img_8246-crop-sml.jpgHeading up the stairs for my first cup of coffee in mid-April (half-blind and brain-dead), I happened to catch an unusual sight in the garden … not the neighbors cat, nor the occasional skunk or raccoon, but a fox, complete with bushy tail and pointy face! This was a rare treat!

There he was, prancing around the garden like he owned the place, not bothered by me peering at him through the window.

FoxOver the course of the next few weeks, we got to know not only Mr. Fox, but also Mrs. Fox.  They seemed perfectly happy to bask in the sun in the garden, and had evidently taken up residence under the deck – they disappeared down through a tiny hole (a ‘fox hole’, I guess!) into the large space below.  They would often be seen late at night, returning from hunting adventures.

Basking Foxes
It became my daily treat to watch them.  I did wonder what might happen if I went down to the garden to water it … whether they would become territorial and chew my legs off … but what the heck, I was enjoying this too much to worry about minor details like that! I figured that if I called the local animal control folks, they’d setup cages, trap them, then put them to sleep – so I decided to just go with the flow for a while and let nature take its course!

Then came … the babies!

BabiesIn total, I counted SIX furry little balls, though for some reason there were often only five at any one time.

A regular pattern set in; the deck would be silent, not a hair in sight. Then the babies would get anxious or hungry, and start lining up, waiting for the return of the mother. They lined up along some imaginary line beyond which they were trained not to pass. The mother would return, often with a snake, a squirrel, or a bird in her mouth, and feed the babies. Then the babies would play around, chasing each other, fighting each other, having the best time in the world, then all of a sudden, they would all disappear down the fox hole and not be seen again for several hours.

I decided I needed a camera with a good zoom lens, so spent over $1,000 on a Canon Digital SLR and an 18-250mm zoom lens (giving me an effective 350mm zoom due to the magnification factor of the D-SLR sensor). I figured with a 350mm lens I could capture the babies as they grew! We all need excuses to spend money … this was mine!