Today is the first day that really feels like fall – and looks like it, too. There is an incredible amount of leaf litter already on the ground near my cabin, and the tree leaves haven’t completed their color changes yet.
This photo is the view of my driveway from the front door. There’s a road down there along the stonewall – somewhere.
It’s impossible for anyone to walk quietly past my cabin – shuffling leaves announce even the most careful of critters. Last night, I knew the deer were walking past the bedroom window, even though I couldn’t see them for the darkness. A bear I can always see; their black fur always blacker than anything else around. Smaller shuffles give away the presence of squirrels, or chipmunks, or the fox quickly trotting by.
I saw a red fox the other day, trotting down the side of the highway. They are foxes of more open habitats. In Kentucky, the house is in the woods, and gray foxes were frequent visitors to the bird feeders. This photo isn’t the greatest quality – it was taken through the kitchen window with a film camera and then scanned into the computer – but its one of only a few I have of the Kentucky gray fox.
There was a pair that would come to the bird seed and cat food (put out for stray cats) spread on the rocks in the back yard. Before long, we noticed they were picking up as much as they could carry and trotting off with it.
We continued to put out food, and one day, they brought three pups. We finally caught the cats, so gradually stopped feeding – a good thing, because one night there were five foxes, three raccoons, and two opossums in the yard, all at the same time. Oh, and the skunk. A big, mostly white fellow the neighbors said had been around for years.
Here in NJ, I am feeding the birds and have feeders and suet spread around the place, but I take the suet in at night to minimize attracting bears. I haven’t seen any gray foxes, but the light shuffle of leaves and a slim, quick shadow along the stone wall let me know when they are passing by.