WORD OF WARNING: There is a photo in this post that some people may not like, but I included it because it is part of the story and it is nature.
“Hungry for beautiful words, the fox comes rooting around in the hedge, almost too close to the fire. He reads my mind with one glance and is gone….. He understands being alive for as long as he can be, and does not worry about why, or what might happen afterwards.”
― Jay Woodman
We have had foxes in and about our garden since we moved here. But one who captured our hearts for the past several years, who we named Axl, is visible from time to time throughout the seasons. He is a beauty and I wrote about him at Beautiful Wildlife Garden…The Fantastic Mr. Fox.
In February we spied two foxes hanging about so we were hopeful for a few kits. And what joy, when we heard in spring that indeed kits (baby foxes) were seen right across the street although we never saw them and they did not come our way. Then one morning in June we saw a fox in our back gardens which are fenced in. We have never seen a fox inside the four foot fence before. And he skedaddled over the fence when I saw him, and didn’t hang about. He didn’t look like Axl or the female fox as a matter of fact he was a bit on the scrawny side.
Then one morning in early July we spied a pair of foxes running about the open meadow looking for a meal. We were used to their hunting habits, and welcomed them to find mice or voles as mice get into the house especially in winter, and the voles wreaks havoc in the garden. What we didn’t expect was to see one of them jumping the fence (again) back near the right corner of the garden. And before we knew it he was running around in what appeared to be circles for a few minutes. Then it became clear he had found something that he was chasing and hunting.
As we watched from indoors, we had no idea what he had until he emerged smiling and proud with a bundle that he dropped back by the gazebo (that’s our little guy in the picture at the top of the post….isn’t he a doll). I could not imagine what he found, but I knew by looking at him through my camera lens that this was not Axl, but a very young juvenile fox perhaps just out on his own finding one of his first meals.
But what had he found…it was not until he picked it up in his mouth that I knew it was a baby bunny. A baby bunny! Oh my where did that come from…and as the words were hanging in a little bubble over my head I heard my husband say, ‘Oh I forgot to tell you that I ran into a baby bunny the other day in the garden’. Well not anymore. And while we were sad for the bunny, we could not feel anything but admiration for this proud young fox as he had captured a big meal. And just like that he jumped over the fence and was gone not sharing his meal with his sibling.
Of course if there was one baby bunny in the yard, could there be more. And yes indeed there was one more, but her story is for another time. So far she is safe and growing in our wildlife garden.
But back to our fox. We have spied him at other times inside the fence finding voles (good boy-see his head peeking out from the flowers). And he is often hanging about the meadow as he seems to have settled here finding many more meals.
Not long ago on a rainy day, I saw a wonderful site. It was Axl sitting on top of a mound of dirt covered by a tarp back in the meadow. And with him was his son, our new fox that we named Hunter. A perfect name for him as he is one of the best hunters we have seen.
Now I know some folks may be upset by the picture and story about the hunting of the baby bunny, but as I said at the top of the post, it is part of the story and part of nature which can be brutal at times. Frankly I would rather have the wild fox or a hawk capture the bunny for a meal than the neighborhood cats who are allowed to roam about. They will torment and kill it for sport but not eat it as we have seen them do with many critters.
And we knew when we moved here, that we would be exposed to lots of wildlife as the area bordering our property is a designated ‘forever wild area’ that is protected by our Department of Environmental Conservation. So we built a garden that is more conducive to wildlife. No chemicals, lots of native plants for food and shelter, and privacy where we try not to meddle in their lives, but observe wildlife from the perfect spot inside our house.
I plan to bring you more wildlife stories from our many experiences here in our wildlife garden. As an aside, I am no longer writing for Beautiful Wildlife Garden (BWG) as I could not find time now that I have my new blog, Living From Happiness. And with leaving BWG, I have a backlog of wildlife posts to write. So I am joining in with the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by [email protected]My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by [email protected]Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday. Please check them both out.
we’d all turn thief
and rascal, or so says the fox,
with her coat of an elegant scoundrel,
her white knife of a smile,
who knows just where she’s going…
― Margaret Atwood, Morning in the Burned House
I hope you will join me in celebrating the new season coming soon to your part of the world.
Just write a post between now and September 21st. Leave a link with your comment on the kick-off post of Seasonal Celebrations-Autumn’s Blessings. I will include your link in my summary post on September 22nd.
I am collaborating with Beth@Plant Postings and her Lessons Learned meme at this same time. What lessons have you learned this past season of summer here in the North and winter in the South. Write a separate post or combine your lessons with your celebrations in one post.
Next up on the blog: Monday will be another In A Vase On Monday. And I have a blog anniversary coming up next week. Four years. Wow.