“Your deepest roots are in nature. No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.”
After our very wet spring, many of our critters seemed to disappear. We had about a dozen deer living in the woods around us. And momma deer and her twins were spotted in early spring. But during summer and fall, all but one deer was occasionally spotted. It seems that the harsh winter took its toll, and many deer died. Even hunters noted reduced numbers.
And our precious fox, Hunter, also seemed to have moved on after his den was flooded so often. We missed them terribly. So on Christmas, we were so surprised to see the flash of red run onto the meadow. A ‘Christmas miracle’ my husband proclaimed. At first, we thought it was Hunter….
But upon closer examination, the tale had a pure white tip, and was much darker….not Hunter. And I think this may be a female. So we named her, Noel, at first. Then I remembered that a female fox is called a vixen. So what better name for our Christmas fox than, Vixen (one of Santa’s reindeer).
She scoped out the area quickly and then we saw her white-tipped tail bid us goodbye (in the last picture below). We also noticed her winter coat was not as thick as Hunter’s last year when it was -20 degrees.
It was rainy leading up to Christmas and one of our squirrels was out and about. I love his umbrella tail!
And the green frogs were still not hibernating. We saw them on Christmas, and just before New Year. See how dark in color they are now. They match the dark pond water.
December saw a busy time at the suet feeders….and some fighting. It is fun to watch the pecking order as they all vie for the feeder. This is a female Downy Woodpecker.
And other Christmas visitors included the Hairy Woodpecker (left), Goldfinch in its brownish-olive color now. And Chickadees have been frequent visitors, along with that female Downy Woodpecker (lower right).
Our greatest surprise was seeing a deer again on Christmas Eve just before the moon rose. We think it is one of the twins from last winter. A small doe. The last time we saw any deer was late spring, and I had virtually no garden damage except for lilies. Now I see a bit of daylily foliage nibbled so this deer is about, but mostly at night. And her winter coat is not thick, and looks pretty ratty.
So there you have some Christmas/seasonal miracle visitors….and surprises! We feel blessed!
In the first few days of the New Year, Vixen has appeared and was ably hunting voles through the snow. She (and it is definitely a female) is as good a hunter as our male foxes, if not better. Perhaps we will see babies or kits one of these springs.
And the deer have returned. At the first snowfall, we saw many deer tracks, and then three appeared in the meadow. Maybe momma and her 2 children, now over a year old. I am hopeful, in this new year, that our critters will continue to share the same habitat with us….and that we will see fawns and lots of other baby critters once again.
What wonderful critter surprises are you seeing?
With this wildlife story, I am joining in the meme Wildlife Wednesday hosted by Tina@My Gardener Says that happens the first Wednesday of every month, and with Saturday’s Critters hosted by Eileen@Viewing nature with Eileen that happens every Saturday. I am also linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday, and Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every week.
I leave you with another thought about the miracles of nature. Feel free to download the photo and share.
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