Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Spring! (err- fox urine) is in the air!

Addie thoroughly enjoyed a romp and a friz toss yesterday!
For me, one of the signs that spring IS coming (and I know, it’s only mid-January), is catching a whiff of red fox urine on the air while I’m out hiking. This is a strange thing to recognize and almost enjoy, I suppose, but it’s like the scent of skunk spray, wood smoke, pine sap, etc. It’s a natural smell that is nostalgic for me.
Yesterday, in Cobleskill, it was right around 50 degrees out. Lovely weather to take the dog for a walk at my favorite place in town, the Town of Cobleskill Resevoir. It’s a nice place to let the dog off leash to sniff smells, run, gallop, roll, and just be a happy, young dog.

While I was walking in a field, prime red fox hunting land, I caught that unmistakable scent. It’s musky, it’s acrid, it’s wet dog-like. I can’t really explain it, but you’ll know if you smell it. It means spring to me, because the frequent urination of foxes this time of year, is not because their bladders are full, but they are scent-marking to deter competition, or lure in a mate. It means breeding season is on the way, and then kits are born, and we’re in full blown spring!

Fresh red fox scat found by Addie, photographed by me.
Last week we had FRIGID temps due to the polar vortex. Parts of the state got FEET of snow and 10′s of degrees below 0 in wind chills. Christmas is past, I’m not a skier- I say bring on the spring!

At one point, Addie stopped and found a nice little deposit, left behind by our friend, Vulpes vulpes. I’d love to stow a camera there on the property, but it’s open to the public, and I’m concerned someone might think “finders keepers” with my camera. But, I know they are there, and I know spring has to be on it’s way!

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