Farewell to a Summer of Foxes

I’ve had a wonderful time this summer, watching foxes relax in my garden. But now it’s over.

2014-07-27 10.54.56My flowerbeds bore witness to my garden visitors long before I first saw them. Shrubs starting out on their summer growth flattened; my neat bark overlay was mysteriously pushed off the flowerbed and scattered. At first I assumed an army of local cats were doing what cats need to do – but I was happily wrong.

A trio of reynards have been relaxing in my recreation space for weeks now. At first I photographed them whenever I saw them. I amassed a huge file of iPad/iPhone snaps before I acknowledged their appearance was not rare but commonplace. I looked out for them every day, and – apart from a few days when I had some heavy-duty cutting and pruning done by a local gardening firm – I saw them several times a day. I began to take my vulpine visitors for granted.

They saw me too. They would watch me, watching them. They were happy with my presence, but only as long as there was a door or window between us. They would stand me watching from an open window upstairs – far enough away not to be a threat – but would only tolerate a closed window downstairs. The slightest twitch of my fingers on the door handle would put them to flight. So I kept an eye out for them. I made sure not to open my windows too noisily; I refrained from emptying anything into my dustbin whilst they were around. It was just too lovely to see these beautiful, delicate wild creatures enjoying my space.

2014-06-12 10.46.57But last week, they disappeared.  At first I had no idea why; but I was chatting to my neighbour at the weekend and it turns out that as delighted as I was to welcome my feral friends, so my neighbour was dismayed. The foxes accessed my garden via her own – and where mine had become their sleeping zone, my neighbour’s garden was, yes, you guessed it, their toilet. To be fair, I wouldn’t have been that thrilled either.

My neighbour has apparently blocked all access to her garden and in barricading her fences, has deprived my foxes of their now trusted rest area. I understand why she’s done it, but I’m sad at the thought that I won’t see my foxes again – at least, not until they can figure a way around or under the barricades.

Meantime, I do have a host of photos and for those animal lovers amongst you, I thought I’d share a few of my favourites, and a few seconds of video too, as a Farewell to Summer. Enjoy…

2014-05-06 14.16.492014-05-13 09.45.092014-05-16 17.54.302014-07-27 17.34.45

10 thoughts on “Farewell to a Summer of Foxes

  1. They’re beautiful! But I can imagine that their leavings are less beautiful – cat poo is bad enough, and foxes are larger… my family keep chickens, so foxes are definitely unwelcome visitors, but I’ve always been thrilled to see one slinking around as long as they weren’t carrying a mouthful of feathers at the time!

    1. Indeed – they are natural predators after all. I don’t envy my neighbour having to scrape up their little gifts – gifts which it seemed they didn’t ever soil their daytime snoozing area with!

  2. I love foxes but sadly we don’t see them here that often, there are far too many fields and hedgerows for them to hide in. I do understand your neighbour’s reasoning, though. It’s bad enough cleaning up after other people’s cats…

    1. I understand too. When I had my garden redesigned, putting in a load of shingle, the landscaper suggested I put in large stones rather than the more usual small shingle, which – he said – cats tend to regard as one great big litter tray. I’m glad I took his advice!

    1. Awww.. Thank you. They have certainly enhanced the foliage these last few months. I still hear them in the park behind my house at night, but they can no longer get into my garden during the daytime. Too sad.

        1. Ha, yes! I did spot a suspicious hole at the bottom of my big hedge. It has all the makings of a new point of access, but nothing yet.

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