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A few weeks ago, Mark came in to the bathroom while I was in the shower and said (after appropriately making noise to let me know he was there – otherwise I would’ve jumped out of my skin), “You’ll never believe what I just saw!  Ok, I’ll tell you.  A FOX! In the NEIGHBORHOOD!”  I knew better than to question him aloud, but privately I thought he must’ve mis-seen.

Until I saw a fox two mornings later, while sipping coffee.  A chilly Saturday morning found me on the sofa with a mugga joe, staring out the window.  Lo and behold, two red foxes were trotting in the neighbor’s yard across the street.  What the heck?!  One appeared to go in to the gully next to our house and disappeared.

Soooo… cool, right?  A few days later, there were three foxes.  And they appeared to be checking out a nesting area under our dsc_0153shed.  The same shed that used to house the groundhog – the same groundhog whom I wanted gone, for fear of what he would do to my garden.  Really?! SCORE!  I was willing to bet that the foxes chased out the groundhog, and we watched the area carefully.

The groundhog made one more final appearance – under the shed – and then bounded across the yard in to the neighbor’s dsc_0151wooded area.  Whoo hooo!  He must’ve smelled the fox scent under there and realized that he was no match for three foxes.

Except that Brendan reported there were more than three.  We told him he must’ve miscounted – or seen the same ones more than once.  I should’ve known better – he is homeschooled and is pretty good at math, after all.  That night, we realized that there are five foxes and we owed Brendan an apology.  It appears that there’s a mother and 4 kits who live under the shed and that the papa visits every so often.

They’ve been hunting in the yard and the mama had the resident chipmunk in her jaws this past Sunday morning, but other dsc_0157than that, they appear to be quite harmless.  If they manage to take out the neighborhood stray cat, I’ll be delighted.  I’ve already assured my mom that they are not dangerous and quite timid in our presence, but if they become a nuisance at some point, we will call the state DNR and have them captured & released elsewhere.  If they’re still around on October 15, we’ll have a few friends who’d like to try to hunt them, and I have no problem with that, either – just cue “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King” and you’ll understand my thoughts on it all.  😉

Foxes are the ultimate example of canine omnivores, and we’ve had several Science Saturdays with red fox as the topic of study.

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They eat small mammals, birds, and bugs, as well as being able (in a pack) to take down a wounded deer or a small fawn.  So far, the bunnies have stayed out of the backyard (where the garden is located), which is good – I don’t mind that the rabbits are in

the front yard and away from the foxes or the gardens.  :)

They are quite camera-shy and hard to capture, but I managed to get a few images.  They’re on my Flickr account (badge is to the right) – you can check them all out in hi-res over there.  :)

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