In the middle of winter, it’s dusky at 4:30pm when something catches the corner of my eye as I pass by the window. A fox had just come out of the woods onto the frozen pond. I stopped to take in her beauty and grace as she walked along the ice’s edge. Her rusty coat and bushy tail were thick against the winter’s cold. Her eyes were bright and her ears alert. A healthy red fox. I rarely see foxes here, but I know they are around making their way between the coyotes and the people on the  edge of suburbia.

I left her briefly to quickly grab my camera. When I returned she had begun to hunt. fox-on-pond-20Standing still and listening intently, so focused, not moving except for her ears twitching to follow the sound. She slowly cocked her head from one side to the other, precisely locating the source of the sound. Her body tensed. Suddenly she leapt forcefully straight into the hair coming down face first.

A moment later her she picked up her head. Success! She caught a vole. With her meal in her mouth, she trotted in my direction.

She stopped under my neighbors willow tree where she had found the perfect spot to cache her prize. Not letting go of the vole, she dug into the frozen ground with her front paws. She placed the vole in the hole, used her snout to push the soil and snow on top and  tamped it down with her feet. fox-hunting-series-10And with that, she disappeared into the trees. What a magical winter’s day.