Return of the Fox

I find I am getting excited and anxious to welcome back our mating fox pair. It may or may not be “obvious” in the image below, but look closely for the stretched out “u” that represents a well-worn path leading to a hole at the base of one of the spruce trees along our windbreak. This tells me they’ve come home and getting ready to mate.

This has been their den in earlier years but not for some time. She had them under one of our steel bins last year very close to the house but I doubt I would be that lucky two years in a row.

So, I will be crossing my fingers, eyes and toes that I get to observe and photograph and just hang out with a precious fox family in a few months time.

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…. The above post has been sitting in my “draft folder” since December 27, 2019 in the hopes I could deliver a post featuring that our fox pair did indeed mate and raise a family of kits. I’m ecstatic to write today that they did and they did indeed make their home under these trees of our shelter belt…again, not far from the house.

I’ve been highly distracted from ranch chores with these cuties running around but once again, self-isolation shows its benefit-side because I now have all the time in the world to blend my photog life with my ranch life!

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Sit Spot

Have you ever heard of a “Sit Spot“?

….I recently learned of this concept from a wildlife conservation photographer and I didn’t even realize I was already doing such (recall my recent post of sitting amongst the deer). The concept is that when one enters nature – wildlife flees, as they perceive the human form as a threat. But after you sit still for a little less than half an hour, they return peacefully and begin to accept your presence. 
I now look upon our ranch as a candy store full of Sit Spots!! It doesn’t seem to matter where I park myself I find that nature is absolutely buzzing all around me. Somedays I just find a spot to sit without my binoculars and even without my camera and it seems I “spot” my opportunities so much better. The point of view envelopes you…it’s hard to describe until you experience it.

 

Once again, I realize the consequence of sheltering at home during this global pandemic has presented yet another positive and satisfying “place” for me in the world of being “still”. 

Self-Isolation and Me

This gal is no stranger to self-isolation. Being married twenty-plus years to a rancher who also trucks fulltime, well I believe I’ve got this self-isolation gig pretty much “sewn up”.

I do love being home…so when our government and public health officials recommend and strongly advise us to #stayhome … no need to tell me more than the first time!!

We who dwell on farms and ranches are so extremely fortunate. We have acres to roam in solitude and safety…we have animals to feed and water…we have routine and purpose. I’ve always loved that about my life on the ranch, never took it for granted, thanked God daily for this blessed life and boy oh boy….are my feelings and sentiments about my country home even stronger now in this uncertain life with the Covid19 virus.

And so, I have a tendency to embellish and enjoy self-isolation. In fact I stepped it up a level the other evening, with the help of hubby who happened to be home for a rare couple of days.

We decided to set myself up with camera and lens under some home-grown camouflage (an old flannel bedsheet) in some bush a few miles out – where we had seen a huge herd of deer grazing in an un-harvested wheat field a few days earlier.

 

Again, don’t have to ask me a second time…I’m all in! Layered on the thermal clothing, packed my gear and ground blanket and my thermos of hot chocolate. Hubby helped tuck me away in the bush, drove away and there I sat and waited as an evening wintery breeze started to blow. By the way, it is incredibly cozy under an old flannel bedsheet, in the bush, in a wheat field enjoying a cup of hot chocolate while you silently wait for wildlife to appear in your sights.

 

 

And they did!

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