Monday, May 28, 2007

So...Was it the Neighborhood Fox?

There has been a fox in the neighborhood for a long time. If it's the same one, I saw it across the road, a little way down the hill and in a driveway, sunning itself with a family of kits, about a year ago. Very cute. Once this winter, it passed in front of my window as I sat before this computer looking outdoors. Recently I saw it at the edge of the road, unmoving, staring into the ditch as I drove by. One neighbor reports seeing it play with a toy terrier, another tells of its eating their dog's food on their front porch (last week), and yet another sees it often on the road. You feel kind of "friendly" with an animal like that.

A few weeks ago, some of us heard some strange "barking?" at night. Internet searches turned up similar sounds... it was our fox, we decided. However this last night/early morning... before dawn, I was awakened by a constant "bark - cry." It lasted well over an hour or two. Off and on. Sometimes getting weaker, it seemed. Sometimes sounding tired. I dozed for a bit and was awakened again. It became lighter outdoors... (sunrise was 5:39 A.M.) and it was still making a constant "noise." My husband, who's been sick the past few days, moved to the couch(!)... and by 6:15, I was moved to get dressed and see if I could figure out where the fox was and what was happening.

I picked up my camera and my cell phone (for security? for help?). Rather than wade through the backyard to the ravine, I walked through a neighbor's front yard. It sounded like it was Right Behind their fence (in the same ravine). I chickened out and called another neighbor (looking for someone brave to accompany this trip). By then it was 6:30. I'm afraid I made more noise, greeting him, than I should have. As we walked along their side yard, it yelped and moved noisily away. This yard is fenced, so we went inside their yard. We stood at the back, looking and listening. Finally we again heard the sound... but now, it was pretty far away. There was nothing more to do but go home.

I thought I'd write about this early morning "adventure." I opened my basement window before I began. I can hear more of the normal morning sounds... twittering, tweeting, chirping... and just now, a faint bark...

Hope the little guy hadn't found himself in a trap. Hope he finds better help than I offered. Hope he's okay.

Thanks for the support, neighbor. I can say that, now that I'm back, safe indoors. Guess there's only so much "shade" I appreciate.

I'm only, at best, a Shady Gardener.


Andrea Dellit said...

Oh my gosh! What an adventure!

Shady Gardener said...

Yeah... you can almost call me brave! :-)