Meet our new garden guests…

Mother Gray Fox and pup

These are our new residents who use our deck as an AirB&B.  The first time I saw them, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  What were they?  Since then I have swallowed Wikipedia and discovered that they are Gray Foxes.  They are indigenous to the Americas (with a range from Canada to Venezuela) unlike the red foxes which were introduced from Europe to hunt.  Red foxes are now predominant in the eastern states but our gray foxes are not at risk.

Felicia

Felicia, the mama, is sharing a burrow with the armadillos – I wondered why it was so big…  From our nighttime camera we can see 2 adults and 4 puppies.  Since the pair are monogamous we assume it is a breeding pair with their litter.  I believe that they have recently moved into our area from other green belt areas that houses are being built on.  We live in a protected forest environment and back onto a reserve (behind that fence).

Look at those brushes!

Felicia is about the size of a cat with longer legs.  Their coat is exquisitely patterned and lush.  I have had so much fun watching them play and hunt.  Mama is mostly silent but quietly mewed at the pups when she returned with a baby squirrel from a hunting trip.  They ran out from the deck, one went straight to her teats but she slapped him off to encourage them to eat solid food.  They first appeared in the Americas in the Pliocene Era, about 3 and a half million years ago.  Gray foxes are the most basic type of canine species and are related to Fennec Foxes.

Like cats, Felicia can hiss and climb trees to hunt or escape predators.  She comes down backwards like a cat.  I found a large dead wood rat on the deck – do you think it was rent for the deck burrow?? They are crepuscular in nature so that is why we have some shots in daylight but mostly they are nocturnal.  Now we finally know why our squirrels are called fox squirrels – they have exactly the same gray with amber coloring.

They have provided much needed balm to my fragile soul over the last few weeks but also terrified Katniss our outside feral.  She finally came back after a couple of weeks, very skinny, so I have been feeding her up.  The foxes still come and go, so she has fixed her timetable to adjust.  The foxes are not a threat to her but she doesn’t perceive that.  I guess they all scent where they have been.

My psychiatrist suggested that I should write another post after the last one about suicide and here we are!  I have taken two months off work and am beginning to feel better.  My apologies for my absence around my friend’s posts – I need to relax.  These little foxes have made 2018 a marvelous year, especially since so few people have seen these little critters in our area.  I hope you enjoy watching the video of the pups playing in my plants – so cute!!!

 

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41 thoughts on “Meet our new garden guests…

  1. Wow. It’s like you live in a wildlife sanctuary. Good job you like animals Kerry.
    I think you’re very brave. I’d be a nervous wreck in case they came inside. They are quite beautiful though. Lovely colouring. Can’t believe they climb trees too!! Hope you are okay. Sending love and big hugs xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, it is an indigenous forest…and yes I do LOVE animals! There are much more interesting critters that sometimes come inside. Our neighbor found a blue ribbon snake coming out of her sink…. Thank you so much, Anne. I appreciate your love and hugs. x

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  2. So nice to see you back. Missed your posts. I enjoyed watching the foxes and the second time I ran the video I had my eyes shut listening to the beautiful song bird.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a treat for Saturday morning (as it is here in New Zealand) to see and read about these delightful animals. How elegant your new tenants are! Thanks for posting all the background info about gray foxes as well. And I do hope Katniss gets used to her new neighbours soon.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Katniss is back to her regular schedule so I think they have moved on for a while. She hisses at me three times and then chatters to tell me how awful I am for letting the foxes stay. They are such elegant little creatures. Thank you, Denise.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How wonderful, Kerry! 🙂 Thanks for sharing. I’ve seen a (red) fox running across our property a few times, but he was always too fast for me to get him on camera. Yours are so much fun to watch! Well, we have our deer and their fawns. This afternoon we had a real parade: one doe followed, just one after the other, by 4 fawns. Then another doe and 2 fawns, and finally one doe and one fawn. Quite a sight.
    Isn’t it absolutely wonderful what watching theses animals, you the foxes, we the deer, can do four our equilibrium?
    All the best, stay well, and have a great weekend,
    Pit

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve lived in Texas for 23 years and have never seen a grey fox! How cute they are and amazing that they climb like cats! Thanks for sharing the photos and educating me about them!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s always lovely to see you …. don’t think you haven’t been on my mind, and I wondered if you were less than fettle. So first and foremost I send you great love and great strength to see you through this episode and safely out the other side. And the foxes … so so beautiful – graceful and fine limbed. Oddly, yesterday I took a walk in a different forest to my normal one and was warned that Coyotes Den from April to August and that there is an active Den in those woods. So I had coyotes on my mind and found these treasures which are not dissimilar but rather glamorous, I think with their beautiful coats. And thank you for the fact that red foxes are not indigenous. I didn’t know. Honestly, we are such an idiotic race … introducing animals for the purpose of hunting has to be utterly foolhardy. We have red foxes here and they are, of course, a bit of an urban pest as you get closer into Boston and Cambridge. Thank your ancestors, guys …. they were eejits! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, dear friend. Our foxes look like mini coyotes. We used to hear coyotes yipping at night but more construction has pushed them out to the deeper forest. We have Mexican wolves near the border, also. K x

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wow! Wolves are magical 🐺…. we looked at a house in Cantal and the very elderly gentleman selling who had made the most wonderful garden that reached into the woods and in which he welcomed wildlife aplenty told us ‘we have wolves here but please tell no-one because they will try to kill them when they should welcome them, the fools’ x

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  7. Those Grey Foxes are really cool. It must really be fun watching them come and go and play in your backyard. Glad they are helping you to relax. Also happy to see you blogging again (at your own pace). I was worried what happened to you and I am glad you took some time off from work to decompress, which is good to do from time to time. Luv Gary

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Such adorable and beautiful animals! Thanks so much for sharing this and the lovely video – I could watch them the whole day!! And when I saw the first pic I did indeed felt reminded of Fennecs.
    Missed you and am so glad you’re feeling better, Kerry! Much love! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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