Friday, July 10, 2009

Fox Brings Food, June 12, 2009

Yesterday I had to weed-whack. I just had to. The oat grasses along the path to my cabin reached the top of my head, and some of you know how tall that is! On dewy mornings I had to don rubber boots, rain jacket, and pants to avoid getting sopping wet just walking up the trail to my car.

I was reluctant to weed-eat, though. Arranging long cords and running the loud electric tool would no doubt disturb the foxes. That is why I had been putting it off, I convinced myself. I did not want the dad to decide to move everybody to another, quieter den.

Anyway, we all survived the noise and, as I type, the little ones are thumbing around beneath the floorboards at my feet.

Early this morning, really before light, I saw the male carry a small animal to the den. I wonder if foxes often take their catch back to the den to eat, or if they only do so when kits are waiting there? Shortly after his return from hunting, I received the usual growl and bark treatment so I ducked back inside.

Now, most fox activity, since mom was killed, occurs at times too dark to photograph. Therefore, I include two images from last year so you can get an idea of the kits' sizes. That mother, like this year's, seemed to enjoy the sunny yard and spent every morning there with the pups. Fortunately for me, and my photo documentation, they both used the spot just below my kitchen window. I know this year's mom was not the same as last, even though their habit was similar. Last year's female had a black dot on one side of her face. One of her kits did, too.

In the Tussle with Tail photo, notice how the mom's ears are somewhat laid back. She looks like she is barely tolerating her tail being pulled and bitten.


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