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Suburban Island

Little Red Fox
Thursday, Apr. 24, 2003, 11:34 p.m.

Question: I wonder what that little red fox was up to?

What I Learned: There's a lot going on in my backyard.

We had a fox stop by our backyard last week. It was pretty exciting. There was a bunch of birds up in the trees taking turns diving down on this little red fox and making a real racket while they went about it. Eventually the fox decided enough was enough and left with a pack of swooping crows on its tail like streamers on a kite. It took a while for the caw-caw of the crows to fade into the distance. We might have been left with the gentle sound of windchimes filling up the silence that was left but they’ve been tangled up since last summer and we were left with the distant hum of traffic instead. It almost sounds like the ocean sometimes and will do until I get around to fixing those chimes. Maybe I should make my own chimes such as these as photographed by chubbychic - talk about creativity and practicality joining forces.

We don't usually see much in the way of the exotic here in the heart of suburbia. Once my son said he saw a deer in the backyard. My husband refused to believe him. He swore the kid must have seen a dog - a big dog - and mistaken it for a deer. The kid was at least 10 years old when he saw the thing prancing around the back yard. I think he could tell the difference between a deer and a dog but my husband would not revise his opinion even after the local paper ran an article about a couple of deer that had crashed through a local store window less than a mile down the road from our house. Was it a deer in our yard then? Nope – according to him, it was still a dog the kid saw.

There are a host of other backyard buddies that everyone can agree do pass through our backyard. They include:

  • A rabbit that stands up on its hind legs - the better to eat the leaves off my rose bushes
  • An overfed black and white cat unsuccessfully patrolling under the hedges
  • A pugnacious cardinal that is drawn to engage in an ongoing confict with his own reflection in any window he finds
  • A chipmunk that needs an immediate contract with Disney
  • A roving bunch of rude crows – most annoying on a sleep-in morning
  • And of course, the requisite squirrels performing acrobatics across the top of the split rail fence at the top of the hill

Every once in a while a kid climbs over the fence and trots down the hill behind our house. I am truly relieved to see these kids cutting through our yard because they are easily identifiable as kids and no one can tell me I am confusing them with a large stray dog.

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