Fox Hopping

This is going to be another catch-up post, mainly on Wolfy our one constant fox visitor. I’ve also been tweaking the website so that there is now a new header and some more slight changes to fonts and overall layout. Most of this is the result of updating my theme (Photocrati) which has allowed more flexibility and improved performance with better back-end security.

Enough of the tech-speak> here’s a quick round-up of fox activity.

There are a couple of regular cats that share the garden, and one in particular who camps out at night. It’s a beautiful fluffy thing and while there are occasional run-ins with the foxes they generally steer around each other. Except when they don’t. In this shot Wolfy had been laying down across the path while I was taking photos. The cat was trying to get to the corner of the garden and rather than step around the fox it decided to give him a quick tap on his rump. Caught us both by surprise! The cat then ambled another two or three yards and sat down watching us.

fox and cat

Wolfy being pestered by a cat

We’ve also been trying to tidy the place up a bit, taking down some overgrown shrubs, including an out of control privet. Here’s Wolfy admiring the job (half done at that stage).

fox

Wolfy admiring our gardening

fox

Investigating garden cuttings

Towards the latter part of January we had a lunar eclipse. I missed most of it, but did wake up just after totality and grabbed this shot at 5.45am.

lunar eclipse

Lunar eclipse

The end of January saw us get a light covering of snow. This brought out one of the other foxes (one we don’t usually see).

fox in snow

Unknown fox in the snow

A couple of nights later (and after a second snow-fall), I managed to get some pictures of Wolfy in the white stuff.

fox in snow

Wolfy in the snow

fox in snow

Wolfy in the snow

fox in snow

Wolfy in the snow

Which brings me to the title of the blog. Somewhere on his travels Wolfy got himself injured. He picked up a very heavy limp on his right front leg, plus a cut on his head. This left him almost hopping about the garden.

fox with injured leg

Wolfy holding up injured leg.

I first spotted the injury on 4th February and he seemed to be struggling with it for about a week, though foxes are highly mobile even on three legs. Injuries like this are very common and pretty much an occupational hazard of being a fox. It’s all the climbing, jumping, scrambling over fences that places them at risk. Just about every fox we’ve known well has sported a lip at one time or another.

fox running with injured leg

Wolfy running with injured leg (on far side/front)

Thankfully he’s fine now (only the slightest hint of a limp left).

fox sitting

His foot seems to have healed and he’s now placing it on the ground and letting it bear his weight.

Finally, here’s a clip of a couple of the more elusive foxes out in the snow.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and (as far as I can remember) the EF 70-200mm f/4.0L IS II USM lens.

Posted in Foxes, Moon, Wildlife Tagged , , |

Golf Silhouettes

Every now and then I try something different as a way of extending my photography. I was out on the South Downs earlier this week, looking to see if any birds of prey were about. It was quiet so I ended up walking along a path that runs down part of a local golf course. The sun was fairly low, and there was a faint haze; but a group of golfers on a distant hill gave me what I needed. It made a change not to be chasing birds and worrying about shutter speed. For these I could turn it all down and take my time. I dialled in a little negative exposure compensation to kill the foreground (keep it nice and black) and then just let the light do its thing.

golfers silhouette

golfers silhouette

golfers silhouette

So just a short sequence while one of them played a shot and they set off down the course. It’s visually so simple, but the outlines were strong, and the light I think makes it.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Posted in Landscape Tagged , |

Starting the Year with a Fox

January has generally been a fairly quiet month for our garden foxes. It’s the time of year when they are busy breeding and establishing dens in preparation for their new cubs (expected March/April, though they can be earlier). The previous season’s cubs will often have been driven away from their birth territory, and even those who remain tend to establish new, more cautious habits. Watching them becomes tricky (and has often required hours of standing out in the cold for little more than a fleeting glimpse).

That’s why the appearance of Wolfy over the past few weeks has been such a welcome surprise. He was one of the 2018 cubs. A small, grey/black young fox with a cheeky temperament but always something of an outsider from the main group.

fox cub

Wolfy at about 12 weeks old, taken back in May 2018

Over the past few weeks he has started showing up again (after a gap of a couple of months), and slowly I am regaining his confidence. At first he would retreat to the cover at the rear of garden at the slightest movement or sound. Slowly though, he has let me creep closer. 10 metres…8…6…5… And last night he was comfortable enough to explore the flower beds just alongside me (maybe 2 or 3 metres gap between us).

fox on steps

Stepping down into the garden

fox

Pausing among the plants

fox

Watching me watching him

fox

He even posed for a classic portrait shot.

Pretty, the vixen, has only been by once or twice in the past few weeks, but I suspect she has other things on her mind. She’s coming up to two years’ old so this is a prime time for her to have her first litter. With luck she will find a den nearby. And with more luck we’ll have a whole new family of foxes in 2019.

Finally, just a note on the website. I’ve made a number of small adjustments the most obvious of which is the ‘cookie bar’ at the bottom of the page, but the very sharp-eyed may have noticed some small stylistic changes as well. These are simply to keep the design template ‘current’.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 1DX Mark II and EF 70-200mm f/4.0L IS II USM lens.

Posted in fox cub, Foxes, Wildlife Tagged |