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New Neighbors

Yesterday, John and I planted a new peach tree, strawberries, forsythia, and more pansies. We extended one of the drainage pipes that take the water away from the house, and we guided it into one of the new flowers beds, hoping it will help water them. It was muddy work, and the wind was fierce, even though it was wonderful to see blue sky and sunshine after nearly a week of rain. We decided to end early and do some cleanup. We hooked up the tractor and the cart, and loaded the cart up with bits and pieces of scrap wood that’s been accumulating in an ugly pile on the edge of the driveway. We’d found an odd ravine out in our woods, a very deep, sudden drop off that makes sort of natural hole about 20 feet deep. We decided to put the wood in the ravine and let nature decompose it. So off we went through the woods, doing some brush trimming along the way. I was the scout, walking alongside the tractor so John could avoid tree stumps and holes in the path. As we shut off the tractor and wheeled the cart over the ravine, we nearly stumbled into the most wondrous thing – a fox den. A beautiful fox den, right on the edge of the ravine. They’d covered the top with a few branches, or perhaps dug under them, but I’d seen pictures of fox dens before and I’m pretty sure it was a fox den. I was thrilled. I’ve seen a male and female red fox playing in the yard one cold winter morning, and I’m hoping this is one of their homes. I believe they move around somewhat, but I hope they stay. At least in our woods they will be safe, since we do not hunt, and we try our best to protect the wildlife in our care. I left some chicken bones and a chicken leg that had seen better days, leftover from last week’s roast, by the den last night in the hopes that they come by, or perhaps one of the residents will find it.

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