June 10, 2011
One of the many things that’s great about the south end of this island, is the short furry
thieves neighbors who trespass across my property daily. They know that humans tend to surround themselves with food products, and if those food products are meant for cats, dogs, birds, or other creatures, that’s only considered even more of an invitation to crash the party. Not that there isn’t plenty of natural chow readily available here on the land.
A few mornings ago as I was making coffee, my eyes caught the jagged movement of a furry mass jerking a few inches into the air, several yards in front of the window above my sink. As I looked up I saw one of the charcoal-colored local foxes attempting to cope with something on the ground. I peered closer. The object on the ground was moving. And it was in a coil.
Oh, a snake. Probably a garter, judging from its modest size.
Next thing I knew, the kit was tentatively biting at the snake, trying to negotiate breakfast but confused by the thin, wriggly nature of the menu offering. Somewhat timidly, the fox poked and snapped and pawed at the poor reptile, until finally getting up the nerve to just dive right in for the full “Happy Meal.” My interest in coffee suddenly waned. I watched in fascination/pity/horror/rapt attention/ as the little fox ate the little snake.
I’m always in a conundrum at these moments. I really like snakes. I really like foxes. And the cycle of life really doesn’t give a rat’s ass (just to throw in two other animals).
A small black fox, enjoying a groovy view.
If you’re a cat person, foxes have that sleek, independent, graceful, wilier-than-thou soft-fur chi going on that’s irresistible. If you’re a dog person, the snout and the cunning, sniffing, trotting, scavenging, toothful-jawed nature of these creatures is something you can relate to.
I will now use my powers of hypnotism to cause you to bring me something from your fridge.
And if you’re a fox person, well, you’ve come to the right place. I promise better pix as time rolls by; this is just what’s been in front of me here this week (literally, taken point-’n'-shoot guerrilla-style while seated at my desk). If you’re looking for actually beautiful, adorable, phabulously phetching photos of phoxes, my island naturalist friend Monika Wieland can phulfill your phox phix right here, and few things are as cute as this momma and offspring, in a pic taken just down the road from me by island photog Kevin Holmes.
In the meantime, here’s the fuzzy/underlit Shapiro desk series from a recent June evening at dusk:
Very likely siblings, play-fighting. Adorable.
Now, what other blog offers two fox kits AND a hummingbird??
If this fox gig doesn’t work out for them, they can head down to Hollywood and audition as coyotes.
So, just as I’m finishing up this post about the foxes, several Orca whales have started popping up in front of me, in the same spot right off the shore as they were enjoying yesterday. I’m so lucky: tourists pay a lot of money to go out on whale watching expeditions, and here I sit half-clad at my desk, taking in the show. The pods come by frequently in these waters since this is where the Chinook salmon they love also hang out. Maybe I’m part Orca, since I love salmon, too (something tells me these guys are not into sharing). If any of the video or photos I just took turn out acceptably, that’ll be my next wildlife offering from the happy coastal hamlet of Kelpville.
I’m ready for my close-up.