Thursday, August 26, 2010

Feeding the Foxes




I hadn't been home in London for ten minutes last month when one of the local foxes came to visit. I'd gone out to see how the garden was and we came face to face as I turned around the hebe bush. He ran off about twenty yards to the compost heap, and then looked back over his shoulder with a look that quite clearly said What are YOU doing in MY garden? before disappearing into the park behind the house.

He looked a bit scraggy, and so for the ten days that I was there I put some dog food out each evening at about the same time.

I've blogged before about
whether it's a good idea to feed urban foxes, and I think if I was there permanently my answer would be no. Not regularly anyway. However, when I'm visiting I admit that I can't resist the temptation of watching them every evening.

Not that it's that easy to feed foxes. In fact, you have to be prepared for quite a challenge. The first bit's easy - you just wait till evening, plonk the food down and go inside to wait at the bedroom window, where you can see but not be seen, camera at the ready. And then the fun starts...



First you have to chase off all the neighbourhood cats and convince them that they really don't want to eat your scraps, or dog food, or whatever it is you've put out that evening, and that there's bound to be something much nicer waiting for them at home. By the time you've done that, you've run downstairs to the garden at least five times. But getting rid of them just means the coast is now clear for the heavy mob to move in...


And before long word has got round the whole neighbourhood that there's a party on. Gatecrashers arrive from all directions...




However, finally, the dog fox arrives. He eats precisely half of what's there and then leaves, peeing on your roses as he goes (gee thanks). Sainsbury's dog food not good enough for him?


No - he's just left half for the vixen, who arrives ten minutes later. How do I know it's not just the dog fox just come back? Look at the tails. And how do I know which is the dog fox and which the vixen? I told you - the dog fox pees on the roses...



And who's this? One of the young maybe? Seems in considerably better form than his father - look at that nice glossy coat. Though, in fact, all of them look much healthier than in previous years. Perhaps I'm not the only one in the neighbourhood who invests in Sainsbury's dog food when they haven't got a dog ...






11 comments:

Natti said...

You have a very beautiful garden in all the places. From some of your posts it looked like you have been in India. Is that right?

One said...

Hi Sue, I love your post, watching the wildlife eating the food you left for 'them'. It must have taken you a lot of time and effort.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

You have quite the menagerie showing up for the evening buffet! I remember one year having foxes living at the bottom of our garden in England. I was banned from playing in the garden that year until the kits were gone, but I didn't mind, I was just thrilled to see them.

Jan said...

Those are lovely photos. Sue, they're building the next phase of the local wind geni farm. Well I say local, but they're a portuguese firm and I think the electricity is for Barcelona!

rohrerbot said...

Wow I love your pics. Amazing!!

Rowena... said...

Who needs the nature channel when you've got a live show right in your backyard? I loved this, as it often takes days before I even see that lone red squirrel that lives somewhere in the chestnut forest. If only that spiteful hunter neighbor of ours would move out of the neighborhood...

Gary said...

Hi Sue,
Love the blog and the way you write! Looking forward to more.

Bangchik said...

It is interesting to come to term with nature and its content. Land titles has no meaning to them, in their world boundary is all about pee.... ~bangchik

Juliet said...

I enjoyed seeing your foxes ... I think if we had them I would be tempted to (try to) feed them too.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Delightful treats for them (and for us to see).

Liza and John's Garden said...

Hi Sue, Great post you found a way of getting the foxes to stop long enough for you to get a good photo. Very hard to get foxes to pose for you.

Foxes are a beautiful animal check out our blog for some more photos.
http://www.jwlwgardens.com/?p=3070

Have a great day,
John

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