“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox.
“But you must not forget it.
You become responsible, forever,
For what you have tamed.”
– Antoine de Saint Exupery
Gray Fox arrived to the walled garden as a delicious secret. Appearing unexpected and for the first time at the townhouse, for cover the sparseness of the desert willow saplings. More prancing movement than form-along the late afternoon shadow-for the length of hedge. Through the cover of the willows again. In a quick graceful leap Gray Fox is atop the vine sheltered corner where garden walls meet, takes a good look about and then curls up nicely in repose. She has a full view of the garden, and a quick vanish option by simply slipping over to the other side and gone. She has a full view of me.
An estimate would be that Gray Fox is about two feet in length with a tail to match that two full feet, fifteen pounds, and appears to me a young adult. A full healthy coat of thick fur which runs from gray to rust to white with black accents and trim. Golden eyes that stare deep.
Gray Fox will mate, somewhere between January and April in the Southwestern United States, often birthing a half dozen pups. Her mate and her stay together for the romance through the rearing of the pups, with shared responsibilities. Pups are weaned at three months, taught and able to hunt on their own at four months, and leave their parents in the autumn of the year. Gray Fox and her mate may or not seek out and choose each other to mate and rear offspring again, their average lifespan being six to eight years. Gray Fox’s extended family is scattered far and near, not a red alert threat for extinction, but there are often serious concerns due to habitat loss, poor quality habitat, food sources, disease, parasites. Some diseases and parasites being contagious to other species. Being caught out and killed by humans, bobcats, golden eagles, great horned owls is possible for Gray Fox.
Gray Fox eats rodents, insects, fruits, vegetables, and birds. Rabbits are a favorite as are grasshoppers and crickets currently bountiful. It’s important not to habituate them to humans by feeding, they are wild things best left wild.
Gray Fox is secretive, nocturnal, moves about mainly at dawn and dusk, avoids confrontation, is excellent at camouflage, tree climbing, and if forced capable of a good winning fight.
Gray Fox has showed up throughout my life, observed and gone dozens of times and places. On a Cottage Roof along Pamlico River, high above in a Pine in deep Oregon woods, a chicken coop in New Jersey, Heart Island as a child. Never tame or taming, the periodic and fleeting visits always honored as a gift. A pattern and portent of coming change and transformation observed.
In 1997 my dear friend Bonnie gifted me with the book , Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. Ted Andrews wrote in seductive and beautiful words of the mythological, metaphysical, mystical, historical, shaman, and spiritual realm connection of critters. Basically the belief is that species appear to individuals with signs and messages. By observing their behavior and attributes, and the careful consideration of circumstances in life when they show up, they are designated as an individual’s totem. Having Gray Fox as a totem is overflowing with mystery and magic. Who wouldn’t want to embrace the fun of life charged up on Feminine Magic, Shape-shifting, Cunning, Big Transition, Supernatural Power, Freeing of the Creative Force, and the ability to dwell ‘Between Worlds’ – ‘Mix this Sedona Speak with my preexisting science background, and lifetime wanderlust it can surely make for a fairly exhilarating day. I do believe I choose Shape-shifting, Feminine Strength, and Camouflage as my choice of prancing through this season of holidays with calm, safety, and joy.
Over the years I have been told and read many stories about Gray Fox. Of the Choctaw Tribe who believe Gray Fox is the protector of the family, the Apache story of Gray Fox stealing the fire from the sun and gifting it to humans.
Acknowledging the message from Gray Fox of possible big upcoming transformation, I encourage Gray Fox take a quick exit back to Coconino National Forest that borders this Planned Unit Development where humans may not see magic transformation in progress in sighting that big bushy tail.
In response to WordPress Photo Challenge: Transformation
A safe and joyful holiday season to each and everyone. I send a heart filled with gratitude for your kind words, support, insightful smart websites, shared lives, and feeling of community that we have shared throughout the year.
Gray Fox : Order: Carnivora Family: Canidae