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…
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.)