Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Fox, the Storm, and the Morning After

1. Lake ontario fog-kabLake Ontario 8-4-11

The morning after the storm a fog gathered on Lake Ontario as I packed my bags for home. I walked out into the cool, damp morning air listening to the birds of AMOC Camp for one last time. After loading the vehicle up I grabbed my camera and binoculars, a cup of hot tea and my chair, and wandered down to the shore cliff one last time. I stood on the cliff in the morning light, gazing at the transformation from last night’s storm.

2. battered beach-kabBelow me I saw Bank Swallow Beach tossed and turned and muddied, the water lapping brown and sandy against the accumulated debris. The little rocky beach where I had watched children playing just two nights ago was now gone. Big chunks of that bank now lay at the water’s edge slowly being dissolved into the lake.

3. the fox appears-kabSitting back in my chair I searched the bank and beach below for signs of life. As I sipped my tea I suddenly sat bolt upright as I gazed below me at some scraggly movement. A lone fox, tattered and battered, limped along the shoreline.


4. fox-kab Most of its fur was gone and its left rear leg appeared to be injured.


5. fox-kabIt sniffed the air as it trotted painfully across water-worn sticks and branches.


6. searching-kab 

7. searching-kab 

8. searching-kab 

9. a poor meal-kab Suddenly it spied the carcass of a seagull lying in all that debris and it fell on it ravenously. I had seen that headless carcass a couple of night ago, lying there in the muck and rocks. It was there on the beach behind the children. They played in the water, the dead gull unnoticed behind them. The next morning I saw it again, but by then there was little more than the wings left. Something had eaten the body. Now the poor hungry fox picked at what was left of the wings, then, carefully stepping over a few logs it found a fresh spring running down the cliff and into the lake. It drank the clean water from a little gully as it flowed towards the mud-ridden lake edge.

10. movin on-kab As I continued to watch the fox hobble over the re-sculpted shoreline I saw it scramble over an old tire, lying there in all that debris and it occurred to me that in many ways this fox is a metaphor for our environment.

11. up the path-kab It has been beaten down, polluted and forgotten. While nature struggles to survive against all that this industrial age continues to throw at her, the poor thing limps on, trying to feed. Trying to heal. Will the fox survive? I suppose that is really up to us and how much we are willing to do, and how much we are willing to change. In all its poor condition, I still felt privileged to have this glimpse of wildness. I think we need it for our souls. I know I do. I cannot imagine a world without nature and I plan to do my part to preserve this earth to the best of my ability.

It was a poignant moment for me on this last day and I found it very hard to tear myself away from that beautiful shore and that peaceful place.


12. my favorite stump-kab I will miss my viewing stump…


13. the view-kab …and the views.


  1. I'm with you Kathy, I can't imagine living without nature. It caresses my soul and makes it hum, leaving it refreshed and rejuvinated. Enjoyed your pictures and the story you wove about the fox. He sure was a skinny thing.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I've seen many of your postings through Dawn's bloggy blog.

  2. They are wily creatures Kathie, hope it will managed to survive though. Difficult to know how it got into that state.

  3. Hi Katie..riveting post ...
    Makes you think about what man has done that affects every living creature, including man himself!!
    Have enjoyed your post of this trip!!

  4. Hi Kathie

    I lived for a number of years by Lake Erie and I know how much damage the storms on the lakes can do it can be very dramatic. I really appreciate your comments concerning the fox and the environment as a whole. While nature seems very resilient I am horrified by the thought of life without the chance to experience the seasons, the cycles of life and the unexpected beauty the natural world affords us.


  5. poor little fox...he looks so lost...and not in very good shape. hopefully he will overcome his current state... :(
    beautiful shoreline...a perfect spot...the branches and all the natural things that wash ashore after a storm is expected...but then when you start to see all the garbage that washes up's sad...that so many people don't have respect for nature...

  6. Kathie, what a neat spot with a pretty view(minus the trash) . I feel sorry for the fox, it must really be sick.

  7. A beautiful, dramatic morning. That fox sure didn't mind his photo being taken.

  8. Cindy, thank you also. I am glad to have you along for the ride!

    Roy, yes it is. I wondered how it got into that state myself. Who knows what its fate is. I have seen nature heal itself int he most dire circumstances, but we will never know.

    Grannie g, thank you! It was fun to experience and fun to write about.

    Guy, you are so right. We need nature to nourish our souls, quiet our hearts, and instill us with wonder and delight.

    forestwalk, thank you for your empathy.

    Eileen, I am afraid it is. It had a red open sore on its rump right by the tail. Still, I did see it put weight on the leg so I am hoping it was only bruised and not broken.

    Sandy, I was so far above it and it was so battered and hungry that I do not think it ever saw me!

  9. Looks like that fox has (or..had) mange. Sadly, not a condition he was likely to recover from.


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.