brief dispatch from castle frostbite.

This fellow has been loitering around the Castle in the wee hours of the morning lately. Today, he showed up in broad daylight for the first time, and I grabbed the camera for a quick shot in passing through the kitchen window. He’s big enough that I first mistook him for a coyote at a distance and in low light, but I’m pretty sure he’s a large-ish gray fox.

(Click for bigger pics.)

Everything’s fine here in Upper Cryogenica. My back issue resolved itself over the weekend, and I’ve been enjoying some extended time with the family, with the wife mostly home for the week. We’ve been doing stuff around the house, museum trips, and other stuff we never seem to get around to in a regular week. I haven’t done much online, and I’m almost a week behind on the writing work, but sometimes you just have to put on the brakes and slow things down a bit.

Tonight, we’re having friends over for dinner, and on Friday, we’re having a birthday party for Miss Lyra, who will be four years old on the 15th. On Monday, we’ll be back to the regular school/work/writing schedule, but until then, I’m letting things run in low gear for a bit longer around here. I’m just extremely glad not to be flat on my back on the bed in the office, like I was last year when my sciatica last made a visit.


18 thoughts on “brief dispatch from castle frostbite.

  1. Eric says:

    Two dishes? What are you running, your own Echelon program? 🙂

    • Marko Kloos says:

      One was for HughesNet , the other was the DISH network dish used by the previous residents and never connected by us. I really need to take those down and haul them off to the dump for recycling.

  2. Fred2 says:

    Watch your Dachunds.

    A fox sees sausage dogs and their minds just stop after “sausage”.

    • Tam says:

      They’re not toy dachsies, but full-size ones. Think “doberman with really short legs”. And there are four of them. If the fox gets inside the wire, it ain’t the dogs that need to worry.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      What Tam said. A standard dachshund isn’t very much smaller than that fox, and we have four of them that whip each other up into pack-killing frenzy when they encounter prey that fits the target profile (furry and moving.)

      But yeah, there’d be injuries all around, and rabies shots, and all kinds of unpleasantries I’d just as soon avoid.

  3. Peter says:

    Looks like a nice Fox stole for the queen of the castle, to me.

  4. Glad to hear you’re back on your feet!

  5. Mike Dodson says:

    Marko, you are just way too young to be having sciatica issues. The L5-S1 interspace can be kept separate with appropriate body building techniques. Strengthening your stomach muscles and your quadriceps and some of your other support muscles will pull your spine back where it belongs. Please so see a good physical therapist and have him explain how this all works. You really don’t want to be an effective cripple at 50. Do you?

  6. Mike Dodson says:

    BTW — nice fox. I keep track of a couple of Kit foxes living on the Midland College campus. So far they’ve survived a bunch of construction (as the college expands) and keep to themselves. Playful little buggers!

  7. Ruth says:

    Very nice looking fox. We’ve seen tracks here, but haven’t actually laid eyes on one.

    And yes, 4 standard Dachshunds would be capable of taking down a fox. You’re right it would be messy though. But considering they were bred to go for badger underground…..yah, I’d feel sorry for the fox!

  8. Al T. says:

    I’d be a bit cautious – it is a pretty odd to see a fox in broad daylight. If you see it more than once or twice, I’d think seriously about shooting it. Rabies is an issue….

  9. Fred2 says:

    Glad to hear it, ( 4x and standard size)

    I hear a lot of stories about family pets being looked at like food, and a relative of mine lives where there packs of coyotes that any dog less than about 50 lbs is considered “appetizer”.

    Most of the locals who have dogs have substantial dogs, and usually several.

    • Ruth says:

      Someone responded to a post of Tam’s a while back ( a post on these particular dachshunds) with a video of how dogs are tested against bear over in europe. The dachshunds never slowed down, just went in for the kill.

      If these were pekingese or shitzus or similer I’d worry too, but dachshunds are terriers through and through. Fox might be able to take out one or two, but four in a pack? Yah, poor fox!

  10. wolfwalker says:

    Yep, Dachshund = Rottweiler chopped off at the knees. Little dog size, BIG DOG attitude. Any dog that would confront a badger in its burrow won’t have any trouble with a gray fox.

    And dangerously smart. Don’t forget that.

  11. Matthew Carberry says:

    There’s a reason it wasn’t Disney’s – “The Fox and the Dachs-hound”.

    Young Tod: “I’m a fox. My name’s… oh god why are you ack -bleeding-…”

  12. Nylarthotep says:

    I wouldn’t underestimate the American Grey. There’s some tales as to why the british imported red fox from england. Mostly having to do with the american foxes being very hard to catch. Grey fox will head for brush and climb trees to evade the dogs, and can commonly out run foxhounds. I don’t know how fast Dachshunds are, but I’m thinking a foxhound is faster.

    I doubt a fox would mess with any dog that is anywhere near their size. Never heard of a fox bothering a dog. Coyotes tend to be the culprit when that happens.

    At least he/she looks healthy. Growing up we always shot any we saw that looked to have mange or were sickly. Don’t want your dogs getting anything from them like that.

  13. mrs. doubletrouble says:

    I’ve read and heard that many daytime sightings of a fox, especially in the spring, is usually because the mama is out hunting for the kits back in the den.
    We’ve had greys around our place for years. Very handsome critters, never had a problem with them.

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