Friday, 3 February 2012

Tracking a fox

I mentioned in an earlier post about our long walk to the mailbox. Needless to say I’m not the one who fetches the mail twice a day but the other day I had to go half way to see the curious winding tracks my husband noticed in the snow.

There is a field stretching several hundred metres on both sides of our small country road. A set of fresh tracks led through the plane of untouched snow towards the road and continued to the other side disappearing in the distance.

We knew a fox would leave these string-of-pearls kinds of tracks that are also typically winding like you can see in the horizontal photos. (It was so cold and bright outside I took the photos very hastily and only noticed the serpentine properly when looking at them later.) But we were wondering about the other track dragging steadily beside the main one.

It must have been a fox carrying a prey large enough to leave the adjacent mark in the snow when hanging from his mouth but light enough to be hauled away quite a passage. We thought it may have been a rabbit. There certainly are plenty of those crisscrossing in and around people’s yards and gardens in the night time around here.

Having spent my childhood in the country, I’ve considered myself a country girl. However, I always lived in a village community – and never in a farm – so I never saw half as many wild animals in my life as I have spotted during my years in this house in the ‘hinterland’ only some 40 kilometres inland from downtown Helsinki.

Even if we didn’t see the fox this time it is comforting to know there still are places like this on Earth where civilization, although close by, hasnt wiped out nature.

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