Yesterday I was surprised to find a Red Fox in a Wasatch Mountain Canyon, it is only my second time seeing a fox in that canyon and the last time wasn’t that long ago. I think this might be the most beautiful fox I have ever seen other than the time I saw a silver colored fox as a child while wandering through the tank trails on a small U.S. military base in Germany.
Red Fox in a mountain canyon – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I don’t know if this Red Fox is an adult or if it is a kit that was born this year but the fur of this fox looked like it was without a flaw. When I first saw it it was well… depositing nutrients onto the grasses but it soon stopped and looked up towards the road. I do wish the fox had been closer so I could have shown far more detail in its fur but I was happy to see and photograph it anyway.
Red Fox walking through tall grasses – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
It didn’t take long for the fox to move away from my view because foxes can be quite wary of humans, they are hunted and trapped in this state for their fur. It is my opinion and that of many other sensible people that their coats belong on the foxes not on us.
I remember my encounter with that silver fox in Germany as if it happened today, I was enjoying a walk in the tall grasses and when I looked up the fox was in my path about ten feet away from where I stood. The fox and I both looked at each other in the eyes for what to me as a child seemed to be a very long time. I like to think that the fox was as curious about me as I was about it. Then with a flick of its tail it turned and disappeared into the tall grasses and I was left feeling that something magical had just occurred.
Life is good.
Red Fox facts and information:
- Red Foxes are generally rusty red above with dark legs, whitish underparts with long bushy tails. They are also found in other colors including black, silver, cross and also white.
- Red Foxes are found throughout most of the U.S. and Canada. They are found in varied habitats including brushlands, grasslands, wooded areas and in urban areas as well.
- European Foxes were introduced in the 1800’s for the purpose of hunting them and some people believe because of the introductions that Red Foxes aren’t native. That is incorrect, Red Fox fossils dating back 400,000 years have been found in North America and genetic research studies have shown an absence of European fox haplotypes in any North American population.
- Red Foxes have varied diets and will eat fruits, acorns, corn, grasses, birds, small mammals, invertebrates including grasshoppers, caterpillars and even crayfish.
- Red Foxes are primarily shy and nocturnal animals but they can be seen at dawn and dusk.
- Red Foxes have between 4 to 6 kits in the early spring.
- In captivity Red Foxes can live to be 15 years old, in the wild they live to be about 5 years old.