door so strong that I thought a skunk had sprayed me. I quickly moved indoors only to find that the odor increased as I went to the back room of my cabin. Had I trapped a skunk inside and was only now discovering my mistake?

As I stood in my office I heard a huge ruckus beneath the floorboards. High-pitches squeals, screaming like it was the end of the world, punctuated by deep growls. Then I heard bodies tumbling, banging against the wood beneath my feet. It sounded like a fight to the death, with me standing just inches above, bathed in ever stronger "smoke rings" of scent. Finally the fight ended and I went to bed, to be awakened periodically by waves of skunk odor. But all was quiet.

I never smelled skunk after that night and had no idea whether the fox, at least I thought it was a fox, had won the use of the den. At the time, I actually thought the skunk had won. However, since January I have heard diggings and scufflings too energetic-sounding for a skunk. Then I began to see fox scat and, very rarely, a fox wandering long my driveway during the day. More recently I thought I heard tiny squeekings and scufflings beneath the floor at my rocking chair and beneath the kitchen. Today I know for sure!

The sun poured into my garden between rain clouds. From my kitchen window I watched the female sun herself, just a few feet away, nose and ears twitching as she kept track of the now very loud head banging, growling and tumbling that shook the kitchen floor. The babies sound like they are just ready to emerge. For all their noise, they are most likely still very tiny. Perhaps the grass is just too tall and wet for them. I think I'll get out and trim it.

Besides foxes out my window this morning, I watched two pairs of Canada geese with their tiny goslings. When the goslings first emerged last week, they reminded me of furry eggs balanced on toothpicks. Then I saw seven double-crested cormorants and several pairs of merganser ducks swim into the cove. That many fish-eaters in one place meant to me that there must be a school of fish beneath the rain-muddied waters. Sure enough, they dove and emerged with fish, flashing brilliant lights against the misty landscape.

The cove is filled with birdsong and the recent rains only intensify the joy I feel for the life that is bursting forth. Time to go pull a few weeds!


No comments:

Post a Comment