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Red Foxes
June 19, 2017

All is well around here, even with the fur kids.

I enjoyed a relaxing Fathers Day.

We had some well needed rain the past couple of days.

And now some cooler temps and lower humidity for the next few days (Thank you Canada).

I know the veggies grow fast in the heat, as long as there is enough
water, but a reprieve is good.

As many of you know, for the past couple of months I have been experiencing my own 'National Geographic' moments.

Yes, A family of Red Foxes lives nearby (Den pictured).

I haven't been able to share pictures with you, as the old camera isn't getting it done, so I bought a new one. I prefer the power-shot types, no messing with added lenses, etc.

Still, technology and I don't get along too well.

(Mom in the weeds, always keeping an eye on me.)

After a few weeks, I managed to figure a way to transfer pictures and shrink the to fit this newsletter.

I realize that foxes aren't a typical part of 'Gardening for Wildlife' yet I want to share (maybe brag a bit too), what I have had the pleasure to witness on most evenings.


Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes fulva)

Red foxes are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere and have also been introduced to Australia.

(Three Kits together.)

Red foxes are especially common in areas with fallow and cultivated fields, meadows, bushy fence lines, woody stream borders, and low shrub cover along woods and beaches.

They can also be found in suburban and, less commonly, urban areas where food is readily available.

Foxes are highly mobile, which means they can use a large area to find food and shelter.

Though we live in suburbia, we are blessed enough to have some open fields, woods, wooded tracts, a creek or two, plus some ponds in the area.

It was on one of my evening walks when I first spotted the family in a nearby field.

Mom, Dad, and three Kits. I cannot explain to you the sheer joy, and blessings this family of foxes has given me.

(Two kits in upper right hand corner, so close to a deer. No threats.)

The photos I am sharing is only a tip of the iceberg so to speak, on what I get to watch on most evenings.

The picture on top is the den, I have witnessed some critters coming out just before sunset.

Now I must say this.

Because pictures are taken near or right after sunset, some pictures don't show a true color.

I have heard mom calling her kits. Have have witnessed grooming.

Witnessing play time, teaching time.

Many times I have watched one pounce on a kill, or mock hunting.

Interaction with a Snapping Turtle (pictured).

Two pups checking out a skunk and not getting sprayed (this is on a video).

To see a tender moment shared between adults.

Foxes typically mate for life (which is typically 2-4 years in the wild).

To the point now where they are all over, and I never know where one will pop up or when they will fade (blend) into the weeds and grass.

Dad is much larger and his coat is much darker.

Mom's coat is much lighter, almost a blonde color.

The three pups ........ What a hoot.

More times than not, I will see two kits/pups together while the third is missing (pictured).

Then there are times when I see one off by itself and the other two doing their own thing. Learning moments when dad has the one kit.

Through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website, I have learned that the lone pup is a young male.

The other two are probably sisters.

As the youngsters have grown, I can make out a difference in fur color.

The young male is beautiful, (A close up is at the end of the letter) a chance encounter near the sidewalk/street gave me the chance to snap a photo or two before he saw me.

He was probably 40 feet from me.

The kits/pups are beginning to lose their baby faces and run the field with their own independence, much like and adult teen will do.

(Dad keeping an eye on me.)

Still, there are the times when both parents spot me and will stop whatever they are doing to keep an eye on me.

I look at each day from here on out as a bonus day, never knowing when they bunch may scatter for good.

Foxes, like most members of the dog family, are opportunistic and will eat nearly anything available.

Foxes are usually solitary hunters as adults and are highly mobile, foraging in an extensive area.

They will eat insects, fruits, berries, birds, frogs, snakes, plants, and seeds, as readily as small mammals such as mice, voles, shrews, rabbits, and squirrels.

They have been known to eat small mammals up to the size of a woodchuck (Pup pouncing.)

Foxes will also feed on carrion (dead animals) or even house cats if the opportunity arises.

They can also be attracted to garbage, garden vegetables, and pet foods.

Some foxes become problematic when they lose their fear of humans and learn to kill small farm animals like poultry.

Steps should be taken to ensure foxes (or any wild animal) are not fed by humans.

Mom and dad nuzzling while a kit looks on.)

I have seen many foxes before, but never a family.

To be privileged enough to spend time (from a distance), with this family is often beyond words for me.

I am so blessed, privileged, honored, to watch this family of magnificent creatures.

To share a small bit with you.

Now day I watch them run like the wind, often leaving me with nothing on my camera. A pounce or maybe an evening nap.

Yes, this was more about sharing, and less about educating you on foxes.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

Believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you're grateful, you'll see God open up new doors".

Joel Osteen

What isn't said is to keep your faith in God.

To follow His will.

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “if you have faith and
do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. If you believe, you will receive” whatever you ask in prayer.

Matthew 21: 21,22

"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him".

1 John 5: 14,15

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb.

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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