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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Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not personally hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.  

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

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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21 Responses to The Fox and the Kits – 2007

  1. I think they’re great shots. Anytime you can get out and get wildlife, trying to photograph them can be challenging. I love them. Thanks. And I will check out your smug mug gallery.


  2. P.S. I checked out your smug mug gallery. . . you have a great eye. The photos are fabulous.


  3. Emily Heath says:

    Lovely photos, even if you’re not that impressed by ’em. Even the mother fox looks in better shape than most of the poor scrappy urban foxes I see round London. We call the little ones cubs over here.


    • disperser says:

      Yeah, but over there they have weird names for many things. (in case you might miss it, that’s a joke. In part it’s aimed as some of my British friends who are by now tired of hearing it).

      Cubs is used here as well, but a few friends of mine are the pedantic sort that will correct me if I don’t use “kit” when referring to the cubs.


  4. I can see what you mean by the defected camera and how that infected your shots, still glad you shared them here… It’s so unusual to see these extremely shy creatures…at least in our country they are … They are around but I myself never saw one.
    And the second shot of the little one felt noticed I find truelly amazing, no matter what you say ;)


  5. I’m new to your site, and enjoyed this post immensely (so wonderful to see kits at play, and I’m especially moved by the shots of the mother). I also followed the link to your SmugMug gallery, where I was so pleased to discover the variety of shots you have posted there. The wildlife shots in particular are really beautiful (the birds, the moose (!), and the flowers are all really lovely).


    • disperser says:

      Thanks for the compliment. I’m glad at least some people ventured over there. The blog has only a very small portion of the photos I take . . . SmugMug is where nearly everything I photograph ends up.


  6. Shannon says:

    Great photos! Whenever I’ve seen a fox, it’s always in passing as the fox trots off to wherever it’s going.


  7. Shannon says:

    Yes, I was strolling though those albums last night and wondering how the heck you captured all of that! The foxes we have here (gray fox) are very shy of humans. We’ve had only one sighting in the 6 years we’ve been here. Brilliant photography and patience. So glad you shared the story.


  8. disperser says:

    Two Shannon . . . huh . . .

    The blog has a number of posts about foxes, including my favorite about the fox and the coyote.

    Where I work (Woodland Park) we regularly see foxes hunting or just passing through the empty lot next door, and this year there was a den less than 100 yards from our building, so I see a lot of foxes . . . and deer, and occasionally elk.

    There is at least one fox that has my front and back yard as part of its regular route.


  9. bluelyon says:

    Sometimes we can be our own worst critic. Are these tack sharp? No. Exposure a bit messed up? A bit. But, the story of the photos is marvelous. Thanks for putting them up and sharing with the rest of us.


  10. AnnMarie says:

    The last photo here and the last one in SmugMug are gems. A real treat to look at . . . and to be looked at back.


  11. disperser says:

    Thanks all for the comments, and glad enjoyment was had by all. I, of course, had a ball actually watching them at play.


  12. Luisella says:

    Love it when animals look straight at the camera. What hams they can be. It’s like they know they are being photographed. I love foxes.


  13. mike585 says:

    Lovely images.


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