Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 21 January 2011

Urban Fox

On Monday we had to go up to Birmingham to see my mum. This is the sight NAH and I espied out of the kitchen window whilst making lunch. I've known about urban foxes for years, but this was the first really up close and personal daylight sighting of old Reynard (as mum calls him) I've had. Even NAH was excited at the time and we were able to watch our visitor for a good 5 minutes or so.

Back home in Chippenham the urban fox's presence has been in sound only. We often hear them barking at night at the moment as it's mating time. It can quite unsettling until you realise what's actually going on. I wonder whether we might have the return of Skimble the Bold sometime soon?

When I lived at home mumble mumble years ago, we found evidence of foxes in the garden, but had no actual sightings back then. A fascinating documentary was shown on the TV around this time highlighting the research carried out by Bristol University which showed just how well the fox has adapted to living alongside us. That research in still ongoing and is accompanied by an excellent website which has lots of information about the study and foxes in general.

BTW the tree immediately behind the fox is one of three trees and shrubs Birmingham Organic Gardeners came and planted in my dad's memory this time 13 years ago. Dad was a founder member of the group and he was very proud of (and amused by) the acronym ;)

12 comments:

  1. It's always good to see foxes. Sadly there's been few sightings of our allotment ones recently. Flighty xx

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  2. Lovely. When we lived in central Bristol urban foxes were a common sight. Ironically now that we are more out in the country its been years since I've seen one!

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  3. handsome fox! all we get here is the occasional opossum & skunk. in the place previous we had enough treeline that an occasional turkey or the rare deer would show up in the back yard.

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  4. We haven't had foxes in our garden but we have seen them locally. One crossed the road in front of us and leapt up onto and over a wall higher than me.

    I'm glad your Dad laughed at BOG because it will make you smile when you remember it.

    Esther

    P.S. The WV is 'dittess' which, I suppose, is what you call a female Ditt.

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  5. Love foxes. We get them in the park but never hear their eery screeches. Am hoping to get out this weekend to hear them, love their new-found brazenness...

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  6. quite often see foxes round here but mostly in the evening. Though we did see one quite a lot in the morning when there was snow everywhere (probably hungry)

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  7. Flighty - I was wondering where your allotment foxes had gone :(

    Plantaliscious - we often see one slinking over the road ahead of us in the dark, but never as close as this before

    Petoskystone - we've seen deer but the closest was a few miles away when one jumped over the fence in front of our car

    Esther - BOG always makes me smile :)

    Kate B - welcome! I was thinking of you when I wrote this post. Thought you'd like it :)

    PG - I'm sure it was very hungry

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  8. I occasionally see foxes on the bypass, and often in Monkton Park.

    There was family of them in my field by my house in Wales and I mentioned it to the lady next door - elderly, sweet, demure - kill em she shouted, tell the farmer, get the guns, lock up the chickens, put down the poison, vermin.... I didn't mention them again.

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  9. Yes...I think I tend to agree with Mark's elderly neighbour. They're a pain in London. They urinate in the corner of my garden where I like to sit in the sun (the smell of fox wee is, um, distinctive), the mating screams sound like someone being murdered outside in the street, and they chew anything you leave out in the garden (gloves, hat, flipflops etc). London foxes look weird too, a sort of unhealthy beige instead of a nice red. Like fox zombies.
    Last night, when I went to pick up my daughter from her friend's house, I counted five on the streets (this is a five-minute drive we're talking about). The last one crossed the street in front of my car, sat down in the middle of the road and had a scratch and then ambled on his way. Cheeky bugger!

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  10. Mark - I deliberately left out how controversial the fox can be just to see what happened in the comments!

    Victoria - I wonder why that is diet perhaps? As you can see the brummy version is a fine red. Luckily mum's garden is large so there's room for the fox and us :)

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  11. I love foxes too - but I don't keep chickens! And, living in the country, if I hear or see one I am inclined not to tell...

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  12. Mag - judging by Mark's tale, you're most wise!

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