Maybe 15 years ago we had a fox that would appear when we were barbecuing. We’d give him little pieces of meat — not a lot, we didn’t want him to get dependent on humanoids. He was very cautious, always ready to flee. He was a joy to see, to get so close to an elegant wild creature. But there was a period where all the mid-sized critters — foxes, skunks, raccoons, possums — died off from distemper or something. Now they’re coming back.
This little guy has been skirting our half-acre the past few weeks — looks like a juvenile. A few days ago he was on my woodpile. I was about 20 feet away, standing stock still and we locked eyes. He craned his head in and out, I guess getting multiple takes on me.
Yesterday he nestled into a hollow spot on the (living) roof of the chicken coop.
Also on the wild creature front: in the last week I’ve caught 2 hummingbirds. They fly into the office kitchen and can’t get out. It’s easy to catch them. Once they’re in my cupped hands, they seem to relax. I’ll always find someone around to see when I release them. When I open my hands, they sit there a split second, green feathers shimmering in the sunlight. Then vooom! Off like a little helicopter.