The Amazing Mr or Ms Fox

This morning I was propped against the kitchen sink a good 40 minutes before dawn, waiting for my tea to finish steeping and gazing sleepily out the window, when something way too big to be a cat went boundboundbound through the unbroken snow in the back yard.

It disappeared around the side of the house before I had a chance to do more than gasp, “That’s a fox!!!!!!”

I raced to the front door, but it must have veered south and I didn’t see it again. There was too little daylight–and it happened too quickly–to tell if the fox was gray or red, but my money’s on red based on previous sightings in the neighborhood.

Later I went out to examine its tracks. Turns out a fox track in foot-deep snow is a series of long, indistinct body and tail impressions–not a paw print to be found. If I hadn’t seen it breaking trail, I wouldn’t have known what I was looking at.

Today’s fox wasn’t my first sighting in the back yard. Maybe ten years ago, around the same time of day and same time of year, I spotted one streaking along  the retaining wall at the back of the property. And three or four years ago, during a twilight walk down the parkway, I had the magical experience of observing a parent fox (red) and three kits playing fox tag.

But even if this neighborhood fox wasn’t my first, it still felt very special in the depths of winter, and I’m glad I forced myself out of bed when the alarm went off. It just goes to show that you have no idea what the day will bring; I thought I was getting up early just to write Morning Pages.

Alas, there was no time to get a photo. As a substitute, click here to see a photo my blogger friend Anne M. Leone caught of her fox, Robert, standing guard over his litter.

© 2011 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

This entry was posted in Notes from the Neighborhood, Seasonal, The Writing Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Amazing Mr or Ms Fox

  1. Anne M Leone says:

    You know, I absolutely love that everyone knows about my Robert and still asks about him regularly. It’s so amazing to see creatures like that (even though I must see him about once a week!), and fun to share that magic with everyone.

    And it sounds like you had quite a magical morning (and described so beautifully!). I love the message in it all too. We really do never know what we’re going to discover each morning. It’s worth getting up for (and writing about!).


  2. Life does happen when we least expect it, and nature has such gifts for us, even just glancing out a window. We’ve have fox here for a while, but they always–still–make me gasp and call out, “It’s a fox!” every time I see one.

    I remember the first time I saw a fox (we have red fox here), I was driving down the road and noticed him standing, posing almost, on someone’s lawn. I stopped. I couldn’t stop staring at him. A car came up from the opposite direction and stopped, looking at me. She cocked her head and had a quizzical look on her face, as if to ask ‘is something wrong?’ I pointed to the fox. She looked. Watching her face, as she realized what she was looking at, was wonderful. You could see the exact moment that she said, in her head, that’s a fox. And like little kids filled with awe, we sat there watching him until he bounded off. You’re right, Anne, it’s very special.


    • Anne Bingham says:

      Andrea, that happened with the kit sighting along the parkway, too. Several other twilight walkers stopped to watch with me for a while (their silly dogs completely missing the fun–I notice the dogs rarely spot the deer, either!) and a couple of drivers slowed down to see what we were looking at.


  3. MaryWitzl says:

    I envy you! A few years ago, we saw a fox in a field not too far away from our house. Every time we go by that field now, I look for another one.

    We went out for a walk the other day and saw two deer running along the trail ahead of us. We’ve known that there are deer in the area, but it still took our breath away.


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