I have three Kids (adults now). How my wife and I saw there upbringing wasn’t always in-sink. I believe in a “mother’s instinct”. Seen it work many times. What does my family have to do with a fox family? For nine hours I witnessed family and individual fox personalities. Not a scientific study. But it was an incredible experience that showed me a lot about the fact that animals in the wild have individual personalities and…..ideas on how to raise a family.
Mom never and I mean never took her eyes off the blind I was in. The end of the lens was the only thing that she could see except the blind. I have read that the huge glass in the lens draws attention with wildlife. She was incredibly nervous. Pacing and obviously disturbed with the new object (blind/lens glass)60 yds or so too close to her kids.
Then there is the Fox dad. (Mom is the one standing with the disturbed look and the half ear). He’s like a “Disney” dad. Not at all concerned about the blind, glass, or anything much more than feeding and playing with the little foxes. This photo really portrays what happened a lot of the time I was there. Mom nervous – Dad not nervous.
Then it happened. Mom started chasing the little ones. Not to play. But rather to pick one up. She was out of there. And the kids where going with her………
Off she went with the first of six fox cubs. Oh, by the way Dad was off hunting when she carted the first fox away.
Dad came back with breakfast. One less cub and my lens. This is one of only two times that I photographed him looking at the blind.
Many times Mom tried to take a cub. The cubs thought she was playing. She would look over at Dad almost as a confirmation to take the cub. Note in this photograph she is not looking at me she would key in on the dad every-time she tried to pick up a pup. When Dad was not paying attention she took another pup. Two down four to go.
Mom’s third attempt Dad interceded. He would not let her take a pup. Then off he went with Mom in tow.
Dad was bringing back the pups. WHAT? Mom was nowhere to be found just Dad and a mouth full of Fox pup.
Dad’s second trip back Mom was right behind. This went on for hours. Mom would take one and Dad would bring it back. Until they each had three. For the last two hours or so Dad was sleeping, playing and feeding the pups. Who knows what Mom was doing…maybe taking valium or just fuming about the whole thing. In some ways I felt bad that I was the cause of her consternation. Dad however made me feel that maybe she was just being a true MOM with motherly insincts. Not all bad looking out for your kids welfare.
In the end Dad seemed normal and Mom….well I am not sure because she was just over the hill watching her three cubs that she ended up with. I left when Dad went hunting and the cubs were in the den. Hopefully everything is back to normal today.