Kittie Howard


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Welcome to North Carolina: Hello, Gorgeous; Link to Conquering Your Fears

Although we made numerous trips between Northern Virginia and Coastal North Carolina to get possessions in place, our North Carolina home was operational in June. No glitz or glam -- air mattresses, a coffee pot, kitchen and bath basics -- but life was good, made even better by the excitement of it all. There's a lot of truth to the refrain "Nothing could be finer than Carolina in the morning."

One such morning I awoke as dawn broke, slipped on my robe, and went to the back porch. After expanding one of the collapsable beach chairs we'd brought with us, I sat down, stretched my legs as I looked around -- at the sun-streaked sky, the lazy white clouds -- and inhaled a glorious breath of fresh air tipped with pine and the scent of salty ocean breezes that had wafted my way.

I exhaled as I sank deeper into the chair, then froze. The largest orange cat imaginable had crept out of the azalea bushes at the back of the yard.

No, wait, the mind reasoned. That's not a cat. That's a . . . that's a FOX.

I must have stirred, for he faced me.

"Hello, Gorgeous," I whispered, then smiled as he headed for the nearby thicket of trees. The shy, non-aggressive fox was young, probably returning from a night's hunt in our wooded, river-banked area.

I haven't seen him again. But one can always hope . . .

Vulpes vulpes or Red Fox is common in North Carolina and one of three species common in the U. S., the other two being the Kit Fox and the Swift Fox. The Red Fox's tail is about 70% as long as the head and body length. The shy, non-aggressive fox is thought to be monogamous, mates early January onward, and has pups late February-April. Average litter has five pups. The female, called a 'vixen', stays with the pups while the male hunts for food. When pups are around 10 months old, they're usually out on their own. The Red Fox is not endangered.  (Photo source: Wikipedia; for a YouTube video of five Red Fox in a Raleigh, NC, yard, go here.)



* * * * *

I thought I'd link this post to an article about overcoming one's fears. Shy and primarily nocturnal, the fox hunts mice, woodchuck, squirrels, eats insects, birds, and eggs and has been known to dig into uncovered garbage. (Note: Counter-legend, a fox seen during the day probably isn't diseased if there's a variety of habitat available, as there is here.)

The Red Fox has to be wily, but cautious, to survive. A large, aggressive feline can bring a young fox down. So, where is the line between caution and fear? For each of us, it's in a different place. We all have fears. That's the nature of being human.

A 20-year old adult probably wouldn't assess a situation as a 40-year old adult would, both generations either out of experience, fear or a combination of both. Experience tempers judgment; fear paralyzes judgment. A helpful link to overcoming fear is here.


25 comments:

William Kendall said...

I've always liked seeing foxes. Where my parents lived for several years, they had a regular fox coming through their property from time to time. The cats would give him or her a swat and send the fox on their way.

Denise Covey said...

Ha Ha Kittie. I can just picture the scene. I was afraid you were going to tote a gun there and do away with said little fox! No marmalade kittie after all! I'm glad you're enjoying fine Carolina!

Merry Christmas to you and hubs in your new home!

Denise

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kittie - so pleased you're more settled in .. but what a lovely sighting to have early in the morning. Wild creatures are to be treasured ... yet we've had foxes attacking babies in houses - one or two .. but it frightens everyone. Very sad - humans and wildlife don't really mix, but I hope the wildlife survive.

Lovely to have river and wooded area nearby for you and them .. cheers Hilary

Liza said...

We had one in our garage once. By the way, if you ever wake up to the most blood chilling screaming you have ever heard outside, it's probably a fox. If you sleep with an open window, and live in a one floor house and wake up to it...well, nightmares are made of this.

Leandra Wallace said...

How neat to catch a glimpse of him. I love foxes! I have a white ceramic one that's curled up on my bookcase. =)

Crack You Whip said...

I've never seen a fox but would love to!

Sherry Ellis said...

Foxes are beautiful animals. But they sure do stink! I can always smell when I'm around a fox's den.

M. J. Joachim said...

Nature is a funny thing, and fear can be the death of it. I think most of us strive to overcome fear at different points in our lives. If we didn't, we might soon become paralyzed and miss the beauty of all that surrounds us.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Kittie, thanks for visiting my blog. We have a few of those foxes stalking about. Have a nice weekend.

Kathryn McKendry said...

I always feel my day has been blessed when I see a fox or other beautiful wild animal.
Glad you're enjoying your new home.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Your words paint a picture of an idyllic morning scene. Especially with the breeze scented with pine and salty ocean air. Seeing the fox was the cherry on top.

I think the perspective we gain as we grow older does a good job squashing most of our fears. At least for me, a more big-picture "c'est la vie" attitude has taken over my reality. Thank goodness.

Then again, it could be that glass of wine...

Christine Rains said...

How awesome it was to see a fox and such a beautiful morning. Glad you're loving Carolina and hope you get the last of your shopping done. Have a lovely weekend! :)

Ashley Nixon said...

I was thinking about the fear of failure the other day and how it is exactly why people fail. Isn't that ironic?

Inger said...

One good thing about getting old is that your fears subside and become sort of pointless. We have bears in our trash here (due to the drought) and mountain lions have been seen in the neighborhood, so I am more cautious now and don't walk the dogs a dawn, but not afraid. But, still, I don't think I will ever get over my fear of heights, riding in small airplanes, and riding horses on narrow paths with deep empty space below. I have done all those things, but never again.....

Beth said...

Congratulations on your move! Sounds like you're well settled now. And I'm so happy to hear you'll be going back to Normandy! Thanks for being in touch again.

Sandra Cox said...

I love foxes. Such beautiful little creatures.My husband had a gray fox in a tree sighting.
Welcome to NC. Sounds like you've got a lovely location.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I love your stories, Kittie. Our foxes are tiny here and fragile. They do love cats though, so I'm taking a quick shot, then shooing them away. Here it's the wolves we are leery of. They generally travel with others and are deadly to our domesticated dogs.

Gail Dixon said...

Welcome back, Kittie! I always enjoy reading your posts.

What a wonderful way to start the day; seeing one of God's creatures. I saw my first fox in Colorado in 2010 at Pike's Peak. What a thrill! With my camera beside me, I never fear wildlife. I respect them and maintain my distance, admiring their beauty. Thank goodness for my 400mm lens. :)

Lynda R Young said...

I hope you get to see him again. It's always awesome seeing wildlife in the backyard... from a distance.

Nicki Elson said...

Ooh, that is an awesome sighting! One summer we had a fox around here that would lounge on neighborhood front lawns during the day like it was no big deal that he was an awesome fox out in the open. But he's apparently moved on.

Sandra Cox said...

Just stopped by to say 'hey'. Have a good one:)

Jen Chandler said...

Hi Kittie! It's been a long time since I've come around and for that, I apologize. I saw your comment on my old blog (boots and bluestockings) and I wanted to come over, say hello, and let you know that I have a NEW blog: cupandpage.blogspot.com. I'd LOVE to see you there! It's a tentative little blog, stopping and starting as we've also relocated in recent months but it helps me sort things. It's also helped me reclaim a lot of myself I feel was lost in our recent move. That's a loooong story!

SO happy to hear from you! I hope everything is going well and that you are settling into you North Carolina home! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting on my old blog! I haven't forgotten you, life just threw us a great big curve ball!

Happy Christmas and hope to hear from you again soon!
Jen

Adhi Das said...

enjoyed reading your post and nice to hear about Foxes...KEEP WRITING
MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR :))

Mary Aalgaard said...

Lovely description of your morning. I felt like I'd pulled up the extra lounge chair and clinked my coffee cup with yours. That would be exciting to see a fox, and yes, a bit heart-racing as well. Wild animals are unpredictable. The end of the post got me thinking about different types of fears. In some areas we can seem fearless, and others, a big chicken. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Play off the Page

Lola Barea said...

Hola Kittie Howard, gracias por tu amable visita a mi blog, ha sido un placer recibirte y visitar tu lindo blog.
Un abrazo.
Lola Barea.

Hello Kittie Howard, thanks for your kind visit to my blog, it has been a pleasure to meet you and visit your lovely blog.
A hug.
Lola Barea.