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Gray Foxes in my Garden
Gray foxes visiting my garden
Gray foxes are sly creatures I have only read about in books and seen on the wildlife channels. But never did I expect to see them camping out on my backyard deck for three whole months. In spite of their cunning and crafty reputation, which is often taken in a negative light, my encounter with gray foxes in my garden was an eye-opener and dispelled all of these stereotypical notions.They were not aggressive or threatening towards me and behaved just like domesticated pets - not the wily and tricky little creatures often portrayed in fables, stories, movies and video games.
Close encounter of the foxy kind - This one is a shy guy
This gray fox appeared on my deck one afternoon in April of 2003. It would visit almost every afternoon and made itself at home on the backyard deck. Most of the time, the gray fox would just relax and nap in the afternoon sun..
The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is a medium-sized canid (member of the dog family) and resembles the red fox but is gray. The gray fox has a salt and pepper coloration on top with a white throat extending underneath. It is reddish-brown on its sides, chest and the back of its head. Its legs and feet are also reddish color. It has an elongated muzzle and ears pointed forward. Unlike the red fox, the gray fox has a black tipped tail while the red fox has a white tipped tail.
Mistook this one for a coyote - My wildlife friend
I had my own preconceived notions of what a fox or a coyote should look like prior to this encounter. So I mistook this gray fox for a coyote, which is one of its worse enemies. It was only after several calls to the wildlife society and some researching on the internet did I realize that this was a gray fox and not a coyote. This one allowed me to take its picture at close range.
The gray fox can be distinguished from the coyote by its smaller size from 9-11 lbs. A coyote resembles a medium-sized dog with long slender legs and weighs between 15-25 lbs.
These foxes will never leave your home
This furry standing gray fox is begging to be hugged. Any animal lover will love stroking its life-like fur and keeping it as an indoor pet.
Let this realistic red fox guard your garden with its intense eyes and stunning colors. Extremely well-made of resin with a good weight to it to serve as a garden or door sentry.
Please do not disturb - It's siesta time!
I was advised by the wildlife society not to make my yard a welcome place for the gray foxes. There were many reasons for discouraging their presence. Foxes carry rabies and there may be a danger of getting bitten. They will also build their dens under the deck and have babies. Their presence in my backyard will deprive my indoor cat from taking her weekly walks in the garden.
The gray fox is related to the domestic dog and has the ability to climb trees. It has strong hooked claws which allows it to scramble up trees to escape from predators or look for food sources. I caught this one clambering up the six-foot fence and descending slowly backwards just like a housecat.
One fox is not enough - And then there were two
The lone gray fox visited for a month and then it brought along a mate. It seemed like it was checking out my place to make sure it was secure and safe for its companion. These two gray foxes seemed oblivious to the presence of humans. They ignored me as I watered the hanging plants along the trellis to the right of the bench they were resting on. These two visitors did not feel threatened or disturbed by my presence, but were a bit annoyed by the noise of my shoes on the deck as I walked back and forth to refill the watering can.
Gray foxes prefer rocky canyons and ridges, but can also be found in wooded areas, open desert and grasslands. Foxes make their dens in old hollow logs or trees, boulder piles, caves and mine shafts. These fall prey to coyotes, cougars,hawks,bobcats, and humans who kill them for their fur.
Checking out the accommodations - This bench will do.
These two gray foxes by no means appeared to be nocturnal creatures. They were on the deck every 2 p.m., like clockwork, lazing around and basking in the sun.
The gray fox is primarily nocturnal and and prefer to live in wooded areas. It is an omnivore which means it eats a lot of different things such as rabbits, birds, rodents, insects, fruits and nuts. If it has more food than it can eat, the fox will bury it and mark the spot with its urine so that it can find it when it is hungry.
Shy fox retreats to the garden. - Had enough of the noise I am making
After being roused from its restful sleep by the clatter of my garden clogs on the wooden deck, the gray fox reluctantly retreated to the garden. Ever so often it would stop and look to see if the intruder and noise-maker is gone.
Gray fox tracks show four toes and claws. Their tracks commonly run in straight lines, one print in front of the other.
Front and hind prints overlap each other and appear as one print. Only foxes and members of the cat family walk in this matter.
Fox running for cover in the garden.
The gray fox retreated to the garden, hid behind the long row of bushes, scaled the 6-ft. fence and disappeared into the neighbor's yard. This seemed to be the same path it took to come into my backyard.
In Many cultures, the fox appears in folklore as a symbol of cunning and trickery or as a familiar animal possesed with magic powers. The word "fox" or "foxy" have become slang in Western societies to mean a female with sex appeal. The word "vixen", which is normally the common name for a female fox, is also used to describe an attractive woman--although, in the case of humans, "vixen" tends to imply that the woman in question has a few nasty qualities. - from Wikipedia
How can one not love this face?
I have grown accustomed to her face.
Elegant foxy lady - A picture worth a thousand words
This photo of the gray fox was taken through the window from inside the house. It shows the overall salt and pepper coloration with hints of orange and a suggested stripe along the top of the back down to the end of the tail.
Gray foxes are monogamous and thought to mate for life. Most gray foxes breed and raise litters during their first year of life.
Did you know? - I bet you didn't.
A young baby of a gray fox is called a 'cub, kit or pup'. The females are called 'vixen' and males 'reynard, todd or dog'. A gray fox group is called a 'leash or skulk'.
The word shenanigan or mischief is derived from the Irish expression sionnachuighim, meaning "I play the fox."
The gray fox is the only member of the dog family that can climb trees. It can make its way through the tree tops by jumping from branch to branch or shimmying down backwards like a cat.
Foxy wearables from Amazon
Kids will have a blast wearing this foxy winter hat to keep their heads warm.
Friendly gray foxes in Central Florida
Do not miss this amazing blog by Sandra L. Russell
Do you know the differences between a gray fox and a coyote?
- Gray Fox (DesertUSA)
All about the Gray Fox, includes color photos, scientific names, common names, description, behavior, range, habitats and life cycle.
- Facts About Foxes
Foxes are best known as sly creatures; however, these are like any other animal in wild! Read some interesting facts about foxes and their relationship with man. Facts About Foxes.
- Coyote - Canis latrans - NatureWorks
The coyote has grayish-brown to yellowish-brown fur on top and whitish fur on its underparts. It has large triangular ears on the top of its head and a long, narrow muzzle. It has a black nose, yellow eyes and a long, bushy tail. One way to tell the
- Foxes in culture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is a great link to how foxes are portrayed in many cultures, movies, music, art, video games, card games and comics.
This 2003 Christmas ornament commemorates the year the foxes came to visit.
This lens was nominated and bestowed a Purple Star Award. Thank you my Squidoo friends. I am truly glad you enjoyed this lens.
Books about Foxes from Amazon
Jonathan London and Robert Sauber capture the emotion and life of this landscape and the creatures who inhabit it with strokes of pen and brush.
This book is definitely a must read and "go-to" book for hunting and fishing. The real life stories are heartwarming and sometimes humorous with threads of life wisdom by which to live interwoven into each story.