Wildlife Photography | The Fox and His Vixen, Part 1

I spend a lot of time in my swamp. I like to feel connected. I like to bare witness to the changing seasons from inside the forest. I’m not a huge weirdo, I swear, but its my therapy. All of the things that clutter the forefront of my mind, fade away when I step into the forest. A couple of weeks ago during one of my walks I noticed some very light impressions in the mud. I decided to set up a trail cam and was able to see who was lightly treading through the tall ferns.  A fox and his vixen.  Click here to see the trail cam video: WGI_0069

I have only photographed a fox once, and our encounter was by pure happenstance and caught me off guard as I walked through a salt marsh. It was only a quick snap shot before he jetted off. The only other time I have had an encounter with a fox was when I spent some time in Puget Sound one summer. I was sitting alone on a bluff at sunset over looking the sound when I heard the brush move behind me. Out popped this little fox and I think he was just as surprised to see me as I was him. He stopped and looked at me for what seemed like eternity, but I am sure was only a matter of seconds before trotting off down the coast line. Oh, and I guess there was a fox last year that visited my chicken coop, but he had really bad mange and I think died within a day or two of our encounter. The mange was so bad that he was mostly blind.

Anyway, I was really excited about the new residents on the trail cam because I really want more opportunities to photograph foxes. After a week of watching the trail cam, I found that the foxes were passing through around 9pm and again around 2am-ish, consistently. One of them also made a pass by the camera at 1pm one afternoon, but it doesn’t seem like a consistent pattern.

So I put on my camouflage and decided to set up in the swamp at dusk with a tripod and remote control trigger for my Nikon.

Camo-Kelley

iPhone pic of Camo-Kelley

Sounds more glamorous than it is, haha…it has been soooo hot and muggy. Then add in the unrelenting mosquitoes and deer flies. Try not to move when there are 7 dozen of the swamp’s finest blood feeders swarming over you.

I tried dutifully with this set up for 3 days and decided it just wasn’t going to work because I was moving way to much due to the biting flies and not quite being able to see well into the swamp from that low on the ground.

Then I had a genius idea. Hammocks are synonymous with summer. And what’s to stop me from setting mine up in the middle of the woods? Not a thang.

I outfitted it with some camo to make a blind, kind of like an A-frame, and cut a little hole for the lens of my camera.

 

iPhone picture

iPhone picture with the camo hammock

Who said field work had to be uncomfortable? Not this girl.

 

iPhone picture

iPhone picture

And so I waited. It would be another 2 days before sitting in the swamp for 2 hours every evening would finally pay off and I would get my first glimpse.

Grey Fox photo

click image to enlarge for best viewing | At First Glimpse

Stay tuned for Part 2 🙂 To be continued…

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