Posts Tagged ‘foxes’

The Return of the Groundhogs

Foxes and groundhogs have both denned under our barn in past years.  I was beginning to worry that neither would den here this year.

The female groundhog moved in about two weeks ago and suns often.

We saw the male for the first time earlier this afternoon — March tenth. Its fur is darker than hers. Neither me nor my husband had seen a dark one like this one.

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Fox Update

I haven’t smelled the scent foxes use as an deterrent for Buffy and/or me. We went out before supper, walked around, even close to the barn, and no strong fox scent.

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These three pictures were taken last year. I’m hoping they return next month. They breed late January into early February. Gestation lasts 51 days.

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So, my fingers are crossed that they return before the young are born in late March or early April.

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There’s an old strip pit behind our house and it goes east for two miles or so. The road makes two right angle turns before it straightens out. There’s a house on the corner. Late last summer I would see the young foxes out playing when I was on my way to Ingram Hill.

So, I figure they have a den back there too … and maybe that’s where they are now. The den that they rear the young in is usually deeper than the temporary retreats.

So, I plan to keep my fingers crossed and keep a watch out for them. I will know they’re back if I see them or if I smell the strong scent they use as a deterrent to intruders.

Fingers Crossed

Today is Thursday, April 16. Last weekend had such nice weather, every neighbor was out mowing their yard, including us.

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My last pictures of the foxes were taken Friday, April 10. I can’t see them going nocturnal with 6 kits running around.

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I thought if we all crossed our fingers and asked politely that, maybe, the foxes would return.

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DARN!

I looked out after supper and saw …

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This groundhog sure didn’t waste any time moving in. Buffy knows it’s here and it knows Buffy’s here.

I’m still crossing my fingers for the foxes’ return.

Fox Celebration

As of now, I work my daily activities around the presence of the foxes. I took pictures this morning, early afternoon and then this series little after 5.

Timing is everything.

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She caught me.

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What was probably procrastinating, had her resting on their lookout,

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AND THEN down she went. Out came a little one! There also a little furry “mound” behind the long rock.

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AND THEN this picture shows three kits. The one on the left looks funny from the movement. The one under her looks like one of the rocks and the third one’s by her tail! And here I thought they were born recently or were about to be born. Apparently they were born earlier than my mammal book said.

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She checked her territory out again before going under the barn.

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The male headed to the corner of our backyard where he can get under the fence and on to find their next meal.

A Napping Fox

I didn’t see the foxes during our last two days of cloudy weather.

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It’s convenient to have my computer by the picture window that overlooks our backyard.

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The sun is out, the wind calm, and the 42-degree temperature must feel warmer on the piece of conveyor  belt.

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A little grooming.

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Now that’s a yawn!

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And then she just couldn’t stay awake any longer in the warm sunshine.

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This picture was taken later, and I suspect this one’s the male. Its color seems darker than the fur of the one in the other pictures.

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The sun just set. The male fox is still curled up asleep. The temperature’s now down to 40.

Front Porch Visitor

Last week was a busy week for mammals in our yard.

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Young rabbits seemed to eat often.

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The groundhog still thought the barn was for her and her one young.

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Foxes moved in and considered the barn theirs. The groundhogs took the north side and the foxes the south. They all left after two days of that.

A young squirrel walked out into the back back of our yard. It was too far for a picture.

Then yesterday …..

It got exciting around here.

I opened the front door and heard the “huffing” sound of a mad or injured animal. I couldn’t see it because it was in the narrow space between the two steps and the side of the house. The ferocious sounds convinced me to stay in and keep Buffy in. The angle wasn’t right to see anything from the kitchen window.  My husband got home, checked the critter. I called the sheriff department, who called animal control, who came out immediately.

He and my husband got it into a cage.

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A young otter! It was MAD!

(And I’m sure scared).

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I got a good look at its mouth full of sharp pointed teeth. That and its vicious noises and attitude, convinced me to keep the storm door between me and it, even though it was caged. It could have squeezed through one side of the door where it was bent.

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That definitely added excitement to our afternoon!

An Eagle Visit

I photographed the foxes in our yard for the first time this year on April 15. I was so excited, I thought it would make a special day even more special to visit the bald eagle nest too.

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 The day was cloudy and windy.  I don’t like to get too close to the nest and possibly stress the parents.

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Obviously, the one on the left is young … and bigger than I expected.

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  There’s such a feeling to be in the presence of eagles.

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This picture shows 3 in the nest. From a couple of my other pictures, there’s at least 2 eaglets.

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This tree lost a whole trunk 3 or 4 years ago. Eagles will use the same nest every year until something happens to the tree. I do hope that time is a long way away.

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So I had my day with both the foxes and the eagles. Now you can to.

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