Diesel-Powered Fox

It’s late. I nearly fell asleep on the train home from Bristol. Miles and miles of blackness out the window – fields grazed by exotic livestock, woodlands sheltering escaped garden plants, and a sprinkling of lights, indicating where the human touch changes from the subtle to the absolute. The station staff don’t seem too wakeful either, while the car needs diesel. So it pauses in the petrol station – I’m still calling them gas stations after so many journeys in Sask – and varies the tarmac universe with a little metal and rubber.

There’s a fox there.

He saunters across the forecourt, sniffs at the shop door, and trots off into the night. I don’t usually post photos of half a fox, but I was glad to catch any record.

Petrol station fox

Anyone who writes about foxes will write about adaptability. They’re indivisible. But it may work in more ways than we know. Foxes can thrive in artifical environments, eating fast food chicken and sunbathing on greenhouses, but do they survive unchanged? Wild species are whittled by so much – competition with their own kind and natural rivals, the demands of catching prey that doesn’t want to be caught, and escaping enemies and disease. Humans have fundamentally altered the UK’s ecosystems. Even in the countryside, a fox constantly interacts with human modifications, from fences to sheep dip. The only way we can measure if these change foxes is through a control population subject to purely natural pressures, and there’s no looking for that here.

Still, the Surrey Hills – one of the wilder parts of the south-east – remain much used by foxes. I found male lurking in the grass in the meadows this afternoon, apparently hoping that I hadn’t seen him.

fox in meadow 131201

The deer didn’t seem to mind if they were watched at all. I was glad to see them away from the fence, however.

roe deer 131201

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 Diesel-Powered Fox

  1. Darko says:

    I am so sorry that we don’t have foxes over here in BC. With all wildlife diversity it is amazing that foxes are not among them.
    Or… they’ve just found the way to stay hidden :left:

  2. meqanic says:

    I hope our national parks in my country give the foxes some Peace of mind. Our town foxes are becoming like seagulls or Loose dogs!

    • Adele Brand says:

      Modern European fox…knows how to live in both town and country πŸ™‚ I wonder if foxes view gulls as rivals – after all, they scavenge on the same leftovers! πŸ™‚

  3. thomasgable says:

    Haha this is a great photo of a fox…usually all you see of them it seems!

    • Adele Brand says:

      I guess it conveys the mood of a fox on a mission! They usually seem to me that they’re busy with something important. You’ve got a great blog, by the way! πŸ™‚

  4. wybauwerwin says:

    Great post Adele do have a nice day also beautiful Pict

  5. Words says:

    Nice to see the deer are still around, and to see the photographers favourite of a half-fox. I have silly amounts of those.

  6. Robin says:

    Adele, sad to say, I’ve never seen a fox in B.C. I guess they are nothing if not resourceful!

  7. Serola says:

    That half a fox shot is actually quite funny and cool 😎

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