Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's a (wild) Life

I've kept a Nature Diary since 1992, when we first moved onto the mountain, because even before we started the mustang sanctuary, this place was an animal sanctuary, in that every day I found myself interacting and observing all kinds of wildlife. I have so many stories that I could write about them every post, so I've decided to devote Wednesdays to 'Wildlife Wednesdays,' (and hope I keep up with it better than 'Fabulous Finds Fridays!'). But I have interesting news to share, so decided to give you a critter update today.




Mr Fox showed up with Francis the other day! He is watching her while sitting on the wall of the koi pond.* Is it just me, or does he seem to be smiling? He seems inordinately proud of himself, anyway. He didn't come on the terrace for any food, but he hangs out in the backyard and eats sunflower seeds under the bird tree. Here's another shot...



Yesterday we finally spotted their kits, who live under the tack room. There are three of them. They were playing in the side yard with 'dad' who will help Francis raise them. You can just make them out on the left-hand side. The photo isn't the best; it was taken through the window screen in the guest room. But you can make them out. He and Francis will go their separate ways after their kits are older, until it's time to mate and raise another litter next year. (They are monogamous).



The bad news is, when Francis came up to eat this afternoon her jaw was 'locked,' and she couldn't unhinge it to get any kibble! Our vet said it could be any number of things -- all depressing -- and since we can't get close to her yet, helping cure her will be a challenge. But things are getting pretty Dances With Wolves, AR style, in that she isn't easily scared by us anymore, so it may be possible to intervene if we have to...


*Excy was setting the koi pond filter up when they stopped by for a snack. It's now running, and has plants in it, and the coons love to dog-paddle in it. The mama coons lay on the wall and dip their feet and paws in the water while relaxing. They look just like moms lounging around the kiddie pool to me....I will get some photos of this...and no, we gave up on fish a few years ago when the coons moved in. I had some koi I bought at Petsmart, that were 7 years old and huge, when they finally died. We only lost two to coons (both times on full moon nights) because they got great at hiding in the plants, but now that the coons swim in the pond, it isn't fair to the fish...

13 comments:

wendy said...

That will be a good post segment Wildlife Wednesday!
I love being here and seeing the wildlife as well.
One day while on my walk, I saw a young moose not 50 yards from me in the trees. He looked at me and I looked at him and crossed my fingers that he wasn't interested int coming after me.

Melanie said...

Stopping by from SITS...

I hope you guys are able to help the momma fox and her locked jaw. Poor thing!

And can't wait to see pics of the racoon family at the pond...sounds so cute ;)!

Melanie
www.tutubugblog.blogspot.com

e said...

I'm sorry about Francis. I do hope you can help. As for Wildlife, I can't wait to hear and see more...

I hope you are well...Enjoying your gift of tea presently...

Jayne Martin said...

How beautiful. What a gift to be able to watch those precious ones grow and frolic. Wildlife Wednesday is going to be fun. I hope Francis is all right.

That One Mom said...

So cool! I hope you can help to save the mama fox.

Diane said...

So sad about Mama Fox. Nature is a cruel Mother. Let's hope there is a fix in the near future. If she can't eat, how will she be able to nurse the babies?

Doris Sturm said...

Wow, lock jaw...I totally forgotten about that - wonder why that happens, so sad! I hope you can help.

And yes, I enlarged the photo and it does look like Mr. Fox is smiling - I never knew foxes ate seeds...and coons eat fish?

Did I ever ask you if you had seen that movie called "Hidalgo" It's about a wild mustang who won the big race in Arabia based on a true story, but you might not be into movies, but if you are, you should see it.

zodiblog said...

Wildlife Wednesday sounds great. I love animals, sometimes more than people it would seem. They are so innocent and Zen.

You got some amazing shots…love them!

Lynette said...

I love this post....living so close to nature must be so rewarding and stress free.

ReformingGeek said...

Oh, I'm so glad you have some photos of your foxes. We have seen our fox family that lives in the "woods" across the street and the kits are about the same size. They won't get close enough for photos.

Be careful if you are able to intervene. Nature breaks my heart sometimes.

Tamara aka Cheapskate Mom said...

Oh wow, fox on your patio!! That is really something. I love your Wildlife Wednesday idea!! Will be back to see more! =)

JGH said...

Nice to meet you and your blog - thanks for visiting me at Nyack Backyard!

We don't have any foxes around here - the wildlife in my yard has pretty much gone away since we got a dog (well, except for the squirrels!). That's so sad about Francis' jaw-hope you find a solution for that. Looking forward to seeing the raccoons!

Tricia McWhorter said...

Great idea for a series of posts! I love hearing these stories and seeing these wonderful photos.