Close encounters of a foxy kind
words Peter Hanscomb
How close is to close when it comes to a wild animal encounter ?
Personally for me it changes with each animal you come across. If we’re talking about a red deer stag , it’s normally about 15 metres or about 50ft, a Badger at leat 20 metres and as for a fox , normally about 3 metres or a car length.
I always try and anticipate the animals movement, second guessing where they will move to and if needed will move to allow the animal to carry on unhindered. Sometimes this isn’t possible , then I will stay still, stop taking pictures and hope the animal walks on by . This is a tactic that has served me well, until the other night….
So back to Mr Fox , or I should say Miss fox. Sat on a stool at the rear of my car , a good 3 metres plus away from the fox feeding station I was waiting for the arrival of Peanuts 2 , one of last years cubs . She always arrives at dusk , at this time of year around 8.45pm. Now I should explain , P2 is quite happy being around me , no drama of tantrums as long as we both keep to the safe flight distance ( should add that the appearance of my wife normally changes this with P2 making a swift exit. Also any car approaching the house has the same effect , and this is exactly what happened .
Watching her feed , a car drove down the road and Peanuts shot off across the front of the car , gone in a cloud of dust , only to reappear right next to me , and I mean within 300mm or one foot . She sat down , much like a domestic dog , waited for what seemed like a life time but in reality was only about 10 seconds and then returned to the feeding bowl.
How close is to close ?