Squiggle, wiggle, sidle, stop. Breathe softly. Squiggle forward again, camera extended... UGH what did I just wiggle through?
Suck in another breath and grimace as something shifts and squishes under me. (On further examination on the way back, it's a chewed rabbit leg.) In front of me, the small black male fox dozes like a child; head bobbing, slitted eyes fluttering, little paws extended in a gentle stretch. It takes pretty much all of my power not to SQUEE at the top of my lungs and terrify the tiny fur-tufted tough guy. I'm here on my annual pilgrimage, and I know what a unique opportunity it is to observe these foxes while they allow me to. The least I can do is not act like a total asshat.
Sunlight gilds red-tipped, silvery fur and warms my heart. Little toes, a scarred up nose, and a sprinkling of yellow and blue flowers in a soft carpet to nap on.
Each set of these photos that I take of new families of foxes each year — laying in the grass watching them live their lives completely unconcerned about me or any other human — is truly a joy. Every few months I come back to my giant collection of shots and pull out a small vignette to share a little bit of that contented joy with you. I can't help but have to try to keep the smile from my face when I look at the perfect paw pose. I shift a bit to get more comfortable as the golden rays landing on my back start making me a little drowsy myself, and a caramel eye cracks open a slit. Dammit.
Those tiny toes and slashed nose twitch. Despite the bright sun, the shade this little monster is throwing my way is palpable.
I've smushed up his rabbit leg, and I've interrupted his sleep. The wide scar between his nostrils flares to let me know that he gives all of zero fucks about me hanging about, but the one-eyed look is full of annoyance and the suggestion I find a better locale to toast my buns, as this one is taken. I hide my grin and solemnly nod as I squiggle backwards again in deference; I figure I've pulled it off pretty respectfully as I stand up and dust myself off, until I realize I'm decorated with a bit of rabbit goop from his lunch. Humans are so annoying.
These photos and words are my own work, inspired by travels all over this pretty blue marble of ours. I hope you like them. 🌶️