Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fox Update

It has been raining for the past couple of days, so we haven't seen the fox babies since Wednesday.  They are snugged up, hopefully out of the moisture, under the deck.  I've heard them squirming around under there, but I think they are worried about getting their fur messed up if they come out and get drenched. That is if they are girl foxes :).  Tilly (aka Mama fox) came out this morning.  She had something nasty, yet nourishing, in her mama-mouth. SHE is drenched, completely soaked.  She looks cold and even more bedraggled than usual.  But, her instinct is to feed her little ones and so she braves the rain and keeps hunting for food.  It's a little sad to watch her wet self, and yet I feel happy for the babies that they have such a committed mama.  Some mamas don't care as much for their babies and they die; I've done just a little bit of research about foxes since they have taken over our world.  I found out that the usual scenario is that the daddy fox hangs around and helps out with the little ones,  and he is the one who actually does the hunting of the food for them.  But this daddy isn't around, and so instinctively the mama fox is taking over.  I'm so proud of her.  I've learned a lot from her, watching her habits and her ways.  At the beginning of the week, we had a sunny day and I was outside sitting on a chair reading.  I had been there for about 20 minutes when Tilly came into the yard and did her usual scoping out the backyard and around the deck, making sure there wasn't any danger.  She saw me but wasn't bothered by me.  Then she sat down in the middle of the yard and called her kids out to her.  They nursed and played... less than 10 feet from me.  I just sat there and watched them.  It was fascinating.  Even more interesting than the John Grisham book that I was reading. If I moved or shifted, she was definitely aware of me, and once in a while would tell the babies to go back to their den, but for the most part she just kept a keen eye on me.   Tilly is focused on her pups safety, provides for them, plays with them, and is always aware of what's going on.  Now THERE is a lesson in motherhood!!  In a way I will be sad when they leave our backyard.  Our doggy and kitty will not be sad one bit - this experience has NOT been as fun for them; it's put a definite kink in their lives.  They just don't get what we are so over-the-top about.  But, we sure ARE... over-the-top.  At least I am!!

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