Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wildlife from Our Window

Around Christmas time, the house across the street from us went up for sale. I believe it went into forclosure like so many other houses are doing now, and it was soon vacated by the owners. It now stands empty. Well, almost. . .

A few weeks later, some time in late January or early February, we started noticing a fox prowling around near the house. We’d seen foxes in the neighborhood a couple times before, so it wasn’t completely surprising. Later, we saw it sitting on the porch of the empty house. Weird. I guess it knew that there was no one living there or something.

Well, a couple weeks ago, we heard someone looking at the house mention a foxhole. Apparently, the fox had decided to take up residence underneath the front porch. It dug a burrow under the cement, next to the house, where it could stay warm during the winter months. As the weather warmed, we started seeing more of the fox. I even saw it thrashing a dead animal around (which turned out to be a goose) in the front yard with no worries. It felt completely at home, sitting on the lawn and the front porch at other times like it owned the place.

I called animal controle about it at one point, worried that it was going to eat the neighborhood cat. They told me that by law, there was nothing that they could do about the fox. Because it was a “harmless” wild animal, it was allowed to live wherever it chose to. Welcome to Boulder County!

Two days ago, after our big snowstorm, we saw not just one fox, but two sunning themselves out in the street where it was warm. The second one looked smaller, not quite full grown, but not a baby either. It acted like a baby though. I guess the mom made the foxhole under that porch in order to have her baby.

I wonder if they’ll move on during the summer. I’m pretty sure they’ll leave if someone actually buys the place (though them being there has made it a lot less attractive to potential buyers). In the mean time, we’re enjoying watching them from our large bay window. It’s nature at our doorstep, literally.