Second “X” stories voting reminder . . . and fox

The “X” stories voting block is chugging along and nearing the halfway mark. This is the second reminder and . . .

. . . crap! Is this Super Bowl weekend? Lemme check . . . yup! That means I’m wasting my time posting this. No, wait . . . I’ll work under the assumption that football fans are not big readers during football season (and likely during the rest of the year), so they weren’t going to see this post anyway, what with cheering various criminals and thugs as if they were heroes.

But, for the reading public, no matter how you come to the stories, if you are a reader of our stories and someone who votes, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge X-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021.

So, fox . . . .

There’s a fox in our neighborhood that seems interested in approaching people, even when they are walking large dogs. I don’t know if it’s an idiot, young and immature, or all three. Two days ago, it was in my yard. I snapped a few photos (143) and recorded one video.

Don’t worry, I won’t publish all 143 photos . . . probably.

Anyway, I was about to get on my rowing machine for a portion of my exercises when I saw it out the window, walking toward the back of our house.

A neighbor had told us they’ve seen it sleeping among the shrubs and trees lining the drainage ditch marking the north end of our lot. I’m wondering if it’s the same fox that slept on our chair (LINK). But, I digress.

I saw the fox and rushed to get my camera. Unfortunately, and I’ll explain why in a moment, I had my 70-200mm lens mounted on the camera and didn’t take the opportunity to swap it for the smaller and lighter 80-300mm. Rushing to the bedroom, I was pleased to see the fox had stopped right outside the window, about 25-30 feet away, and was intent on biting various parts of its tail and back (I presume some sort of flea or other parasites).

This next gallery is a sampling of shots I snapped by pushing the lens through the slats of the blinds. Unfortunately, the blinds reflected onto the glass, giving the photos a washed-out look that required a fair amount of processing. Also, because they were shot through double-pane windows, the clarity isn’t there.


A couple of things to note from those shots. I don’t know if it’s got the mange, and I say that because of the amount of scratching and biting it did, and because the pelt doesn’t look all that good on the lower back and rump (where it can probably easily reach to scratch and bite). I’m trying to find local wildlife groups that might know more about it. But, moving on . . .

. . . I’ve tried to caption this next series as best as I can.

A small gallery representative of the scratching and biting and stuff . . .

This next series is where I raised the blinds so that I could have more flexibility in shooting.

It either heard the noise or saw the movement, but it got interested.
And reacted by doing a stretch . . .
. . . which included a weird facial expression . . .
. . . before giving me its full attention.

Then, more scratching and looking disinterested . . .

At this point, I decided I had enough photos and risked opening the window so that I could get proper shots, and not through two pieces of non-optical glass. I was concerned it would run, but that’s not what happened.

It got up, focused on the lens that was sticking out the window . . .

. . . and made several quick movements toward the window. By the end of the next series, it was no more than ten feet from the window, and likely closer (I wasn’t paying too much attention to estimating the distance).

I wasn’t worried it would come through the window since it was only opened enough to get the lens through it, but I wondered if it had some familiarity with people, as in maybe some (stupid) people were feeding it. I say that because the normal reaction should have been to run.

And it then behaved in a way that reminded me of dogs . . . which makes sense since they are in the same family of animals.

It would push down on its front legs, then move quickly sideways, look away (but not really), then dash the other way, all the while alternating between coming closer and backing away.

I mentioned the thing with the lens . . . that’s a very fast lens I normally keep at something like f/6 or even f/8. Except, I’d been using it to do some testing on focus accuracy, so I didn’t bother to check the settings. Hence, most of the shots are at f/2.8 to f/3.2 . . . why does that matter, you ask? Well, it means a very shallow DOF (depth of field).

This isn’t good at longer zooms because that makes the DOF even smaller. Couple that with trying to snap photos in awkward positions and we have a problem.

The problem is that the focus point is occasionally not precisely where I want it. Normally, not a big deal, but with constant focus, that means that — either because I moved or the fox moved — the important parts of the photo (the eyes) aren’t always in the focus range. Still, not bad photos overall (along with yet another lesson to always check your camera settings). 

It was about now that I remembered the camera has a video mode . . . just in time for the last 33 seconds the fox hung around there. This isn’t the best of videos because oddly enough, the constant focus didn’t work when I zoomed in. Still, here it is . . . 


I’m annoyed I even tried to zoom in, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles . . . wait, did someone say ‘cookie’? What kind?

This LINK will take you to the SmugMug gallery that has the full-size versions of the above. Even though this is an alphabet stories reminder, these photos will appear on their own Gallery under the Feather-and-Fur folder because there are so many of them. Be aware that many are not pixel-peeping-worthy.

No extra post this time . . . this is long enough. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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