Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Feet Don't Fail Me Now... Another Day In The Wild Kingdom That I Call Home

I've still been avoiding the garden until Felicia (our resident fox) gets her pups raised and off on their own. Don't get me wrong here. I'm not staying away because I'm scared of the foxes. I'm staying away so that she won't find it necessary to move them before it's time. If the mama fox feels her babies are in danger, she will move them to a new and undisclosed location, which I don't want to see happen. I like my little wards. I like them even if it means everything I've planted in the garden is going to die. I can replant soon for a late summer and fall garden.

However, yesterday I decided to go out and peek over the fence to see if they were all there. Sure enough, they were. All three pups were outside playing and as soon as Felicia heard me, she somehow related to the pups to get in the den… Pronto! This is the picture I got. I knew they moved fast, but you'll get a huge kick out of this picture of one of the pups, in full run mode. View the enlargement by clicking on the picture. You won't be sorry.

Did you know that the gray fox is the only member of the dog family that can climb trees? Yes, it's true. But, what I really find fascinating about foxes is that they are monogamous, which means they have only one mate for one mating season. Hey, that's more than I can say for millions of humans.

From what I've been able to read, The Grey Fox mates from February to March, bearing their young from April to May, having a gestation period of about 50 to 55 days. (Seriously, I would have had a lot more kids had my gestation period been that short.) They usually have between 3 and 7 pups that are dark brown in color. They are blind for the first ten days. They are allowed out of their den after about 5 weeks and are usually weaned by the time they are 10 weeks old. This is when the father stays gone a major part of the time, to hunt for food. The family remains together until late fall, then separates, spending the winter in solitary.

It's curious that we seldom see one during the winter months, which leads me to think they almost hibernate like a bear. I do enjoy them living on our property and having their babies here. It makes me feel like Snow White or Doctor Doolittle… You know, talk to the animals and all.... In My Dreams.

15 comments:

Living on the Spit said...

I am glad you are forsaking your garden for the babies too. I just love hearing about the wards!

Daryl said...

This is so neat to have you share them .. calling you Dr Doolittle seems perfect!

Flash Stitcher said...

They are quite amazing creatures. We have a red fox who every year nests under our deck at the beach.
Great picture/pictures (previous post).

TSannie said...

I'm so glad you're sharing all this nature fun! I swear there's more wildlife in your back yard than in most zoos. Wunnerful!

Mental P Mama said...

Too cute for words!

T said...

This is so cool - like a real time version of wild kingdom!

The wife said...

That's so sweet!

FB friend who defriended is toxic friend from way back...hmm.

Flea said...

I love the baby fox! It almost looks like a fox/squirrel in that photo. Adorable! Worth losing a garden for a season. :)

asthmagirl said...

That baby fox is so cool! I love that you were able to snap him on the run! Way to go wildlife photographer!

Pleasing Procrasinator said...

How adorable!!
You are such a great keeper, why would they want to ever leave? I wouldn't. I love the fact that you have researched them:)

Heather said...

These photos are fantastic. What great fun.

Hubbie just found a rabbit's nest in the MIDDLE of our yard. Fortunately it was after my parents returned from LA, so their very active Standard Schnauzer puppy is no longer boarding with us. I'm afraid he would have ripped it up.

I've become highly protective of these tiny bunnies. I have stakes around the nest so the lawn mower will avoid them. We've had some terrible storms lately. Every morning I go out and blow on the nest to make sure I see movement. So far so good.

BTW a gestation period of 50 days is far more civilized.

imom said...

I love hearing all about the foxes... That picture is so cute. The fox looks like it's smiling.

The Incredible Woody said...

Awesome pic!!

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

They have to be sooooo cute!

Patty said...

Oh, how sweet! Baby foxes in your yard. Thank you for giving them a nice home.

 

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