Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fox on Woodley Street

This evening as I drove east on Woodley between Winona and Maple, a small fox that in the twilight looked grayish, but with a reddish, black-edged tail, trotted across the street in front of me. Based on this mix of coloring, I think it was a gray fox, like the one in this public domain photo from the USFWS. I'd heard of a family of foxes frequenting backyards on Prairie Street earlier this summer, but I've only once before seen a live fox. At first I thought it was probably a cat, but there was something in the set of its tail and ears that made me wonder, even from a distance. After it had crossed, it stopped and looked back at the street, allowing me to be sure of what I had seen. Cool!

I was suprised to learn that gray foxes can climb trees. This public domain photo is from the Illinois DNR. Their suggested caption reads:
Gray foxes are the only North American canines that climb trees. Gray foxes have been found in squirrel nests and abandoned hawk nests up to 60 feet above the ground.

1 comment:

Mary S. said...

Penny: Yesterday I was driving along Hall Avenue about noon when a gray fox ran across the road. It looked like the fox you have pictured. The fox had a loping walk, almost like hopping, and then he ducked into the upper arb. I was surprised to see a fox out at that time of day, since I'd always thought of them as nocturnal. (Though admittedly, my knowledge of foxes comes mostly from reading "The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck.") Apparently Northfield is a favorable spot for gray foxes.