Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Little Red Fox





Sly... Shy... Cunning...

Dusk to dawn goes Hunting...

During the day, sleeps under a root...

If the farmers catch him.... Red might get the Boot!






Fox and Geese quilt patterns ... Fables... Fairy tales.... and Nursery Rhymes all recognize the nature of this little creature... The Fox and the Grapes... the whiskered gentleman that taunted Jemima Puddle-Duck...

Brier Fox... Old Reynard... characters familiar from childhood stories...


The classic image of a fox running away with his large bushy tail outstretched behind him... with a chicken in his mouth is emblazoned in our mind... Only doing what a little fellow who lives in the woods has to do... Go out and search for his supper...

Most of the time though we observe them hunting in the field for mice ... slipping silently along the edge of the trees bordering the field...



Once as we watched out an east window at dusk... two young foxes came out and played in the grass with a charred stick from our firepit... chasing each other round and round... wrestling for it... hiding in the grass... pouncing... stealing it back and forth... guarding it...
....watching them was no different than watching two dogs at play... the instinct was the same... the enjoyment too... for them and us...


The Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes, 35-40" long, including long bushy tail with white tip... small, doglike. Rusty reddish above; white underparts, chin, throat. Prominent pointy ears. Back of ear, lower legs and feet, black... Very adaptable to most habitats and foods... Omnivorous, eats whatever is available...

One of the most widespread of all mammals.


approx. 4" x 4" watercolor on heavy sketchbook paper... inspired by a nursery rhyme illustration

22 comments:

Anet said...

This is the cutest fox!!! I just want to cuddle him! We don't have foxes in our neighborhood. Good thing for Sniffy (the squirrel.)
It's so great to get the information along with your fantastic art. Thanks Gwen, I always look forward to your next piece.

Bill Evertson said...

You always give a bit of history and knowledge and I love that. Your fox pix are great. I am trying to remember when I saw the last one around here and it seems that it was at least a year; wonder where they are? Your posts always tune me into the natural currents - thanks for that. Best, Bill

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hey Kathi,
They are out there looking for the goodies you are going to plant for them... or they might be eating some worms or beetles. I guess they aren't fussy...

Is the new green house in your garden, the one you were going to make with those recycled patio doors. looks great from the road. I have to come over and have a closer look!


Thanks Anet, that's really sweet of you to say. How are your Chinese lanterns coming?

Thank you too Bill I really appreciate that you came over to see what I have been doing.

But I have to tell you, Anet and Bill! I know where your foxes are!... They are ALL up Here... Every last one of them..

I hardly ever saw a fox till I moved here 8 years ago. I think if you made a point to look, you could probably go out and see one almost any evening; they are very abundant!

I'm going to have to think up some kind of protection plan if I go through with getting some chickens as I had hoped... Not going to be a simple matter.

Sharon said...

I can just imagine him sleeping under a root (and the stars) full of chicken......sounds like a good day to me.

Ruth said...

Mmm, brown and blue make me happy. I like how you told us about foxes. I have seen one in my life, it was in Michigan. So they are widespread but not prolific everywhere, I guess. When I saw that one I was stunned, and he was so beautiful - and small! His red hair was glowing in sun.

I imagine if we have any around here we'll find out when the chickens start going outside.

Anet said...

My Chinese Lantern are going pretty slow compared to the sunflowers. I can see a few of the tiniest little sprouts. Fingers are crossed!
Good luck with the chickens:)

Jazz said...

That is one cool looking fox!

Diane said...

Beautiful!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Oh that sounds so sweet Sharon.. what a great way to think of it!

Yes keep your eyes peeled Ruth, cause we don't want a cute little fox tasting your cute little chickens!

Thanks Diane and Jazz, nice of you to come over to check out my blog. Did you bring in some Daphne, Diane. I did !

Anet your sunflowers are getting a good headstart!

Sandy said...

Loved it. I have never seen a fox up close or even far away other than in photos or art.

I like this a lot.

sandy

Don said...

I love your little fox. We read fables and then try to write them in third grade and the fox, being sly, clever and just a little bit naughty is a popular character. Don't we all want to be just a little bit like the fox?

Gwen Buchanan said...

Aren't you so right Don! third grade must be a pleasure to teach... still sweet and innocent...

Gwen Buchanan said...

Interesting for you to say..

What little creature takes his place where you live? a coyote?
we have them too but they are a little more secretive these days?

flyinamber said...

I like your little fox very much!
We have red foxes here in woods and fields around the town and during the night they come often into the town perhaps looking for something to eat.So I can see them sometimes.They are so cute!But they also can be sick,infectious with the rabies and we must to vaccinate our dogs and cats and my ferret is also vaccinated.
Have a nice weekend with your family,Gwen!

Gwen Buchanan said...

yes that is an important precaution to take "flyinamber", we vaccinated our dogs too.

I am glad that you do have a chance to see them way over there.. I am surprised how many people have never seen one though! take care...

The Crow said...

Foxes are more like cats than dogs.
They only look more like dogs.
Meet the foxes I had the incomparable pleasure to know:
http://www.crowfeather.net

Shy, yes.
Sly: not especially.
Cunning: no.

Inquisitive. Circumspect. Persuasive. Civilized, even.

Fur coarser than it looks.
Paws deep and clumsy-looking.
Thoroughly agile, for all of that, and very, very fast.

To know a fox is to have lived in a way that few ever do.
To know a fox, and a crow, is to be doubly blessed, and fully alive.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Hi Crow, you areso full of information... yes I had the pleasure of touring your wonderful fox website and was delighted...
We have so many foxes here in our village and surrounding our house.. they are not much scared of us or others at all.. It is hard to go for a walk in the summer without tripping over them..

they are adorable and my son fed them much of the summer...

why do say "not" cunning...

Lorena said...

love the fox painting, thanks for stopping by my site

The Crow said...

Fox take up new line of work:
http://taoteachings.blogspot.com/

Show human not so different from fox.
Not so different from crow.
Not so different...

Gwen Buchanan said...

You are wise Fox... we are really not very different at all. and we have much to learn...

readingwithrhythm said...

Fantastic Mr Fox!! Such a lovely picture! We don't see many foxes around here. Which is kind of a good thing because we have chickens and foxes like chicken!

Zoe Porphyrogenita said...

An elegant red fox (not a hair out of place) watches King Edward the Confessor's funeral from the lower border of the Bayeux Tapestry. This is a Breton rebus for Alan Rufus, the king's cousin who was a royal thegn at Wyken Farm in Suffolk until Harold Godwinson dismissed him.

Oh dear! No longer bound to defend England's king, Alan went to another cousin, Duke William of Normandy whom Alan's father, Count Odo of Penthievre, lent 5000 soldiers to take touring with him.

In a Battle of Hastings scene, the Breton knights, holding nearly plain white shields, are depicted charging Earls Leofwine and Gyrth from both sides. This saved Duke William's life and routed the English advance.