Sunday, 10 January 2010

that sly, bold reynardine

As I write it would seem that the snow has decided to leave almost as quietly as it came. I say that because at some point during the night - 5:30 in the morning to be precise - something went bump in the night. We can only presume it to be snow falling en masse from a roof - possibly ours. Obviously I jumped up straight away to find out what it was - the last time it happened, a few years ago now, it was a ceiling giving up the ghost after a 100 years in the bedroom next to ours. But first, obviously I looked out onto the street below our bedroom window. Nothing obvious to see but I saw Mr Fox running nonchalantly down our street, leaving his (or her) prints in the snow. Footprints in virgin snow, indeed.

I'm always excited when I see a live fox. I often DO see urban foxes running around and I'm sure they used to enjoy opening our rubbish bags in the back garden before the council decided we all needed industrial-sized lidded skips to keep our waste in. But, like most people, the commonest sighting of foxes is as a pile of fast food for crows by the A14. Unfortunately the foxes will not be enjoying the snow as it will be difficult to find food. It was still a huge thrill for me though.
Still, as I said, the snow is melting so unless there is a huge freak snowstorm during the night, I will be wending my weary way to work tomorrow. I guess I'd better have an early night, then.

The picture is of our street earlier, so no fox.

Sun and dark she followed him,
His teeth did brightly shine,

And he led her up a-the mountains,

Did that sly, bold Reynardine.


Mike C. said...

I think you're right about the bin bags. Our local "urban fox" population declined immediately after the introduction of wheelie bins a few years ago.

I remember back in 1994, on the night our daughter was born, counting 30 or more foxes in the car headlights as I drove our son a mere mile across town to spend the night with friends. They were checking out the bin bags dumped in heaps next to the kerb (the foxes, not our friends).

Dave Leeke said...

I love the fact that foxes survive no matter what. As mentioned, I see them reasonably regularly unlike badgers which are always roadkill.

By the way, Mike, given your interest in wildlife - particularly crows - have you read Mark Cocker's "Crow Country"? I read that the other year whilst recovering from a skiing accident (double break to shoulder. At my age!)and thoroughly recommend it to any vaguely interested fellow traveller.

Mike C. said...

I have "Crow Country" in my post-Christmas pile -- I'll move it nearer the top.


Dave Leeke said...

While you're at it:

Nature Cure - Richard Mabey
The Wild Places - Robert MacFarlane
Wildwood - Roger Deakin
The Peregrine - J A Baker

And, because Mike, you're a poet at heart:

Findings - Kathleen James

Fancy! An English teacher that doesn't read fiction.

Enjoy. . .

Mike C. said...


already ticked Nature Cure and Wildwood (plus Waterlog) -- don't get me started on mutual book recommendations or there'll be no end to it... Apparently, house moving firms hate moving teachers, librarians and similar trades more than anyone -- all those books.

Oh, all right, just the one. I expect you already know it, but for images of the unsentimental British landscape Fay Godwin's "Land" is hard to beat.


Dave Leeke said...

Actually, I don't know Godwin's "Land" but I'll definitely look it up.

I agree about book recommendations, so no more! And after saying I don't read fiction I've just started Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War" Omnibus, so that will keep me busy for a long time (Er, that's not a recommendation).