The Fox and the Kits – 2007

This post will likely be the one driving my visitors (or hits) count above 10,000. 

I don’t know why as humans we mark certain numbers with significance over others. I would not turn down a $9, 934.27 bonus, but I’m not likely to get one. 

One, because no one is going to give me a bonus, and two, because is someone were to offer, it would likely be what they consider a “whole” number . . . $10,000.  They might offer $9,000, but likely they would “round up” to $10K.

Basically a long-winded musing about the fact 10,000 seems like a milestone, but in reality, it’s no more a milestone than having reached 9,934 hits (the count when I started writing this blog post). 

On with the fox and the kits . . . one evening, in the spring of 2007, I was parking my car at the then-still-open Lynmar racquet club when I spied some movement along one of the side walls.  It turned out to be one of seven kits of what looked like a frazzled fox.

One of the seven kits . . .
One of the seven kits . . .

The shot above is first one I saw.  I must warn my readers these are not the best of photographs.  Before I go on, let me tell a brief tale of woe; a cautionary tale, if you will.

I like my Nikon D100, and I used it for many years, but it had one annoying trait . . . not sealed very well, it tended to accumulate dirt on the sensor.  This was acerbated by the fact I change lenses often, and that is another reason crap gets in the camera and the sensor.

I had taken regularly clean the sensor with a blower (mirror up, camera upside down, and blowing in the opening).  My regular blower is a low-pressure affair, and I perceived it was not getting the job done.  One time, and one time only, a few days before these shots, I used something more powerful.  Unbeknownst to me, this damaged the delicate mechanisms working the mirror as well as the curtain.  It also caused focusing problems, and shortly after this series the camera stopped working, and I sent it in for repairs.  Even on this series, I had a number of problems with the shutter refusing to fire. 

Compressed air is powerful stuff . . . powerful enough to hurt your camera.  Be careful.

I've been noticed.
I’ve been noticed.

So, my camera was working less than optimally, but in addition, I was shooting against the light and in a high contrast area.  I did not notice (too excited from watching them), most of the pictures were being blown out because I was Matrix metering (whole scene, which included a very large dark wall) instead of spot metering the kits themselves.

these two were quite playful, and tussled for a long while
these two were quite playful and tussled for a long while

This resulted in slower speeds than I should have shot in, and this caused a loss of sharpness because they were moving, and a loss of detail because most of the pictures were overexposed. The grass, on the other hand, is very sharp in most pictures.

. . . always check your settings.

They look mean and ferocious and pissed at each other . . . but they were playing
They look mean and ferocious and pissed at each other . . . but they were playing

You, the viewer might appreciate the photos for the subjects, but they are not of very high quality because I had to really “fiddle” with them.  They are passable, but I still kick myself for blowing what has turned out to be my only opportunity to date for these kinds of photos.

People seem to like this one
People seem to like this one

 I focused on the mother . . .

In contrast to the kits, this poor fox looked frazzled . . .
In contrast to the kits, this poor fox looked frazzled . . .

Catching a few moment’s rest, she still kept a vigilant watch over the kits.

I felt bad for her . . . she might not look that bad to the casual viewer . . .
I felt bad for her . . . she might not look that bad to the casual viewer . . .
. . . but here you can clearly see the difference between parent and progeny.
. . . but here you can clearly see the difference between parent and progeny.

There are twenty-five (25) photos in the SmugMug album, and many are worth seeing, but were it not for the subject matter they would not have been published.

Yeah, buddy . . . I'm looking at you!
Yeah, buddy . . . I’m looking at you!

As always, thanks for dropping by and reading my stuff.

Oh #1 . . . some of these had appeared on the first SmugMug gallery I ever posted, when I was trying out the service.  That gallery is called “Samples of my Hobby“.  It contains 152 assorted pictures . . . the gallery does not get enough love, if you ask me, so if one or two of you have some minutes to spare, please click on the link and pay it a visit.  It will be very grateful, I can tell you.

Oh #2 . . . for those who came to this post lured by the “young foxes” and “young foxes at play” tags, and were expecting something else . . . this is better.

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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.