Ever have one of those moments where there is a delay in your brain processing what your seeing?
The other afternoon I let the dogs out and when I peeked out to see what what they were up to (because it's usually no good!) I FREAKED OUT seeing this streak of orange walking towards the yard. My brain registered it as Rookie....my orange tiger cat! (the cats of which are not allowed outside to become coyote food!) Luckily the synapses connected properly before I went dashing outside to grab him and the fact that it was one of my resident foxes registered. Whew...heart attack over!
He or she (not sure which of my pair it was) was just inside the wood line heading toward the back yard. Then it noticed my 3 goofballs running around out there. Surprisingly it didn't react to them like it does when it sees me, by darting off into the woods! He stopped and watched, contemplated the threat level, then changed course slightly to maneuver around them. Quite relaxed, he trotted along maybe 30 feet away from them, occasionally stopping to confirm there was still no threat. Marly and Bernard either never saw him or just didn't care. Boo boo saw him and was interested enough to trot over towards the woods and watch, but that was the extent of it. (There is a path back in there where people walk their dogs so they are pretty used to watching other animals go by, and very good about watching with interest but staying put where they belong!)
The fox was so relaxed, in fact, that I had time to go grab my camera and watch as he came up along the driveway.... ....and rustled up some grub. Don't know what he got, but he sure enjoyed it!
He continued to investigate the area (one he's very familiar with, I see their prints all over my driveway and yard all the time!) and I watched until he finally wandered out of sight.
I ran into one of the little stinkers the other night too. Worked a late shift and driving down the driveway around 2:30 am I encounter a little moving pile of snow! Then the pile turned to face me and I realized it wasn't snow after all. The little fella turned and slowly walked away from me, right down the driveway where I needed to go. So I'm rolling along behind him, EVER SO SLOWLY, thinking it's gonna be a while before I get to the end at this pace! (I have a very long driveway!) One more glance back by stinky gets me an annoyed look, as if to say "Why are you still following me!?" He decides screw this! and climbs the snowbank along the side of the driveway and slowly waddles into the woods.
Temperatures switching back and forth between warm and cold have melted a lot of snow and made the remainder a lot easier to walk on top of now...at least for most of the animals out there. Many, like the skunks and coonies, are taking advantage of it while they can to forage.
The fox and coyote I can say where not dissuaded by this winter's weather at all out here! I have regularly seen the fox pair out there and almost as regularly heard the coyote yipping away....usually right outside my window and usually at some ungodly hour like 3am!