From the vaults: A winter visitor (18/12/2010)

It’s stopped now but that was as sustained a spell of snowfall as I can remember for a good few years. It might have varied in intensity and size of flake but for hour after hour it never once looked like coming to an end. If radio and television updates are any guide it sounds as though the general synopsis at 21:00 hours is chaotic and likely to remain so.

I can sympathise with those affected, in some cases badly so, by the disruption and delays but it’s hard to deny the aesthetic appeal of a good coating of white powder. A black dustbin in the garden presently looks like a huge glass of Guinness, and even the pile of bricks denoting yet another part-completed construction project has been softened and camouflaged.
A series of stills of the back garden could have been taken in black and white and would have looked scarcely any different: until, quite unexpectedly, a young fox appeared, balanced nonchalantly on top of the fence…

We’ve seen them around the garden on a number of occasions; usually older specimens looking tatty and furtive. This was a youngster with a lush, thick winter coat, possibly enjoying its first snow. It seemed pretty comfortable in its environment and happy enough with the vantage point. We’re a bit ambivalent about feeding garden mammals as, living close by a park with a large pool, it would be easy to attract rats. As it happens, this particular suburban specimen looked in pretty good condition and quite well nourished. Fortunately our near neighbours no longer keep chickens.

Our visitor then led me a dance; cavorting around the garden as I moved from window to window (and floor to floor) trying to get a shot that wasn’t either out of focus or blurred by motion. This (above) was as good as it got before foxy decided he’d had enough of our company and departed for gardens new.

               Going nowhere anytime soon

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