Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Critters

I ride to and from work on a rail-trail... one of those multi-use paths that use a former railroad right of way. It makes for a nice ride, in part because of the flora and fauna along the trail, especially at this time of year.

One treat this year has been the discovery of a fox den not far from the trail. I was tipped off to it by another rider who comes into our shop a lot, and I now have been lucky enough to see both mama fox and her three kits on several occasions.

Yesterday was the best so far though. I was riding home around dusk, nearing the area where the den is, when I suddenly realized all three kits were frolicking right beside the trail, and in fact stepped onto the pavement at one point. I stopped and watched for a minute or two, and it was delightful. Clearly they were playing... chasing each other and wrestling and jumping on one another. At one point, a pair of runners passed within 5 feet of them, totally oblivious to the kits! I guess they were too wrapped up in their training or whatever. I don't understand that... I always pay attention to my environment, and notice the little things, even when riding along at a good clip. Guess I'm just not totally focused on the "fitness" side of things.

Anyway, the kits eventually retreated back to the relative safety of the brush, but were still visible from the trail as I rode off. I was both grateful for the chance to see them, and concerned at their lack of fear of humans. That usually doesn't turn out well for animals. And I have to wonder where mama fox was all that time. Seems odd that she wouldn't have kept them out of sight with so many people still around. I think about a half dozen folks passed by in the short time I was there. I hope those little guys do okay.

On another note, my cat Tybalt had his annual checkup and vaccinations today. As usual he cried all the way to and from the vet, and the whole time he was in the waiting room. He just doesn't see much of other people or places, so it kind of freaks him out. The vet was very gentle and patient with him though, so it went well. And he's got a clean bill of health! Woo hoo!

2 comments:

scott clark said...

Hey--

The fox den is a nice sighting--it's amazing that people didn't see the kits. You'll have to keep an eye out and post on how they're doing.

Best on-the-commute sight down here is the annual nesting colony of barn swallows. We pass under their bridge as I take Anders to school in the morning. Yesterday, a hawk was checking out the spot, too.

scott clark said...

speaking of foxes--I stepped out of our basement late on Saturday night, just as a gray fox trotted by!