Saturday, September 5, 2009
In order to prepare for a youth trek this summer, my wife and I took time each morning to walk and get in shape. We went south of our place and followed the dirt road for 3-5 miles. It was wonderful to see the birds and flowers emerge along the side of the road.
We took our baby along in the stroller and really enjoyed the time to talk and see what we could see. Some days, we saw the local birds in their favorite hang-outs. Sometimes, the horses would come across the field to greet us. On one special occasion, we saw a swift fox.
No, when we got closer it was more than one. We had lucked into a whole family. They were out there sunning themselves. We sat and watched them for a time - so much for getting in shape. I finally climbed over the fence and slowly approached.
Every few steps, I stopped and took a couple of pictures. The foxes didn’t seem to mind me, so they let me approach. The adults disappeared into the burrow, but the kits stayed to eye me curiously - until I got about 30 feet away. I was so caught up in this that I failed to get the really great shots. It was more fun to watch them crouched low, or sprawled out, or occasionally leap into the air after a grasshopper. Their huge golden eyes were captivating to watch. Being the smallest of the fox family, they appeared more cat-like than anything. They have no flowing red coat, but are still amazing creatures to interact with.
We saw them grow up over the next few weeks and then finally came the day when none of them were seen at the den. We missed seeing them on our walks. Maybe next year.
I wrote this posting in July and forgot to get it published on line. It was such an unusual experience to get so close and see the innocence of youth. No fear existed and the behavior seen was so personal. Our families met and shared a brief moment.