Easter Red Fox

Jay Ryser

Lakewood, United States

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Artist's Description

This is kind of a long story, so please bear with me. It’s now Easter morning – the only reason that is significant in this story is that for the past winter, my main hobby has been tracking and photographing the local red foxes. The more practice I get, and the more familiar I get in knowing their hangouts, the better success I have. I’ve even managed to get a few decent shots this winter. Red foxes are not generally easy to photograph; they’re pretty shy creatures, and their habitat does not lend itself to clear pictures. Most of the foxes I know tend to bolt when they see me (well, probably most people, not JUST me).

Enough background.

This morning, I got up early, and after spending yesterday seeking foxes, I decided to take today off and just go with my wife and our dog to one of the local parks. I was going to skip bringing the camera (a Sony a700 with the battery grip, and the 100-300 f/4 lens with the 1.4TC – not the lightest kit in the world), but at the last second decided to bring the small bag with a Sony a100 and a Tamron 28-200 – a fairly moderate kit – just in case of something to photograph.

Can you guess what happens next?

We walked by a fenced section of the trail after half a mile or so, and who is sitting just on the other side? Red Fox. Just sitting there. 30 or so feet away. He’s completely aware that I’m there. Other people walk up to see it. And it just sits there. Jumps up every once in a while. Stretches a few times. And just keeps sitting there. Granted, there’s some tall grass around him, so it’s not a completely unobstructed view.

After an hour or so of just watching him and taking a few (OK, about 120) shots of him, my wife returns (she had long abandoned me due to boredom ) with the dog (a 100lb Akita, whose nickname is “Psycho Dog”).

The fox had no reaction at all. It didn’t appear ill or unhealthy – just very relaxed.

I was half way tempted to beg my wife to drive home and return with the other camera and tripod, but I was fairly certain the fox wouldn’t be there upon her return – that is just asking too much.

I decided instead to just enjoy the luck that I had and appreciate the time I spent so close to my winter quarry.

We finally left with the fox still sitting there. I’ll be back tomorrow with the full kit.

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fox mammal red snow vulpes vulpis winter

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