Monday, May 30, 2005

Tadpole Update

Today I stained the pond deck to make it waterproof. Wouldn't you know it's raining now, when it needed 24 hours to dry. Unfortunately a few drips of the stain fell into the pond, and made the water murky, and dispersed about 1/3 of the algae on the surface. I could see into the pond, and saw at least 12 tadpoles. They are getting bigger, and look more like fish, because you can see their lips moving when they come to the surface to get air. I hope they didn't get poisoned by the stain. At least the rain will refresh the water some. A chipmunk was on the deck after I stained it, so I had to go shoo it away so it wouldn't get stain all over its feet. I saw the black cat today walking towards the woods on the same log that I had seen the mother fox and babies walk on.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Visitors of the Fox Den

We have two new visitors--stray cats. One we've seen twice in the past day, a black cat with white paws. We think it's a cat who lives in the neighborhood. Then tonight there was ANOTHER cat--a calico black, white, and orange cat. It went into the fox den under the main deck, and it wasn't interested in being friendly. The frogs have been out pretty regularly. I had found another dead tadpole maybe a week ago, but judging by the movement in the pond, there are probably still plenty of tadpoles. The deer might have come back and ate my dwarf cattails, which are missing, and the cardinal plant isn't in its pot anymore. Since it's been a while since a fox sighting, I'm thinking of getting a camera trap so that whatever walks by will get its picture taken.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Skinny Fox

I was starting to go through fox withdrawal, since I hadn't seen any foxes in a while, but I got a fox fix tonight. I caught a glimpse of a fox going into the den under the main deck. I think it might have been the scrawny fox. Probably all the heavy rain today made him want to come back to a dry den. Hopefully I will see him some more, otherwise I will have to change my blog title and report on other creatures, which I've sort of been doing already.

Monday, May 16, 2005


What we saw yesterday was a short tailed shrew, not a mole.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

New Wildlife

There is a hole in the ground under the birdfeeder, and we saw some movement in it. We thought maybe it was a bug, but then something appeared briefly...a mole! We think. Or is it a vole?

I found my water lily plant which was submerged under the ladder in the pond. I took it out and a tadpole fell out on the ground. I managed to get it back in the pond. I had found a dead tadpole earlier, but there are still more live tadpoles. I read they don't turn into frogs for like 6 to 12 weeks. I planted my aquatic plants in aquatic plant mix, so hopefully they will grow better now. The lily pad had new growth on it, so that is good.

April 21, 2005 Baby fox.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


We have a chipmunk that eats the seeds on the ground that fall out of the bird feeder. We think it lives in a stack of twigs we put near the house, near the birdbath. I wondered if the chipmunk could hop up to the birdbath to drink the water, and figured it probably could crawl up a nearby bush, and sure enough just then, lickety split, it zoomed up the branch and drank from the birdbath, and zoomed back down again. It also likes to hang out at the pond, unless that is a different chipmunk.

April 21, 2005 Baby nursing from between mother's legs.

Friday, May 13, 2005

April 21, 2005 Another pic of momma fox nursing a baby fox.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

April 21, 2005 Mother fox nursing an older baby. You can't really see her head because she's looking away with her head down. The runt might be on the other side of the mother.

Morning Sighting!

8:50 a.m. I opened the curtains and saw a fox kind of turning around near an azalea bush and it went running off in the other direction. It may have seen me open the curtains suddenly and got scared. I'm not sure which fox it was. It was either the mother or the skinny fox. I wonder if it was stalking a frog because it was about 10 feet away from a large frog sitting on the ladder in the pond.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


The tadpoles are still alive and well. I skimmed the pond surface again and found a few.

Prior Fox Sighting: Apr. 22, 2005

This morning I saw an older baby run from under the main deck, where the mother probably lives, to under the pond deck where the babies emerge from. I hope it was the one I scared off.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Prior Fox Sighting: April 21, 2005

Tonight we saw the mother nursing two babies! But I'm sad the baby I scared off wasn't there. They went and played on a log and the babies got in a scuffle and the mother was knocking them off the log. Then I moved to the big window and I thought the mother might have seen me. She made this motion (and probably a sound that I couldn't hear) with her mouth and the babies went running to the deck hiding place. Then she went off in the opposite direction that the other baby ran off in yesterday. I hope she finds him.

Monday, May 09, 2005

April 20, 2005 Two older fox babies and dark brown runt.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Pond Life

No fox sightings tonight, but as I was skimming the tree blossom debris off the pond, I saw something was a tadpole! Then I found 3 more! Neat. Will post pictures of the tadpoles' parents.

Frog sitting on the fence in pond. Also shown are the other aquatic plants before the deer pulled them up.

Frog on edge of pond. Also pictured is the water lettuce, before the deer munched on it.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Fox Dens

Here are pictures of the baby fox den under the pond deck, and the larger den under the main house deck.

fox family den (gap in lattice near bushes)

baby fox den

Friday, May 06, 2005

Fox Sighting Tonight

The same fox I saw last time just came by (the young skinny fox)! He was sort of running in circles following a scent trail. I wonder if he smelled the deer? Or was smelling something for his dinner? Then he ran off to the azalea bushes and disappeared. He's the only one I haven't gotten pictures of because he is pretty fast and I only see him later at night.

Aquatic Plant Vandal

Yesterday evening I saw something run off into the woods, but didn't really see what it was. I'm pretty sure it was a deer based on the way it ran and the size of it, although I didn't think deer lived around here. Then around midnight I heard a noise that was sort of like a bark but didn't exactly sound like a dog. Then this morning I noticed all my aquatic plants in the pond were gone! I had just planted them like a couple weeks ago. I just now assessed the damage, and my water lettuce had been chewed on, the lily pads had been bitten off and the rest of the plant was nowhere to be seen. The zebra rush, cardinal flower, and dwarf cattails were missing their pots and were knocked over, but not really eaten. I had put about 4 of the plants in plastic bags so that the dirt wouldn't wash out (I should have used aquatic plant potting soil), but the odd thing is that I only found 1 bag with a pot in it, and didn't find the other pots or bags, unless they are submerged. The oxygenator plants were still there but kind of strewn apart--jungle vallisneria, hornwort, cabomba, and anacharis. So much for my attempt at water gardening. Plus I just planted basil and spinach in the yard and don't expect those to last if the deer is still in the area when they start to come up.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Two Baby Foxes: April 20, 2005

Here are the two older fox puppies.

Two fox puppies playing by the pond.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Baby Fox Pic: April 20, 2005

This is a fox puppy standing on the fence we put in the pond in case a fox fell in and couldn't get out.

Fox puppy standing on fence in pond.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Fox returns

It had been a while since I had seen a fox, but I saw one tonight! It might have been what I was calling the juvenile, although I'm wondering if that is the father of the babies, although he seems smaller than the mother. It came from the woods up our stepping stone path, onto the pond deck, into the azalea bushes and out of sight. Then I saw a fox (probably the same one) back in the woods like a minute or so later. Glad they are still in the area, although I haven't seen the mother or babies recently. Will post more baby pictures on a fox-less night.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Prior Fox Sighting: April 20, 2005 Foxes Galore

The foxes were out early tonight, 3 babies! I feel bad though because I went outside to plant my aquatic plants in the pond, and I thought the babies had all hidden, but one was still out there in a bush when I went out there. It got scared and went running off real fast into the woods. It seems too tiny to be out alone in the woods. Then we were out there planting the plants for a while so I feel all guilty I scared off the baby. It was one of the older ones, at least. One was real tiny and black. The runt went off behind the shed and then came back and went under the deck (with the mother I assume). One other went under the pond deck. The two bigger ones had been hanging out around the pond for a while.

Baby fox

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Prior Fox Sighting: April 19th, 2005

I saw the baby fox again tonight. It appeared from the pond deck, then heard noises at the highschool, got scared, and ran to the other side closer to the house where the mother might be. It sat there for a while listening but then went where I couldn't see it, maybe under the deck.

Second fox sighting of the night! Just saw an adult trotting down the front sidewalk and it peed on our flowers and kept going! This place is swarming with foxes.