Cheeky Red Fox – Often maligned, they’re not so different from us!

Looking out the kitchen window this morning, I spotted several turkeys in the yard running up the hill. It was then I saw what they were running from. A lone fox on their tail!

She didn’t have a hope in hell of catching one, though I give her points for trying! Everyone has to eat.

The birds are bigger than her, and can be pretty vicious if need be. They have big claws used for digging, and can peck like a hammer drill.

Turkey in our yard

Contrary to what many think, (remember that WKRP in Cincinati episode where turkeys dropped like wet bags of cement?), turkeys can fly. They would have taken to the trees if they thought that vixen was a real threat.

The turkeys roost in the trees up that hill overnight for protection against any predators. I see them out all the time, walking down our road and through around our property like families do, a group out for a stroll. 🙂

What I don’t see often enough these days are foxes. The few I’ve seen, with the exception of this very healthy looking lady, have contracted mange, which I suspect has to do with their low numbers in this area.

As a gardener, I’ve noted the rise in number of mice, voles, and chipmunks this past year around our property. I imagine the tide will turn again, and when it does, foxes will have plenty to eat.

Red foxes feature prominently in folklore and mythology. In Greek mythology, the Teumessian fox was a described as a gigantic fox destined never to be caught.

In Celtic mythology a red fox is a symbolic animal and a shape-shifter. Some folklore in England states how witches were thought to take their shape to steal butter from their neighbours.

In European folklore, the figure of Reynard the Fox symbolises trickery and deceit. Many of Reynard’s adventures may stem from actual observations on fox behaviour; he is an enemy of the wolf and has a fondness for blackberries and grapes.

Chinese folk tales tell of fox-spirits called huli jing that have nine tails. They’re known as kumiho in Korea, and Japanese mythology offers the kitsune, a fox-like spirit possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom.

The cunning Fox is commonly found in Native American mythology. It’s portrayed as a companion to Coyotes. Fox, however, is a deceitful companion that often steals Coyote’s food.

In light of all the folklore and myth surrounding these experts at survival, except in today’s case of my friend vixen thinking she could take down a turkey, it seems to me, we humans have been projecting our fears on to foxes and other animals since time began.

Perhaps in the case of a fox, that’s because humans share many of its traits….

Afterall, they’re creatures who seek food, shelter, and want to survive, thrive, and take care of their families, just like us!

I can’t fault them for that. 🙂

Flower Language – the art of communication in a time of social distancing

Lily-of-the-valley

Within the context of the current chaos we face around the world, social distancing will likely be the way we communicate, at least for now, until this virus abates and is eradicated.

There are many ways we communicate. Along with speaking directly to one another, we have email, texting, social media, and even photography. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Hellebore

With respect to the thought of being isolated for the next while, I’d like to point out how nature and gardens have been a refuge for many in anxious times. Certainly they have been for me.

Further to the point of communicating, I’d like to touch on the language of flowers. 

This form of connecting with one another was popular during the Victorian era, but actually goes back much further in time.

People have been using flowers as a way to convey an idea or a message  for thousands of years.

Through a gift of single blossom, the person on the receiving end of that floral gift would know exactly what the sender was trying convey. Flowers have a vocabulary all their own.

Tulip – Friendship & Gratitude

Every flower has its own distinct meaning, so any requirement of a verbal or written message would not be required.

So, I’m sharing some of my favourite flowers and their meanings here that relate to the times we currently find ourselves in.

Daffodil – Rebirth & New beginnings

It’s my hope to offer a little optimism, and encourage some positive thinking, and perhaps even a little less anxiety for the near future.

We’ll get through it together, only separately! 😉

 

Stay well everyone and keep in touch.

Rosemary for remembrance – Illustration by Walter Crane, Public domain

 

A nest waiting for Robins

We still have a lot of snow, but it’s almost mid-March, and thankfully it’s starting to melt. 🙂

With the glorious weather we’re experiencing, I thought I’d snap a few photos of a nest a pair of Robins built last year.

It’s in the hydrangea bush along our front porch, and once the foliage grows, you can’t even tell the nest or the robins are there, except when they fly back and forth with food for their babies.

I do hope when the Robins return, which should be in a few weeks depending on the weather, they’ll reclaim the nest and take up residence so I can enjoy watching them once again.

 

An Owl on the prowl – Bird watching on #WildlifeWednesday

We were lucky to see this magnificent Barred Owl, yesterday.

It was sitting on the fence, keeping a keen eye on several Ravens, Crows, and Blue Jays who began to gather in the tree above. They were all squawking furiously at him!🦉

Apparently, Corvids don’t like Owls very much, and after witnessing this, I imagine the feeling is mutual.

It’s lucky for me they don’t like one another!

If they weren’t squawking at the owl, I wouldn’t have known it was there. 🙂

Barred Owl

 

Flowering Friday – thoughts on companion plants

                               Hosta & Astilbe love shade

A garden is the perfect companion for us, just as certain plants are for each other. 🙂

Some of my favourites include:

  • Basil & Tomatoes
  • Corn, Beans, & Squash
  • Leeks & Carrots
  • Borage & Tomatoes
  • Dill & Lettuce
  • Flax & Potatoes
  • Lavender & Thyme
  • Oregano & Peppers
  • Wormwood & Sedum
  • Lemon balm & bee balm
  • Hosta & Astilbe (see photo)

Wormwood & Sedum

What are some of your favourite flower, vegetable, or herbal combinations?

Happy Friday, everyone!