On a cold winter’s day that included passing snow squalls, Bob and I ventured into Algonquin Provincial Park in hopes of seeing a Spruce Grouse. Instead, we found ourselves in the company of a Red Fox. Looking picture perfect, this Red Fox almost seemed to pose for our cameras while fine snowflakes settled on its fur.
For early March, the weather was seasonal…-12 Celsius with a brisk north wind…and by times, falling snow made visibility almost nil.
We had little time for this excursion into the Park so decided to check out the forest around Spruce Bog Trail. Recent sightings of two different Spruce Grouses in recent days gave us hope that at last we might see one, and given the time of year, the males were displaying. Despite using well-packed trails that took us deep into the woods, all we turned up were a number of Black-capped Chickadees, Canada Jays, a Downy Woodpecker and this friendly little Red-breasted Nuthatch.
After completing a circular route through the evergreens, we were brought back to the kiosk that holds a Guest Book and the suet feeder that is positioned on a tree. At least 4 Woodpeckers were on site, 3 Hairy’s and one Downy.
Bob and I were so focused on the tree branches above us that we totally overlooked a Red Fox that had stepped out from the underbrush and was scouting the ground for scattered bits of suet.
Bob and I kept our distance to no avail. The Red Fox seemed quite habituated and approached us where we stood. When I accidentally dropped a glove, the Red Fox was particularly curious. I retrieved my glove quickly from the ground.
We were pleased to see that the Red Fox appeared healthy with a very thick coat of winter fur. It would be able to withstand the polar air easily.
I particularly liked this portrait of the Red Fox. Given how quickly the Fox moved around the area, I was hard-pressed to keep my lens on it. In this case, the Red Fox seemed very curious about my clicking camera, and yet, its expression seems to say, “whatcha lookin’ at?”
Bob and I were the only two people at that location for quite sometime, and once the Red Fox established that we were not providing any food, it moved off a short distance and settled on top of a mound of snow.
At first, the Red Fox seemed to be playing shy by hiding behind its generous furry tail.
But then, while Bob and I relished the company of the Red Fox, it curled itself into a snug ball using its fluffy long tail to keep warm. That position was soon abandoned when the Fox’s keen ears picked up the faint sounds of more visitors alighting from cars in the unseen parking lot.
Performing a stretch and a yawn, the Red Fox was ready to impress the next wildlife enthusiasts who braved the early hour and crisp air to be there. Seeing such a prime example of Algonquin’s wildlife is always worth the time and effort required.
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