Tricia Booker Photography

Fuji Meets Fox

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When Cameron suggested we walk the White Nine yesterday afternoon at the Shenandoah Valley Golf Course, I couldn’t say no. It was a lovely, unseasonably warm November day, and there won’t be many more this year.

So, I grabbed my Fuji X-T10, picked him up at school, and we headed out to the course. Surprisingly, we only saw two other players the entire time we were out, but, as it turned out, the wildlife was abundant. In addition to the resident squirrels, crows and chipmunks gathering food for the approaching winter, we crossed paths with a young red fox.

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After Cam’s tee shot on the fifth hole, we walked up the fairway toward his ball and noticed a fox trotting out of the woods. As we stopped to watch, it meandered toward us, regularly marking its territory and sniffing around. It finally noticed us, but instead of turning away as I expected, it studied us and then approached.

I crouched down to take some photos, knowing that it would still be a speck with the short 18-55 mm lens I had on the camera. But after a few shots, I realized it was still edging closer, so I quickly changed the settings on the camera from the bracketed .jpgs I had been taking of the fall foliage to RAW, so I could have more latitude in editing and cropping.

To our surprise, the fox was so curious that it began to circle us, all the while marking its territory and stopping to sit and stare. Finally, it walked right up to me, pausing just 10 feet away. It cocked its head at the click of the shutter and then seemed to pose for a moment before turning toward Cam, who was setting up for his next shot.

The fox intently watched Cam hit the ball and then sat down on the fairway just behind him. We turned and continued toward the green as the fox observed us.

It was certainly an unexpected and exhilarating meet up. It was as if we were all respectful of one another’s reasons for being out on the golf course on this fall evening. And while Cam had an additional spectator to cheer him on to making his par, I was able to simultaneously test the Fuji’s low light and wildlife capabilities. It was a win-win for everyone!

4 comments

  1. Genie

    I’ve heard of a number of instances where foxes come up to campers begging for food. I have a friend in the NE who has a fox that hangs out with him while he is working outside.

  2. Cheers from the Hanging Lake Rest Area on I-70.

    One of our local golf courses have resident foxes. They bother no one, occasionally watch a golfer, or two, early in the morning or late afternoon. Closer to my sister’s house, there was a small pack of foxes who lived along a dry wash. One of those foxes made friends with her ginger cat which was unusual. Most foxes see a domestic cat as a meal. One night, when she called in her cat, the fox came running too – expecting to go inside. She had to tell the forlorn fox he had to stay outside. Poor thing. 🙂

    The fox behavior you witnessed, here in the west, that’s the signal to go in the opposite direction. With coyotes, you definitely don’t want to make eye contact with them or watch them.

    Sent from my Blackberry Q10 on the Verizon Wireless Network.

    • Hi David! Hope you had safe and enjoyable travels. Thankfully, this fox was simply curious. I had recently heard an NPR show on This American Life that discussed a rabid raccoon encounter. My initial thought was to worry about the fox, but then after thinking about the story I’d heard I realized if this animal was rabid it would have already likely charged at us. It’s always a bit worrisome when they show no fear, but then again it probably sees lots of golfers and may be even associates golf carts with food as the crows certainly do. You can’t leave any food unattended or else it’s gone in a flash!

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