Paws for Thought ~ Part 1

Queen Muffin II

Wrapped in Gold

No matter driving rain, howling gale, bitter cold, or blazing sun, walking the length of Dun Laoghaire Pier I am conscious no one values the very unique brilliance of my thoughts and words as much as Muffin does. Behaves gracefully in all situations and circumstances. She never asks why, just sniffs the ground to keep abreast of where we are, wags her tail and pulls forward.  Wonderful!

“…beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity; and all the virtues of man without his vices.

– Lord Byron, ‘Epitaph to a Dog’ (1808)

Garden Wildlife: The Red Fox

All the odds seem stacked against the red fox, which is hunted for its fur, chased for sport, shot, poisoned, snared and trapped by the thousand as an “agricultural nuisance”. Add the pressures of urban development and the cloud of doom covering this cunning medium-sized mammal is thick indeed.

Having never observed a fox in the wild, imagine my surprise when what first emerged as a reddish-brown splash of fur parked on the grass down at the end of the garden wasn’t Muffin, the cross Irish Red Setter / Golden Retriever family dog, but a red fox. This brazen little vixen (well she does look female) looked perfectly at home in broad daylight washing herself and marking out her territory for other foxes.

Not quick the fox...Much loved family dog Queen Muffin I
Not quick the fox…Much loved family dog Queen Muffin I

Foxes are considered to be nocturnal mammals. Amazing to be so close and personal with what I always considered to be rural wildlife, especially in your own back garden.

A little research soon reveals that the flexible fox has adapted very well to the onslaught of population expansion, in fact it is thriving. In urban Dublin, for example, fox densities average around 1.04 fox families per square kilometre, as, thanks to us urbanites, it has a more regular source of food! (See pics below)