Last night my new neighbors came through the back yard. My back yard is a wooded bluff within 30 feet of my back door. This blurry picture gives you the general idea. Beyond the edge of the trees is a sharp decline to small bluff. You have to know where to get over the bluff to drop to the table below that. Then it declines to a small creek. In our neighborhood, we call this a holler (vernacular for hollow). This creek runs west to east and is a connection for all creatures big and small that do not want to go through the farms or the road. So I can hear animals running the creek and "talking" during the night. It echoes loudly up the hill, and always is louder when the weather is right. We are in a rainy, cooler pattern, and the clouds are low and heavy. Perfect.
So last night around 12:15 a.m. one of my cats-probably the bigger of the two-SLAMMED through the cat door and woke me up in his haste to get in and safe. I immediately grabbed the flashlight and opened the door facing the woods. I picked up two yellow eyes-good- mammal-probably canine. I do not like coyotes. Then it trotted right up within 10 feet of me. A gray fox! Actually canid-not canine. They have a different set of genes. I told him or her to go on back into the woods. That I didn't think it needed to be so curious about me or the cats. It trotted over to the edge of the woods near the briar patch. Then it did the little meerkat thing of raising up on its hind legs and peering. I prayed it was not the other cat. And off it went. I heard a chirpling kind of noise, and turned. There were two more foxes, and one of them came up to see me. They finally went off. I did a head count as I turned back into the room. Noodles, the door slammer, was hunkered down under the computer table. Baby, the nosy one, was on a table and trying to see everything from a safe distance from the intruders.
I did an internet search. They will chase cats to protect their territory. Especially if the cat has human scent on it. So I guess now I have to go out and scent my territory. I want to make sure the cats can get to their ramp and safety, so I am going to scent all around that within 5-10 feet. Isn't this just wonderful! I am happy to have new wildlife move in, but really, curious foxes!
We are in a rainy period. I am happy to have the moisture. It has helped the trees recuperate from the freeze. Finally the oaks have some little bitty leaves. I feels a little cooler because of the dampness.
Well, I guess I better get busy and do something productive. I will close with a picture of Baby sleeping. She likes to sleep with her head tucked down and her feet under her. I always wondered how she breathes. But this is the way she has done this since little bitty. You can see she guards the cat door. Dragons and beasties beware! Baby is on guard!