The fall season is an incredible time to take in more local enjoyments. I wrote last week about the travel itch returning, and it remains, but with leaves falling and a good bit of warmth still in the air, home is a nice place to wander. And amazing things do happen right in our own front yards . . .
Fox sightings were once a regular occurrence around our neighborhood. While we played beanbag toss with a large group of our friends last summer, one fox sat on the neighbor’s lawn across the street, watching the entire corn hole competition before going out for his evening hunt. And one night as we headed out to dinner, not one, but four foxes roamed our street. We haven’t seen them much lately, and I wonder if they’ve moved on or met a worse fate.
So when I walked to my car one morning headed for work, I was glad to see two foxes sitting under the oak tree next door. As usual, they didn’t act surprised or startled to see me, they remained lying down, ears erect, eyes alert, observing my moves and keeping watch on the neighborhood.
I sat down in my car and decided to watch them for a moment. It didn’t take long for one to stand-up, stretch his legs and head down the alley where I assume their den awaits them. The second fox, the one that appears most in the yard, followed suit not a minute later. But instead of walking down the alley he came straight at my Ford Focus and disappeared for a moment behind the front of my car; I thought for sure that he hid underneath. And then in that moment he appeared on the hood of my car.
I smiled to myself as I couldn’t remember any time in my life when I came that close to such a beautiful creature. He stepped closer. And then another step. And then his nose pressed firmly against my windshield. He looked straight at me, most certainly smiling, before he took a few more steps up my windshield onto the roof.
He walked around up there for a few moments, making sure that I knew he was king. I watched out the back window, figuring he would jump down and continue on his way home. The pitter-patter of his paws redirected my attention to the windshield. His descent ended at the bottom of the windshield where he stopped and sat down.
He remained perched in that little nook where the glass meets the metal, his back to me, proudly looking around his neighborhood.