I have not seen a great many foxes in my lifetime (outside of the zoo where their enclosures could be easily recognized by their distinct odor and the stuffed specimen my father trapped many years ago), but the large majority of my fox sightings have occurred only in the past few months. I was stunned when I saw the carcass of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) on my ride to school. In my hour long commute I do travel though more rural areas where are still corn fields that flank the road, but this dead fox was not found along those roads, rather it was on route 309, which is a busy highway, right around where Montgomery and Philadelphia counties meet. My father, who has considerably more experience with these creatures than I, was equally surprised. It is not especially rural in that area, and up until that point I had not imagined that there would be enough undeveloped land in that region to support a fox population. Apparently I was wrong because a week or so later, there was yet another dead fox on the roadside. I believe that since the start of the school year, I have seen at least three foxes who had been killed along route 309 in suburban regions. So somehow there is (or at least was - maybe the roadkill accounts for all of the foxes that once lived there) indeed a thriving small community of foxes. I was glad for the evidence of the presence of foxes, but of course at the same time I was dismayed to see that evidence in the form of dead animals. I became much happier when more recently I saw a living red fox along a much more rural back road on my way home from school. At first I mistook him for an orange house cat, but his large, stiff, fluffy tail gave him away. I saw what I think to be the same fox a little further up along that same road on another night.
unlike the lifeless mats of fur,
a strange and waning red-orange tousled
among the greasy metal of highway median
- you were vital, burning in the night
as the tyger that haunted Blake
and clever to avoid the headlights -
More Attempts at Haiku
· originally posted to sphinxmuse
why do the brown leaves
cling so stubbornly to the
branches of the oak?
late fall and winter
drifting into each other -
yellow leaves remain