Monday, February 2, 2009

Fox Love

Since I have had a surprising number of questions about the photos that recently accompanied a blog post I thought that I would fill in a bit of information about one of my favorite mammals. Red Fox, vulpes, vulpes. They are amazing. Highly intelligent, beautiful, resourceful and adaptable. Since we are fortunate to able able to live in a rural environment ,we have been able to follow some of the denning pairs for some years & have observed that 'red" fox are often not red. We dubbed the pair above "Dagwood" & "Blondie'. As they have grown they have retain ed much of theie initial, 'childhood' coloring - not having the black 'socks' that are generally prevalent in truly red - red fox. The photos that were in a recent post is a black variation that we called, creatively enough, "Blackie". He has grown accoustomed to the sound of my husband's car & runs along in the grass nearby as a greeting eveyr day when he hears it coming. "Blackie" is a beauty with a silvery 'mask' and a beautiful bushy tail replete with a lush white tip. Fox can, of course, be dangerous, and they can assuredly carry disease. Caution is generally a good idea with wild animals, but we have been fortunate to be able to become 'friend's' with some of these magnificant little creatures. I think that they are more catlike than doglike - I truly admire them and enjoy being able to observe them in their environment.

The following information is from the National Geographic

"....Red foxes live around the world in many diverse habitats including forests, grasslands, mountains, and deserts. They also adapt well to human environments such as farms, suburban areas, and even large communities. The red fox's resourcefulness has earned it a legendary reputation for intelligence and cunning.

Red foxes are solitary hunters who feed on rodents, rabbits, birds, and other small game—but their diet can be as flexible as their home habitat. Foxes will eat fruit and vegetables, fish, frogs, and even worms. If living among humans, foxes will opportunistically dine on garbage and pet food.

Like a cat's, the fox's thick tail aids its balance, but it has other uses as well. A fox uses its tail (or "brush") as a warm cover in cold weather and as a signal flag to communicate with other foxes.

Foxes also signal each other by making scent posts—urinating on trees or rocks to announce their presence.

In winter, foxes meet to mate. The vixen (female) typically gives birth to a litter of 2 to 12 pups. At birth, red foxes are actually brown or gray. A new red coat usually grows in by the end of the first month, but some red foxes are golden, reddish-brown, silver, or even black. Both parents care for their young through the summer before they are able to strike out on their own in the fall....."


Stacy said...

Marie; I think we are so kindred spirits... Love the fox pictures; aren't they just gorgeous & smart!

Also; I've been intriqued by your recent postings the Artists' Way so I had to buy my own copy! Thank you for sharing your insights & journey. It is inspiring to read & you have made a difference in my life with your sharing of it. Just wanted you to know. Thank you.

Sandy said...

Wonderful photos. I've only seen l in our area. I think there are too many dogs.

Kate said...

Wonderful fox photo, I have never seen a black fox before, don`t think we have any in Denmark.

Robin said...

Thanks, Marie... I really enjoyed the pictures as well as learned from your post. Robin A.

Robin said...

Thanks, Marie... I really enjoyed the pictures as well as learned from your post. Robin A.

Laura said...

Loved this post, Marie!

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