Brambles and Blow-downs and Baby Beeches

Street LampAn inevitable condition of my age and gender coupled with a full life has left me too exhausted for romps in the woods for the last month. Today, I have a bit of time and a bit of energy.

I leave before sun-up, which isn’t very early at this time of year. Even if there were sun, the clouds are thick and gray, threatening rain and allowing very little light to reach me. I take the camera anyway.

Lolli is delighted that last night’s promise of a romp in the woods was not idle chat.

It doesn’t seem like it was THAT long ago that I walked this trail.  Wild things grow fast.  I adopt a strange gait using the outside of my boot in an attempt to crush down the brambles that tear at my gloves and scratch my legs through the thin denim of my old jeans.


In my effort to avoid brambles, I wander off the old trail where I must lift my heavy-clad feet high over blown down tree trunks and branches.


I find myself temporarily lost – a giant towering over a new forest of baby beeches…

Baby Beeches

The exursion makes me realize I have dressed in too many layers… and I can’t unzip my jacket, because it protects the camera.  I take off my hat and enjoy the sensation of near freezing raindrops on the top of my head and on my flushed cheeks.  I take off my gloves and stuff them in my pocket.

Lolli walks randomly, weaving this way and that with nose to the ground, sniffing here, there, everywhere.  A rustling off the trail causes her ears to perk up and she is gone – purposefully bounding toward… whatever it was…  I wonder what she would do if she ever caught up with her quarry?

What’s that flash of white on the right side of the trail up there?  Deer?  No.  Too low to the ground.  Lolli sees it, too, and makes chase.

It turns, crosses back over the trail and runs off into the woods on the left.  Not quite as tall as Lolli, the fur is the color of the downed beech and oak leaves… but the tip of the tail is bright white.  Red Fox.

I wonder how long I’ll be waiting for Lolli to return… and what she’ll smell like when she does…  But she doesn’t keep me waiting long… and she smells just fine.

I don’t see foxes very frequently and I always feel quite honored when I do.  This the second time I’ve seen Red Fox in these woods.

(I don’t have a fox photo and I hope that Flickr contact Églantine doesn’t mind that I borrowed hers.)

5 thoughts on “Brambles and Blow-downs and Baby Beeches

  1. I don’t think that should be a problem. I have never seen a fox yet. Coyote yes, but fox and wolf no. Such noble animals. You can definitely see the family resemblence. No wonder early man chose dogs as companions.

  2. Hi WinterWoman,

    I’m pleased that you used one of my fox images (thanks for the link back to my photostream), and that you had a fox encounter. I know of the feeling of being honoured.


  3. How lucky you got to see a fox! Mr. Johnson saw 2 kits from his deerstand a couple weeks ago, but I haven’t seen any yet this fall. They are my favorite woodland animal!

  4. I go off-trail at times, too, but I always wonder if I’m doing something bad by not sticking to the trail. Half of me figures that the deer aren’t following the trails, and I’m only following their trails, but the other have realizes that I am disturbing the undergrowth and whatever is living there. I’m still not sure if going off trail – particularly in search of a picture – makes me a bad person or not.

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