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Ramble with Storm: Fox on the run

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storm3x Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

The meathead gives a compulsory lunge at any squirrel or rabbit sighting.

Sort of like a normal guy feels compelled to take a second to check out any woman he finds attractive.

I didn't invent the natural way, I just know it.

But when it is something special, Storm goes berserk, flipping and straining against the leash, and takes all of my strength to hold him in check.

Feral cats or free-ranging house cats, those true incarnations of natural evil, will trigger one of those explosions. So will any neighborhood dog.

This morning, I was mulling the nature of ice. Had a few weeks to do that. So I was distracted.

We actually had several spots open up on the town pond New Year's Eve. Now everything is locked back up and thickening.

With the thaw, all the snow and slop melted. Then, when it refroze, it froze to an uneven glaze. That very slick ice.

Well, this morning, it was white.

I was trying to figure that out--finally decided that it must have been the few spits of snow last night sticking to the ice and whitening it--when the meathead lunged savagely up a game trail on the bank between the town pond and the old rail bed trail.

I assumed a rabbit had bolted. But Storm normally stops quickly after his initial lunge at a flushed rabbit.

Not this time, so I looked around, expecting to see a cat on a free-ranging killing spree, instead, a fox cut across the open grass in front.

Storm went nuts.

The fox loped slowly enough that I considered trying to get a photo with my cell, then decided simply to enjoy the moment, put it in my memory bank.

It finally disappeared along the bank of the town pond.

My morning was made.

I believe, in some four years of rambling with the meathead and seven years before that with Flash (may the memory of our family's late first dog, an adopted collie mix, live long), that is a first.

We have spooked a number of coyotes, raccoons, opossums, and seen turkey and deer tracks, but never a fox.

I was glad to see the fox.

In part because coyotes have pushed out foxes from many areas, so they are a rarer sighting.

But mainly because I find foxes the most beautiful of our common mammals.

It made my day, well, let's stretch it out and say it made my week and the new year.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 6, 2011 8:30 AM.

Illinois hunting: More controlled pheasant hunting was the previous entry in this blog.

WWW Chicago outdoors: Ice is the next entry in this blog.

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