When we were on our way home from the grocery store last night we came across an interesting tableau…there was a van/suv parked on the other side of one of the roads leading to our street, facing oncoming traffic (very little traffic is true, but that is the direction none the less). We didn’t know if they were broken down, or lost (lots of people who have purchased property out here get lost trying to locate it, the roads are a little weird) so we turned around at the end of the road and went back to see if we could help. Turns out they were neither lost nor broken down…they were watching a real live nature show. And we were delighted to join them
One day last week on our way to work we saw some fox kits playing on the side of the road…they were having a great time. Too close to the road! I was afraid they would get hit, so I honked my horn trying to scare them back into the woods. Sorta worked, they moved back a little, but being so young I don’t think they had any context for the sound – did not inspire fear, just curiosity. But there really isn’t much one can do except pray, so we prayed and continued on our way.
Now back to last night…the vehicle was about a block away from where we saw those kits and as we were driving back to them, we again were blessed to see those sweet little babies playing. There on the side of the road, in a rather sparsely populated section of Levy county, was a skulk of foxes frolicking in and out of a culvert. At first we saw only two – and the folks we had joined informed us that there were three, but that the third one was a little more skittish. We must have sat there almost an hour, watching those babies play! I would estimate that they were about as young as they could be and still be allowed to go out and play without their mama. We worried about that too…where is the mama we asked. The couple we were talking with said that they had seen her and although she was pretty small, she was definitely the mother. So we could stop worrying about that, thank goodness.
After a while the third one came out…definitely more timid, but after it was out a few minutes it started cavorting as much as the other two were. We were fascinated! Nature is so fun to watch, it is one of the most entertaining things we could do, and it’s SO cool to be able to watch in your own backyard (or close enough – if they were in OUR backyard we would have to kennel the dogs lol)
So there we sat, chatting, laughing out loud, giggling sometimes and just generally having a great time – when a FOURTH fox popped out of that culvert!!!! We all exclaimed that There’s the mother, and Man she IS small. We were excited about seeing the whole family - interacting so enthusiastically together. After a few minutes of careful scrutiny we realized that it was NOT the mother, but a fourth kit!!! How cool is THAT?
We are seriously considering returning to that location tonight with the cameras, both still and video, to see if we can find them again and record some really kewl memories. In one part of my brain I am hoping that they are not there…that they have moved further back into the woods where they will be safer from the humans that love to hurt things….but the other part of my brain really wants to see them again, that would be the selfish part. I don’t know if we will find them, but if we do I’ll post the pics on here.
Edit - 4-27-09 am
We went back last night and sat there for about a half hour and were rewarded for our patience. Trav had the video camera and I had his canon. It was just at dusk, making getting good shots difficult, but we tried our best.
We saw the mama fox come trotting up the side rode and started looking around for the kits...we didn't see them at all and were starting to worry, when she got almost to the culvert...at which point 5 - yes FIVE - kits came boiling up out of that pipe!!!
It was awesome! I don't think either of us got that recorded too well, but it is in our memory banks forever. Trav got about 15 minutes of decent video before the sun went down and I have these four so so pictures to share here today. He is going to upload the video to youtube soon and I will edit this to include that link.
second edit 4-27-09 pm
I have some sad news and I really didn't want to see this happen...on my way to work this morning I came upon the body of one of the kits. Someone had hit and killed it early this morning. There were a couple of the other kits out playing in the road, so I honked and honked and reved the engine and did my best to make them afraid of the car!!! They hesitated for a moment and then they ran for cover. I cried and drove on, then I realized that I wasn't positive that it was one of the kits, I couldn't be sure that it wasn't the mama, so I had to turn around to double check. It was sad enough that a kit had been killed - but if the mama was dead then all the kits would die without intervention! So I went back and yes, it was a kit. I was still crying. I got on the cell and called Trav (he was home, not feeling well) and told him what I had found. He was upset about the kit, but more upset that I was upset and he told me I should turn around and come home. I told him that I really needed to go to work. We stayed on the phone with him helping me vent some of that sharp edged grief over that baby getting killed. About three miles from that dead baby, traveling down the road at about 60 mph, a bird flew straight into my windshield!!! Talk about upset?? I thought I would have a freak out attack! I turned that car around - with Trav insisting in my ear - and headed back to the house, both of us afraid of what might happen if I kept going...first the kit, then the bird, what next? So I went back to the house and he held me until I was calm enough to go to work.
It was a rough morning...but we made it through.
I have to ask you to help me pray for those babies...ask God to please keep the rest of them safe or to give a way to make them safe. Thank you for your attention and I hope to have that video for you tomorrow. God bless you all and good night.
here is the url for the video!
let me know what you think, ok?