Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Watching Foxes

The foxes have been in the back yard off and on now for two weeks. There is a rather mangy looking mother. She seems to have lost a lot of fur around her neck and off of her back. For all that, she seems healthy, but worse for wear. At various times, I see her with one, two, or three kits. The kits started out about as big as my cat, but they seem to be growing pretty fast.

In addition to the regular mother fox, I have also seen what I think might be another mother, but she only seemed to have one kit. She also seemed quite a bit younger than the mom. I was wondering if maybe this was a previous year's daughter.

Then, one day I looked out and there was the regular mom with six kits - and the other mom was nowhere in sight. I think maybe regular mom was doing day care for busy fox mothers. She has her work cut out for her. The kits are pretty active - running, pouncing, attacking each other, exploring. They don't stay still for very long.

I tried to get their pictures once, but the regular mom was startled when I opened the door to the deck and she gave this barking call - and the kits ran for cover immediately. I was afraid then that they wouldn't be back, now that I had violated their feelings of safety. But they have been back several times since then. Sometimes they look at the windows and I can tell they can see me, but as long as I am inside, they don't run away.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Foxes in the Back Yard

A few days ago, there were, at different times, a porcupine and a moose. Today, a family of foxes is playing back there. Mom sits patiently in the sun, while the kits, four of them, frolic at the edge of the trees and the yard, in the bushes and tree litter. I wouldn't have thought that, this close to town, I would get so much wildlife, but I am glad for it. I would love to take pictures of them, but I am afraid that opening the door to the deck would scare them away and taking pictures through the window doesn't seem to work well.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Morphing Brown Thing

I often sit at my computer and look out the window. I have a fantastic view of the Alaska Range and I never seem to grow tired of looking at it.

The other morning, I was looking out the window and noticed a brown lumpy thing at the edge of our lawn - and it was moving. After much searching of the Internet, I decided that, although I couldn't really see quills, it must be a porcupine, since all of the other choices were obviously wrong - it wasn't a badger, no stripes - it was too big for a marmot, etc. I watched it for a long time and then it just seemed to go to sleep and I gradually forgot about it and went off to work.

The next morning, I looked to see if it was back and saw a much larger brown thing exactly where the smaller brown thing had been the previous day. It had morphed.  [There was a moose picture here, but the link to it has been broken.]

I haven't seen one of these for months - and now, here it is in the back yard, serenely munching away.