Archive for Animal lore


Update On A Backyard Fox

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Sometime ago I wrote about the foxes I have been seeing and my delight at the direct example of wildlife adaptation to an urban setting. Back then foxes were jumping up on the fence under my kitchen window and easily leaping onto the roof next door.  As I may also have mentioned the squirrels in this part of North Denver had been having a field day with anything I grew: tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and plums. What really pissed me off was the waste. I don’t mind sharing my bounty with the four legged, the winged ones, and other two legged as well. I just get mad when one bite is taken, the veggie or fruit is thrown down, and then another is taken with the same outcome. Waste not; want not. So in a fit of desperation, I called on a fox to come stay in my yard and help me keep these marauding squirrels under control!

When I looked out the window a few days later and saw a fox sleeping in the backyard, I was both surprised and elated. “Oh my Gosh! It worked!” I said under my breath to keep from disturbing his slumber. As the days went by, this fox grew accustomed to me and I to he. Even when sleeping right across from the back door, he would just raise his head when I came in or out, see that it was me, then go back to sleep. The other favorite sleeping spots were on the top of the straw bales I have for mulching, and on top of the sheet compost project in the NW corner of the yard. However, I was still seeing the squirrels running all around and wondered if Foxy was just using the yard as a rest stop.

Soon after having this thought I was at home, spending the day working around the house getting ready for winter. There was Foxy sleeping in the sun as usual. I continued on my own schedule and a short time later glanced out the back windows once more. This time Foxy was sitting in the middle of the back yard munching on a squirrel! I got the point! Unlike cats, foxes do not leave any remains behind, by the way!

As the winter moves along, so is the relationship between the fox and I and the fox and my grandchildren. One morning I was bringing my four year old grandson in through the back gate and the fox simply looked at him, sniffed, and went back to sleep. Foxy was directly opposite the back door and only five feet away at the most. Then a week later my two and a half year old granddaughter saw the fox sleeping on the straw bales when she came home with me. Being curious, she walked slowly over toward Foxy, who got up and stretched lazily as she approached. I told her to just stand there and go no closer (again about five feet) or Mr Foxy would run away. She stopped, chattered away at him, then turned to come back to the porch. Immediately Foxy stepped forward and sniffed the air and the ground where she had been standing a few moments ago then turned and jumped back up on the bales.

I think we have been adopted!