Our backyard is a special place because of the abundance of wildlife in our neck of the woods. I am extremely fortunate to witness a diversity of animal/bird species who wander through on a regular basis.
One of my favourite visitors is the lovely Red Fox, (Vulpes vulpes).
These solitary hunters are intelligent, opportunistic omnivores, about the size of a small to mid-sized dog, and they rather remind me of a cat because of the way they play with their food, tossing the soon to be meal, (voles & other rodents) in the air with abandon, just before ending this celebration to seriously chow down on their catch.
Like many of us humans, the red fox prefers a diverse habitat! For them, that includes farm fields, forests, the edge of thickets, and even urban settings, where like the racoon they also thrive. From my experience in a rural setting, they hunt in and out of these habitats, which describes our backyard, and is likely why I see them so often.
The adult red fox has a year-round coat of red that is absolutely striking to see in the winter, as you can see it here in contrast with snow.
Yes, there are some people who find satisfaction by wearing these beauties on their own backs. I’m not one of them and prefer to see the animal alive and well, in its own coat. Luckily, I don’t yet carry tomatoes & won’t pelt, (pardon the pun) fur wearing folk. However, I will offer an unequivical icy glare and judge you in a negative light. But, I digress…
Foxes are shy animals. They’re mainly nocturnal, but occasionally one will see these non-aggressive creatures during the day. If you see a fox during the day, it doesn’t mean that they are diseased with rabies or mange, though that can be the case. It more likely it means food may be more available for them during daylight hours in their respective environment.
If you’re interested in animal lore and totem animals like I am, there is a phenomenal amount of information available, making the fox an interesting subject to read about in many folkloric and mythic tales.
Consider the term “to outfox“, which means “to beat in a competition of wits”, similarly to “outguess”, “outsmart”, and “outwit”. If you consider Aesop’s Fables from classical antiquity to Beatrix Potter‘s anthropomorpic stories, there are numerous stories involving a fox in popular culture throughout history.
Within the spiritual realm, they’re considered figures of cunning or trickery, or as a familiar animal possessed of magic powers and transformation.
As for having the lovely fox as a totem animal, it suits me well.
According to many who’ve interpreted the fox as a totem animal messanger, a fox will communicate its presence in order to offer the advice that you should think outside of the box. They also show us how to focus on our goals, and to use our creativity in our approach to current circumstances.
My feeling is that the fox encourages us to be aware of our own habits, (good or bad), adapt to our environment using all of our resources, and that we should refrain from certain distractions that may lead us off course when we want to realize a goal.
In any case, the Red Fox is a wonderful creature and participant in the planet’s food chain. They’re an animal that deserves our respect, and it is a real gift to see them in nature.
2 thoughts on “The Red Fox – A fabulous forest-lurker, neighbour, and totem animal.”
This year at the barn where my horse lives there was a fox with three babies ( do they call hem kits?) The mother and babies did well and theywere not bothered by the horses but were very wary of dogs and would hide in the culvert when dogs came by.
How wonderful, Anne! And yes, I do think they call them kits. Adorable.. I imagine they’d be wary of dogs, but also, that barn will not be overrun with rodents with a fox family in residence, either!
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