Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How my garden grows - The fox never found a better messenger than himself

I visit our garden every morning to weed, water, and just enjoy.  I love being out there at the crack of dawn just as the sun is rising and nature is waking up.  The birds start chirping, the parrots start squawking . . . yes, parrots (more on them another time).  I even get to see the occasional deer and bunny.  I like seeing them although I know that they’d love nothing more than to om-nom-nominate my garden.

But there's a new kid in town . . . and it was kind of cool to see him, too!  I saw this foxy fellow while I was doing my daily gardening chores.  He appeared out of the weeds, took a leisurely look around and then trotted away.  Neato!

Red foxes are common throughout our area, although this is the first time I’ve seen one up this close and personal. 

The red fox has a reddish coat, black legs and ears, and long, white-tipped, bushy tail.  They average 10 to 11 pounds and measure between 39 and 43 inches long, including the tail. So, they are typically smaller than a medium sized dog. 

Red foxes prefer to inhabit a mixture of forest and open fields, which is exactly the environment the garden is situated in.  They usually live in small family groups, not in packs.  They can be active at any time of day, but appear to hunt most often during dawn and dusk. It is not unusual to observe foxes during daytime, so if you see one don’t freak out and think it’s rabid.  Foxes can become accustomed to human activity but are seldom aggressive toward people.

Like people, foxes are omnivorous.  They eat small rodents, squirrels, woodchucks, rabbits, birds and eggs, amphibians, and reptiles; foxes also like vegetation, fruits, and insects.

So, I’m glad to have this new addition to the garden.  As much as I like Bambi and Thumper, I don’t want them eating my garden. 

Between our fence and the fox, I hope we have a successful crop this year!

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