Saturday, September 5, 2009


When I go on vacation, the ultimate goal of every one is to see wildlife. Sure, nice scenery is great, and I do try to pick locations where it's pretty, but for me, it's all about what I see in the field.

The immense disappointment of never seeing a moose in the wild, in all my trips Up North, weighs heavily on me, though I kid and say that moose don't really exist and they're all a myth perpetuated by people to get visitors up by them.

Another elusive creature that is indigenous not only to the places I go on vacation, but also in my home area, is the fox, and I have merely caught a glimpse of a fox on three separate occasions in my entire life. It's been one of those animals I've dreamed of having some kind of encounter with for decades, and B.E. feels the same. Particularly since he's only caught a glimpse once. My other two occasions included a lone trip to the forest preserve by my house where I saw one way off in the distance on a hill, very briefly, and the other was in Michigan, but I foolishly pointed forward and yelled, "FOX!" while I was looking in my rearview mirror, and poor B.E. lunged forward looking ahead of us, though I'd been pointing to the rearview mirror and it was actually behind us. Oops.

Two weeks ago, I started my staycation with B.E., and we went many places around here, including a trip to the marina in Winthrop Harbor, near the Illinois/Wisconsin border. I hadn't been there in a long time, but we were in the area for the annual powwow, and we both do love watching the boats and the water, so it was a natural choice.

We drove around the parking areas looking for the perfect place to park, and as we were exiting the main area, I slammed on my brakes and screamed. There she was, in broad daylight, trying to catch a butterfly: a fox.

One of the local patrolmen was behind me and he approached my car window as we started snapping pictures like crazy. He explained she lives down by the rocks and has for many years. Apparently it's good fishing for her. She's had a few litters (?) over the years and has two pups she's raising right now.

Altogether now: awwwwwwwwwwwww!

Isn't she gorgeous?

I barked at B.E. to get out of the car and approach on foot and I'd turn the car around, which he did. Unfortunately, this spooked her and she froze, on high alert.

Then she took off into the woods.


But glee over having seen her to begin with.

We were so exasperated over our fox encounter, it was hard to contain ourselves, but we set back to finding a parking spot where we could have our lunch and enjoy the afternoon. We chose a spot on the north side of the marina, which is a desolate place. There we started munching on our goodies when all of a sudden the fox appeared on the beach and she walked right to my car!

Maybe she was checking us out. Maybe she was hoping for some scraps of food. I don't know. She sauntered near the car briefly, looking completely adorable and snuggly, and I kept trying to figure out how to coax her into the car so I could pet her.

She didn't stick around for long, but she did throw us a parting glance and then shot off into the wilder areas, where we watched her trying to catch something in the tall grass.

And so now my life is more complete.


Shy said...


If you haven't seen it, you might enjoy watching The Fox and the Child:

Leelu said...