We have new neighbors!  Or we did for a while; they may have moved on already after just a couple of weeks.

A house three doors down from us has been vacant for more than two years. There was quite an extensive electrical fire. While the house didn’t burn down, it is uninhabitable. The family that lived there got an insurance settlement and moved out to Maple Grove, and the house has sat forlornly with blue tarp on the roof, boarded up garage doors and weeds taking over the lawn.   But it has a brand new den — of foxes.  Near as we can tell, there are a pair of adults and three young ones.

We have enjoyed seeing them.  It’s been fun to watch the little ones roll around with each other and zip through our yards.  The adults skulk around more cautiously, popping up here and there, prancing down the street victoriously with a bird or squirrel in their mouths.

Cesar is not at all happy with these critters in his territory, which he considers to be not only our yard but all the area he can see from our upper-level back windows, which is considerable.  The foxes, sly as they are, figured out quickly that the leash only goes so far.  Barking hysterically, Cesar will strain to chase them while they sit calmly in the next yard answering his ruckus with polite squeaky yaps.  Now if we merely mention the F-O-X, Cesar races to the closest window for a quick check.  At least Cesar could hold his own if he ever did meet up with one of them. One of our neighbors has a chihuahua, and they are very wary.

There’s a downside for us, too: The dinner leftovers we find strewn across the gardens and grass.  The tally so far:  two squirrel tails, woodpecker feathers, and a female duck carcass. No bunnies; I haven’t seen one in our yard in ages.  I like to think they all moved to safer ground but …

Now it seems the foxes may have moved on. They used to be out every morning and evening, but I haven’t seen them for a couple of days. It would be difficult for one small urban area to sustain five foxes, I know; and the babies were getting quite big.  I’ll miss the fun of spying them, but one of the wonderful things about living literally on top of a park is that there is always something new to see: pileated woodpeckers, hawks, eagles, geese, ducks, squirrels, seagulls … not to mention interesting humans.  It all makes daily life just a little more fun.