There’s a beautiful red fox around here lately, which I’ve not yet had the pleasure of seeing, but which my wife recently saw. He, or she, was dashing across the far end of the front lawn, happy and energized. Apparently, this jolly creature has been helping itself to the neighbor’s hens. We found two patches of chicken feathers down by one of our remaining stands of aging Christmas trees.
It’s a mixed joy, then, knowing that, after years of seeing so few of our beloved foxes here, we are now the happy recipients of the delightful company of one, only simultaneously with the cost that our neighbor and his hens suffer for it. I find, despite that, that I can think only of the energetic red-furred being that’s graced us with its company — for, we’ve little companionship from the native fauna of our region these days. Even the birds, especially the woodpeckers (which should be much more common than they are), are diminished (although, I did see a marvelous humming bird at the garden fountain yesterday, which moved me deeply). The jack rabbits left some time ago, apparently taking with them the foxes. Also, despite all the rain last spring, we do still seem to be enduring the consequences of years of drought, which apart from its apparently chasing away the animals, also makes for considerable challenges to gardening, and seems to include the ravages of bark beetles devouring our pine trees. It seems as though nature has put the hammer down around here lately, withdrawing her grace in many ways.
Still, now, there is that fox, and all seems somehow right with the world.