A Fox with an annoying itch

I was out on a jaunt the other day with my trusty 350d and as I came to the end of my stretch, which coincided with arriving at the main gates of a local beauty spot and its tarmac tongue, I spotted something from the corner of my eye in an isolated valley to one side of the road.

Looking through my camera’s viewfinder, I was very surprised to see the thing in question was an adult Fox, out in the afternoon sun and nonchalantly wandering around the valley’s slopes without a care in the world!

I watched this amazing spectacle unfolding from afar and kept looking around me to all the dog walkers coming to and going from the country park, but all were oblivious to the Fox under their noses. Then suddenly, the rufus canine disappeared from my view, so I figured I’d try a double-back and attempt to see if I could get any better pictures from a hillside overlooking the valley.

So, hopping over barbed-wire fencing, jumping swampy areas and trying to silently get through undergrowth – which was impossible as I sounded just like a 14 stone, near-40 year old man breathlessly crashing around – I eventually managed to creep up to the edge of the valley’s drop off and looked over. There, right below me, was sat the russet-hued Fox, lazying in the Spring sunshine. So, without a moment to lose, I started taking pictures as quickly as possible, sure in the knowledge it’d be off once I was spotted.


However, the Fox seemed unperturbed with my presence 50 feet above where it was lounging and even peered directly at me whilst I snapped away, unconcerned in being an object of desire.


It appeared to be an old male Fox and once or twice he caught my smell and sniffed the air, but didn’t show any real concern towards me…


… and then even appeared to be bored by his surroundings…


… until suddenly a passing Fly caught his attention!


Once he’d moved position though, it became apparent why the Fox was out in the sun, in the middle of the day: his bare rump and flattened bush revealed he was suffering from a very bad case of mange. So, he sat there and continued to lick and nibble at his painful affliction, probably in the hope of gaining some relief in the warm Spring air.


After a while, the Fox began to move off, exposing his scabbed and scarred rear to me now he was standing up…


… so, I began to move out of his way by crawling off to my left as he headed into some swampy ground.


He turned to face me once more whilst standing in the reeds…


… before he moved off to begin climbing up the embankment of the valley towards where I was originally lay taking photographs.


The last image of the Fox was as he turned and looked at me on the crest of a hillock, surrounded by Rabbit holes and his now-obvious intentions, which I’d probably messed up by rolling around like a moron clutching a noisy camera!

It was a fantastic wildlife experience and although the poor guy was in a bad way, I was able to grab pictures I might never have gotten chance to capture under normal circumstances. I do hope all ends well for this Fox with an annoying itch.

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