Late Summer

When summer gathers up her robes of glory, And, like a dream, glides away.

Sarah Helen Whitman

Yesterday was a busy day of baking and cooking a full on roasted chicken dinner, and after the last dish was washed I tossed off the gloves and slipped out quietly on to the back deck to find a moment of rest and a welcomed cool breeze to dry away the sweat of the kitchen heat.

As I let the day go sitting on my deck, away from the noise of kids and click-clacking paws of old dogs on hard floors, I was finally able to recognize the first hints of autumn had snuck in beneath my distracted eye. All of the sudden, summer’s hold on the forest has lessened its grip. The vibrancy of summer has dimmed just ever so lightly.

I have this nerdish goal to photograph all of the untamed residents in the 100 acre wood that surrounds our home. As I sat there last night I was thinking how I have photographed both the coyote and the red fox now, but there was one member of the Canidae family I have yet to photograph here in our Connecticut home, the Gray fox. I wondered what it would take for me to be able to accomplish this.

The last time I photographed a gray fox, it was in the back swamp of our old home in the Tug Hill region of NY. It took me two weeks of sitting out in a blind I hand-made from forest materials, donned in camouflage, before the fox stepped foot in front of my camera. Gray foxes stand no bigger than a fern frond and I find them to be much more cautious and seclusive than the Red fox.

I waited until dusk, watching for the forest to come alive with shadowy movements. I thought the evening was going to be a bust as my kids found me hiding on the deck and started chanting for their bedtime routine of books to be read to them. Just as I stood up to go back inside, I saw a slowly moving shadowy figure weaving between the ferns and weeds of the forest floor.

And there it was, the Gray fox, and my opportunity to have all three Canidae ticked off my nerdy bucket list to photograph. What luck.

With that, I retired for the night back to duties of motherhood and bedtime stories.

The following is a collection of photos from August from our little spit of land.

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