Monday, July 13, 2009

Foxes Farewell, June 24, 2009

Hi All,

A neighbor said he saw an adult fox, with four kits following behind, walking along the ranch road. I am nearly certain this little family is our family of foxes. Foxes use a wide territory and mark it very carefully. The road is well within the range of the male fox. I have seen him crossing this road on his way into the pastures up the hill. He seems to do so quickly and is alert when a car comes along. The last time I saw the little foxes, they had already picked up some of dad's survival skills. Their brains must be like little sponges right now, soaking up everything they can about hunting and basic survival. I hope they can navigate roads and traffic fairly well by now. The highway is a different story. I think it is a rare animal that figures out speeding cars and bright lights at night.

The foxes are definitely gone from the den. There is still a hollow feeling to the garden even though they have been gone for some days. I still run to the window every time I hear a sound. My source says that gray foxes are clannish, and even when the young do leave the parents in the late fall, they associate with each other on a limited basis. This species can live in the wild for 4 to 8 years, so I hope they have long, healthy lives. Below are some photos, more like formal portraits, taken last year by my wildlife photographer friend, Ron LeValley, just before those little foxes left the den. These show what our foxes look like today. (To see more of Ron LeValley's fabulous work and to sign up for a photo of the day emailed to you, go to and

In any case, I wish the little foxes well: stay away from roads, don't get caught in headlights, never go near dogs, watch out for great horned owls, avoid humans, and don't eat anybody's chickens.

Love, Erica

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