The Fox’s Crossing

A fox crossed my path this week.

November brings rain and nights that come early, and Khamsin’s walks are dark. The nocturnal landscape loses its subtlety under cloudy skies – in the woods the owls cry, and in the streets the fireworks glitter.


A small vixen limped out of a garden and crossed the pavement ahead of me, silhouette against the street lights, thick brush and short legs. She froze motionless in the road, staring at me, and I ran towards her, scaring away from the danger zone.

I’ve seen her before; she visits my parents’ garden most nights, but she’s not proving easy to photograph. I snatched this record shot half an hour ago.

red fox in garden

I’d call her a true North Downs fox. Like the people here, she travels between the built environment and the wild spaces of the Surrey Hills, gaining from both, tested by both. She is not an urban fox; she may spend part of her nights in gardens, but the rest will be hunting in the copses, catching bank voles and hiding scraps against magpies.

Crossing paths can be challenging, for both wildlife and us. But usually it is rewarding, a small glimpse into a world that we can never fully know.

I’ll try to get a better photo of her tomorrow.

About Adele Brand

UEA Ecology grad, typically sighted in the company of a tall graceful Belgian shephard dog and often trying to carrying a big camera around. Dislikes urban habitat but is comfortable in either prairie or mountain biomes. Frequently watching, or being watched by, foxes.
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11 Responses to The Fox’s Crossing

  1. Jill says:

    You do write most beautifully Adele. Any book on the horizon yet?

    • Adele Brand says:

      Hi Jill, I hope so! 🙂 I’ve got quite a few projects which are still work-in-progress. I’d like to get at least one of them to a publisher next year, but we’ll see, I guess.

  2. Robin says:

    Adele, looking forward to your next shot!! I guess this time of year is a night animals best time. Lots of night for everyone!

  3. meqanic says:

    Quote: “Like the people here, she travels between the built environment and the wild spaces of the Surrey Hills, gaining from both, tested by both. ”

    I like that. Can easily relate to that 🙂

    Great post Adele. Very poetic

  4. permuted says:

    Nice fireworks! So you have limping foxes as well. She’s looking very healthy though.

    • Adele Brand says:

      Yes, she’s doing well enough, but this is clearly more than a ‘normal’ fox limp. I suspect she broke that leg at some point and it didn’t heal up correctly. I hope it’s not causing her too much discomfort.

  5. killjoke says:

    My small army of hedgehogs have all gone to sleep by now. I saw the last one awake (an old female) scurrying about in my strawberries two nights ago, but I have seen neither of them since.

    This November has been particularly wet, I think. And with that storm a few weeks ago, I think we’ve had our share of Autumn. I’m ready for Winter.

    • Adele Brand says:

      I hope they’re sleeping soundly for the winter.

      I would certainly like a crisp frosty winter. This morning was lovely, with the frost and colours in the trees, but they’re forecasting yet more rain.

      • killjoke says:

        We’ve got several piles of twigs, sticks and branches lying around in the back garden. Plenty of potential hibernation dwellings. I like the hedgehogs. They eat the slugs. They are my friends.

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