In previous posts I have mentioned our strawberry-eating pair of foxes; here’s one of them who stopped to pose for my husband to take a few shots of him. This one has a beautiful long tale, tipped with black, that supposedly means he is a gray fox. I don’t really know that he is a “he”, but the other one, who has no tail at all, looked earlier this year as if she were pregnant. Why does she have no tail? We don’t know, but last year she had half a tail, and this year, no tail. There’s a tale there somewhere.
Our human next-door neighbor, the one who tends a larger garden than ours, says he thinks the parent foxes are bringing their babies out at night or in the early mornings or late evenings to play in the loose dirt/sand in a back corner of his garden (where the wild fields and trees begin). He hasn’t seen them, he says, but he sees the messed-up dirt with fox tracks all around. This neighbor came over a few evenings ago to show me his hat. Here’s a picture of it:
Yes, that’s duct tape on his hat, and one of those rolls of sticky fly trap paper. A couple of years ago, when the deerflies were biting us all, my husband gave this role of sticky fly paper to our neighbor and suggested he stick it on his hat to trap the flies. So two years later, he’s finally done it- and it works.
Our neighbor says he’s going to get more rolls and put them all over his hat.
I’m not sure if this next neighbor is really a neighbor or not, he might have been just passing through, searching for females. One morning several weeks ago, it was drizzling slightly, and I looked up from my computer to see this little guy crossing the yard:
He’s an Eastern box turtle, and I do know for a fact that he is a “he”, because the males have orange eyes (females have brown eyes) and slightly concave shells underneath, so that when they are mating they fit neatly over the female’s convex upper shell. Box turtles can completely close up their shells to protect themselves from predators; that’s what this turtle did when I walked up to him, not knowing that I was not considering using him for turtle soup.
“Is she gone yet?”
P.S. Yesterday evening, which was Father’s Day, my farmer/neighbor’s wife told me that they had seen the fox pups! Two of them, playing hide and seek in the beans while mom watched from the sidelines. So Happy Father’s Day to the male fox at the top of this post and congratulations to mom too.