Red Fox

This morning's deer encounter reminded me that two days ago on our morning run, Maia flushed out a red fox and gave brief chase. (Again, I had to go to the web to find a photo - they're elusive enough during the day that I haven't been able to capture one with my own camera.)

We rarely see them when we're running in the forest. I'm sure they see us, though. They're mostly nocturnal. We often hear them at night, a sort of cackling, screaming sort of sound, hard to describe.

When I first moved to this area, the girls and I lived in a rented house on eleven acres, well outside town. I quickly installed a temporary fenced area for them. Within days, I noticed the girls very excited about something up the hill behind the house. They huffed and pushed at the fenced boundary of their yard. Following their intent gazes, I spied what I thought was a small reddish coyote. He, or she, crossed a portion of the hillside well above us (yet open - no trees), stopping to look at the girls, letting loose the oddest screaming call, then walking some more, stopping and screaming again, until finally it left the area. This happened several days in a row, then less frequently, probably because it changed it's usual route after realizing the girls were there to stay. (I wonder if it thought two wolves had moved into its neighborhood?) I kept thinking it was the strangest sounding coyote I'd ever heard, and I've heard plenty in my life. I was mystified.

Weeks later, while riding my bike with a group of other riders, I spotted another "coyote" in a field and asked about it. That's when I learned it was a red fox. They're plentiful here. And quite pretty.