Thursday, May 13, 2010

Morning Neighbors

I love spring in the Texas Hill Country, before the summer air sears bloom and fruit.

I was a little late getting the bird seed out one morning this week.  We were a little late the night before too...forgetting to bring in the hanging feeders.  Removal is our raccoon defense.  They sneak up at night like party crashers to a buffet, leaving the feeders  empty on the ground.

So I was happy to look out back in the morning and see the feeders still hanging.  I hummed as I walked across the porch and turned on the faucet to run water for the bird-bath.  Until a movement across the path caught my eye.

Fox, frozen in the wild area amid the dewberry vines, staring into my eyes.  

He glanced down, a nod almost, at the sweet ripe fruit.  Then back up at me.  Breakfast or safety?

My watering can overflowed on my feet, my hand jumped to the faucet, Fox leaped to the path. Around the corner and out of sight.

Drama before coffee.

Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott ,for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. Thank-you for this. We have foxes and dewberries and raccoons too but not so much in my yard. Well, the coons, sure. And dewberries, yes. And maybe foxes but if so, they are too smart and shy to show themselves to me. Sometimes I see them on my walk though, that quick flash of tail speeding across the path in front of me, disappearing into the woods like a shadow.

  2. Great story.

    A few weeks ago I interrupted a coyote on one of my strolls into the bush behind a school where my daughter was at a sports event. It was so much larger than I would have expected.

    It's a little alarming, the unexpected critters.

  3. You had your watering can in one hand and your camera in the other? Thats what I call ambidextrous multitasking!

  4. Almost too much excitement for before breakfast!

  5. Wily raccoon, quick fox and dewberries for breakfast! Sounds like a fun bunch for brunch. x0 N2

  6. You had an exciting morning Kathleen! I had my own encounter with a raccoon this yesterday morning. I don't leave feeders out either, for the same reason you don't. What I do instead is to sprinkle the seed along the top rail of our fence each morning. As I did so yesterday morning, I heard a noise in the dark and as my eyes adjusted I realized there was a raccoon right there, reaching his paw out to pick up the seed I had just put out. He even stayed around while I went inside and grabbed my camera. I put a photo on my blog.

  7. Great story, Kathleen. I love foxes. I'm too in-town to see them anymore though.

    You and Denny have a great weekend.



  8. You have a regular Wild Kingdom going on around your place. What a lovely start to a day though....

    I think it is nice to share spaces but wish the raccoons were a little less comfy around humans, honestly. Our just west of town foxes are fairly shy, I've only seen them trotting purposefully across the roads at dusk so far.

  9. Ah, such beauty where you live. Right now, I am doing battle with deer and rabbits eating my newly sprouted plants (in woodsy Michigan). But no foxes in sight. Great photos!


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