Welcome to this week's Fox Friday, a collection of the best urban fox photos snapped at the Bone Yard hidden somewhere deep in Midland, Texas. Let's get started.
The week is not complete without a showdown.
See you next Fox Friday.
Welcome to this week's Fox Friday, a collection of the best urban fox photos snapped at the Bone Yard hidden somewhere deep in Midland, Texas. Let's get started.
The week is not complete without a showdown.
See you next Fox Friday.
Oh the critters had fun this week.
Welcome to Fox Friday, the weekly display of the best of the urban fox photos from the Bone Yard, an undisclosed feeding station located in the heart of Midland, Texas. In previous Fox Fridays I've put forth several photos, and the posts may have been too busy, picture wise. This time there will only be one photo -- it's that good.
As the season changed the moisture came. And that may have accounted for all the activity this week. Typically one of two feral cats will get to the food first, and the foxes usually wait for left overs. However, a pair of fox visitors this week worked as a team and pulled a rope-a-dope on the cat. The daily food drop consisted of two frozen, raw chicken drumsticks. And while the cat guarded one of them, they circled around to distract him.
Look at that cat's fangs. You can almost hear him hissing as a fox grabbed the drumstick he couldn't cover. The cat ate all he wanted off of the other. Then one of the foxes returned and hauled off what the cat left. Everyone went away with something. It was a good night in the Bone Yard.
Welcome to Fox Friday, the collection of the best of the previous seven days of urban fox photographs at an undisclosed feeding station in central Midland, Texas.
The biggest problem the foxes have, at least at this particular station, is competition from feral cats. The cats have advantages over the foxes. Firstly, although they are both roughly the same size, the cats' claws and flexible arms give them an advantage in a one-on-one fight for food. Secondly, the cats have a better sense of timing as it sometimes seems as though they must be waiting out of sight for the food drop. Thirdly, the cats seem to have a better olfactory system. The nightly food ration consists of two frozen raw chicken drumsticks. The cats recognize it as food right away, however, the foxes sometimes step right over it, seemingly without realizing it's an edible meal, at least until it thaws a bit or a cat has already gnawed on it.
Let's start off with some shots from Monday night:
The next set came from the morning of 9/11. Last week some of the photos showed only the tops of some heads. So this week the camera was lowered by a couple of inches. Did anyone notice?
Old Crooked Tail sure did notice. She can't get over it. Here she is looking right at the camera as it snapped her photo. It has happened in the early days when they were getting used to the setup, but not since, until now.
Finally, this next one was cropped, and the thumbnail is larger to show off our subject.
See ya next Fox Friday!
Welcome to Fox Friday, a collection of the best photos of the urban foxes from the previous seven days from the secret feeding station in Midland, Texas. Fox Friday was a day late last week, so this one is a day short. No problem. The foxes strutted their stuff, and gave us some good shots. Let's get started.
Two foxes frequented the bone yard this week, Scrawny Tail and a reincarnated Old Crooked Tail. I say reincarnated because I believed for a while that one of the two dead foxes found in the street a few weeks ago was her. I'm glad to be wrong but still sorry about the loss of the two foxes. But let's not dwell on that.
Generally, the feral cats get first dibs on the food -- two frozen chicken drumsticks. On this night a cat got there first and was pigging out on a chicken leg.
Look at Scrawny Tail's defensive crouch. I haven't seen that before. A cat doesn't show up for another hour, but something sure got their attention. Whatever happened happened off screen, so we can only wonder. Thankfully it didn't stop them from coming back.
See ya next Fox Friday.
Welcome to Fox Friday, the weekly exhibition of the best photos of the urban foxes in Midland, Texas, from the past seven days, although this week had an extra day in it. Let's consider that a bonus and get started.
It's a challenge telling the foxes apart. However, a couple of them have distinguishing tail characteristics. For example, from the hips to the tip, Scrawny Tail has a different look.
Now compare those two tails with this one.
Most of the time the feral cats get the food first. In fact, they seem to be waiting for it, although they stay hidden. The food consists of two frozen raw chicken drumsticks which must not give off much of a smell at first, because foxes have walked right by them without stopping. In this sense feral cats are smarter than foxes as they find and don't seem mind eating frozen dinners.
Photo notes: The night photos come out gray and black, and if the animal was too close to the camera, the infrared flash gave the subject a washed-out look. Therefore, the gamma was tweaked a bit on some to correct that feature.
Editor's Note: You know it's Saturday, don't you? The inability to distinguish days of the week may be an early indicator of Alzheimer's. Robo-ed | Oh shut up. Sleepless.
Welcome to Fox Friday, a collection of the best photos of the urban foxes from the previous seven nights at the secret feeding station in Midland, Texas. It was a busy week, so let's get to it.
Two feral cats present the biggest obstacle to a fox's full meal. They always seem to get there first. Last Saturday night there was a confrontation.
Fast forward to last night. Fox approaches as the cat eats. Circles. The glutenous cat doesn't even look up. How humiliating. Tip to fox, team up with another fox and attack from two fronts. Aren't canines supposed to be pack animals?
Concluding this week's Fox Friday, I think this is the one I call Scrawny Tail. I hate to get too personal, but here's the rear view. Another female. Recall that the two killed on the street recently were both females. Maybe there's a patriarch among the bunch, and these are members of his harem. But so far I've yet to see a fox here that has shown us a view that would suggest he's a male.
Welcome to Fox Friday, the weekly collection of the best photos from the previous seven days of the urban foxes who make nighttime visits to the feeding station hidden somewhere in the city of Midland, Texas.
A fox was struck and killed two weeks ago on a nearby street. And ten days later another fox met the same fate in almost exactly the same location. Too coincidental. I thought the first fatality was Old Crooked Tail who was, up until then, the most frequent visitor to the Bone Yard. She's been missing since the hit and run. However, last night one showed up looking very similar. Was it the same one? Can't say for sure, they look so much alike. After all, they may all be related.
The most frequent visitor this past seven days was Scrawny Tail. Here are a couple of shots from early last Saturday.
These photos were cropped to highlight the thing I wanted you to see -- the wide open mouth. I think Scrawny Tail was calling for Old Crooked Tail. Yeah, I miss her too, S.T., I miss her too. (Time was early AM on 8/9/14 about five minutes apart.)
The foxes and feral cats have begun to tolerate each other in close proximity, barely. It's not my choice to feed those cats. But they're like the mafia. I have to pay tribute if I expect the foxes to get anything.
Here's the gray/white feral cat eating away while a fox scrounges around nearby. Take a look at the gorgeous tail on that fox. Unfortunately, this may have been the fox who got run over a few hours later. So sad. It's a five lane street, but it really must be treacherous in the wee hours of the morning.
I hope you enjoy seeing these magnificent creatures as much as I enjoy presenting them. See ya next Fox Friday.
NOTE: Some of the photos in this episode of Fox Friday were cropped and/or finagled to better highlight the central figure.
Fans of Fox Friday will recall that we lost a friend one week ago. It was a hit and run on what should have been a quiet street that early in the morning. A fox was killed and left to rot on the street. I was in denial for several days, and although I'm not 100% convinced, there's a good chance it was Old Crooked Tail. She had a beautiful, bushy tail that took a downward turn, and she was the most frequent visitor to the Bone Yard. Her absence this week may mean that she was the one who went to the happy scrounging ground. I'll probably do a tribute to her. But not today.
Foxes showed up only two nights this past seven days. The first time was Monday night when Scrawny Tail slipped in and stole a chicken leg right out from under one of the feral cats.
Then on Wednesday night three -- count 'em -- THREE foxes!
Anyway, that's it for this Fox Friday. See ya next time.
Caution. Some terrible fox news will follow the weekly display.
But first let's see what they were up to this week.
Most of the time the feral cats get to the drumsticks first, and they usually don't give up easily.
But this night Scrawny Tail beat the cat.
This set is more represent of their relationship:
Last night we had two fox visitors.
8/1 - Left - Scrawny Tail grabs a morsel. Middle - Look at the beautiful tail on that one. Right -- They both leave. That must be Scrawny Tail barely visible in the background. Note the time: between 1:55am and 2:20am.
Warning! If, like me, you've grown very fond of these foxes, prepare yourself for some bad news. In fact, just stop reading right now. Go find a cat blog or something. If you stay, get out your handkerchief.
We lost one last night. It happened less than a block from the feeding station. I drove by three times trying to identify which fox it was. On the street the tail looked as if it had Old Crooked Tail's trademark lump. I almost cried when as I circled back. But after collecting the carcass and looking at it closely the tail didn't appear to have that lump after all. And it was too furry to be Scrawny Tail. But in the daylight they may not look anything at all like they do in the night photos.
This fox may be the one from earlier in the night with the straight tail, but that's not a certainty. They look so much alike they're practically interchangeable. But that doesn't mean we can't love each and every one just as much. And for what it's worth, this one is going to get a decent burial.
Thanks for reading all the way through. Sorry it got so morbid. See ya next Fox Friday.
Welcome to Fox Friday, a collection of the best urban fox photos snapped during the past seven days in the Bone Yard, a fox food court in an undisclosed back yard in Midland, Texas.
Lately there have been two foxes visiting the feeding zone, long time visitor Old Crooked Tail and her pal, Scrawny Tail. Actually, they may be related -- they both have similar crooked tails. The amount of tail hair is the only noticeable distinction.
Here they are in different photos:
Last Sunday around 4:30 pm I got a call alerting me to a road kill squirrel. I got there a half hour later, and the squirrel stunk to high heaven. I picked it up anyway and buried it right behind the feeding zone.
The fox found the shallow grave and dug up the stinky squirrel carcass. She dragged it about two feet and left it out in the open. I retrieved it and buried it in another location which so far hasn't been disturbed. But apparently the fox was so disgusted by the idea that I would feed her a rotten squirrel that she's been boycotting the area.
Not bad for a week in which the fox was MIA for three straight days. I still have an eye out for fresh road kill squirrel, but in this heat they don't stay fresh long. Anyway, see ya next week.
Old Crooked Tail has a friend. She's been traveling solo for almost a year, but we finally have proof she has a pal. And having a friend around paid off the other night. There's a ferocious feral cat that almost always gets to the food first, and the cat's not intimidated by one lonesome fox. But two, now we're talking.
One night this week the pair of foxes showed up while the gray/white cat ate.
The potentially bad news for us is that this other fox may have lured Old Crooked Tail off to a better place as she showed up for dinner here only three times this week. I can't tell whether Scrawny Tail is male or female. If he's male I hope he's a good provider. Hey, maybe they're off making made passionate love. My my, wouldn't it be grand if she had a litter of pups?
Welcome to Fox Friday, the weekly display of the best of the Fox Cam photos from the previous seven days in the bone yard, a spot in the city of Midland, Texas, which serves as a feeding station to lure wild urban foxes. Let's proceed.
Wednesday night was squirrel night. There's Old Crooked Tail giving it a good sniff, then feasting on finely served raw squirrel. Scrawny Tail - far right - got the leftovers. Scrawny Tail could be from the same gene pool as Old Crooked Tail, but this one didn't get the bushy tail DNA.
An observation about squirrels: Squirrel night this week was about the fourth time the critters have dined on road kill squirrel in the past couple of months. Typically the squirrels' limbs were severed, and the body parts were placed in five different spots within the feeding zone so that one carnivore wouldn't cart the entire carcass out of view. But here's an interesting phenomenon which I only realized the other day. These squirrels were killed in the streets around town, not near the feeding station. However, there are no longer any squirrels scampering around the area like they used to. It's possible that either the feral cats, the wild foxes, or both, have developed a taste for the furry rodents and may be keeping the squirrel population in check. If so, there's some good that has come of this project.
Welcome to Fox Friday, the weekly collection of the best photos from the Fox Cam for the previous seven nights. For anyone who doesn't know, the Fox Cam is situated in an undisclosed neighborhood in Midland, Texas. The objective is to capture in pixels some urban foxes. However, the foxes are outnumbered by feral cats, and most nights the cats get the food before the fox shows up. And the fox has to settle for leftovers. BTW, the bait is two frozen uncooked chicken drumsticks. That probably doesn't sound very tasty, but the cats are getting fat over them. If only the fox could gain some weight, too.
One night this week there was a confrontation between the fox and one of the feral cats. The cat got there first and was standing guard over the food. The events shown in the next six photos transpired within 14 seconds.
The fox circled out of camera view, then a half minute later she returned to stage an attack.
All this happened on Wednesday night. Thursday night the fox didn't show up. I hope she doesn't let this little setback ruin the area for her. If only she had a pack. That would show those fat felines who's king of the back yard jungle.
Happy 4th of July. Let freedom ring!
Welcome to Fox Friday, the weekly digest featuring the best of the Fox Cam photos from an undisclosed location deep in the heart of Midland, Texas.
We got rain! It's too early to call an end to the drought, but the heavy rain we had the other night was very welcome to the humans, although it may not have been so welcome to the feral cats.
Oh, and here's our favorite again. Old Crooked Tail, you magnificent creature you.
Til next time.
Welcome to Fox Friday, the weekly photo diary of a feeding station set up for some of the wild foxes living in the urban environment of Midland, Texas. The number of foxes living in the area is completely unknown, however, last summer the camera captured three foxes in one frame. Lately there has been only one fox foraging at a time. The one we see most often is "Old Crooked Tail," distinguished by a bushy tail that in a profile looks as if it's broken. However, looked at head-on it appears to be more of corkscrew than hard bent.
We have a mystery this week.
Now skip ahead one more day.
On the other hand, maybe there two Old Crooked Tails. It is interesting that two different animals in the same territory have that same crooked tail, one bushy, one scrawny. Siblings? Offspring? We just don't know.
Til next Fox Friday.
Each Friday we try to display the best of the photos snapped by the Fox Cam at the bone yard. Sometimes there's some drama, and sometimes it's boring. This was one of the boring ones.
There was, however, one confrontation. Looks like Old Crooked Tail had a stand-off with Black Cat. The fox backed off. Too bad those canines haven't discovered the pack advantage -- one fox distracts the cat while another one steals the food. Maybe there aren't enough foxes to form a pack.
Oh well. Til next Fox Friday...
We're set up to photograph the urban foxes, and most of the time it's a boring scene. But occasionally there's some drama worthy of a display here on Fox Friday. The feral cats make their presence known when there's food out, but they're just photo bombers for our purposes as 3/4ths of the photos are of the cats.
The cats are tough and protective, but on one night the fox arrived after a cat began feasting. Watch what happened.
There are two drumsticks out there. Calico II is happily munching away on one. Hello, what's this? Old Crooked Tail slips in nonchalantly, grabs the other one. And she's gone. Yes! Score one for that silky smooth fox!
The cat gave it up without a fight. Maybe the memory of a few night ago are still fresh. That's when another feral cat whipped her tail. See below:
That's it for the weekly urban wildlife episode of "As The Tail Spins." See ya next Fox Friday!
Each week Sleepless in Midland tries to display some of the Fox Cam photos from the urban wildlife feeding station. I believe Fox Friday is more entertaining when the photos reveal a story played out on the ground, and often the story is the battle between the foxes and the feral cats for the food.
The cats are slightly less afraid of humans than the foxes, so most of the time the cats get to the food first. But not this night. For the first time in a long time, the fox got both of the chicken drumsticks. Here we are at the urban Serengeti watching the feeding station when along comes a feral cat. I call this one Calico II. The whole episode played out over about a half hour. Timing is everything in the urban jungle.
The cat looks for food at around 9:21pm, or 21:21 on the camera's 24 hour clock display, only to discover an empty plate. At around 21:30 two chicken legs were put out. Old Crooked Tail arrives on the scene and at 21:45 grabs one of the drumsticks. At 21:48 she grabs the other one. Five minutes later the cat comes back only to find the plate empty again. Tough luck puss.
This next set would be rather unremarkable except for one thing. Lightening lit up the sky!
That's it for this week. See ya next Fox Friday!
Every once in a while a dead squirrel will appear on the roadway in good enough shape to make a meal for a fox. And it happened this week, and so raw squirrel was a featured delicacy on the midnight menu.
Finally Old Crooked Tail arrives on the scene -- too late for supper. The food is usually on the ground about the same time each night, but those ravenous feral cats have figured it out and get there first. The fox gets lucky often enough to keep coming back, fortunately for us.
Well, that's it for this week's Fox Friday. I hope you enjoy seeing these creatures as much as I do.
All of the photos in this series were taken on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning within a period of about two hours.
But wait, there's more. About 40 minutes later she comes back looking for the second drumstick.
A few hours later we see something completely different. It's almost as if we're seeing an optical illusion.
Til next Fox Friday.
While the humans sleep the urban foxes prowl. The darkness of night is their cover, their camouflage, the silent keeper of their secrets. But the Fox Cam doesn't keep secrets, and each night we get to watch the nocturnal creatures scavenge the Bone Yard -- the feeding station at an undisclosed urban location.
There's one I call "Old Crooked Tail" because of the distinguishing crook of the tail. Another one I call "Swoop" because of the long swooping tail. But as soon as I get one named a series of photos taken seconds apart will show a fox producing both tail formations. And it leads one to suspect that all these appearances are by the same fox. But then on a rare occasion more than one fox will appear in a frame, so it's back to the search for some tail-tell distinction.
For starters this week, take a look at the two photos below and spot the difference.
It's the time stamp. The fox is in almost the exact same spot and position in each photo, but the second photo was taken about 31 hours after than the first. I think we have to assume it's the same fox in both. And look a that beautiful, curved "S" shaped tail. Could that be Swoop? Maybe.
Swoop walked off stage and then came back five minutes later. But wait a minute.
That's not Swoop, that's Old Crooked Tail. Maybe they travel together but keep enough distance that they don't appear in the same frame. Or maybe it's the same fox, and the tail look isn't a distinguishing mark after all.
Oh well. If we watch long enough maybe we'll get an answer. Til next time.
P.S. There was an interesting set from Sunday night in which Black Cat had his face buried in chicken leg, looked hard right, then took off like a rocket. An hour later the fox arrived, moved in on the chicken, looked hard right, and took off like a rocket. Something was going on off camera, but the animals weren't talking. Maybe if we have a slow week in the future I'll post that set.
Some nights nothing happens in the Bone Yard - the undisclosed location of the Fox Cam and feeding station. But on other nights a little drama plays out. So to give you a sense of the lives of nocturnal scavengers, here are some scenes from one night this week, the night of 4/25/14.
The foxes don't linger like the cats do, and this entire scenario takes place in less than two minutes. The black feral cat was having a leisurely meal on a chicken carcass. Then ...
And she's gone. Black Cat comes back, but the food's all gone. We started and ended with the cat who usually gets there first and gets a belly full before the foxes arrive, if they arrive at all. But the cat is just an unintended beneficiary of this enterprise. The only way to feed the foxes is to get the cat so fat she'll leave some for the foxes.
Anyway, on behalf of Fox Friday and the urban wildlife of Midland, Texas, see ya next time!
Here we are once again at the Fox Friday Undocumented Wildlife Preserve. The foxes are shy creatures of the night, and they wouldn't want a lot of attention, so the locaiton remains undiscloced.
This past week only one fox up at time showed up for the free lunch, if the feral cats didn't get it first. The fox known as Old Crooked Tail didn't show up, or maybe she simply didn't show off her namesake feature. Nevertheless, here are some exiting scenes from the bone yard. Click on the thumbnail for the big picture.
These two photos were taken about ten minutes apart. The area on our left could be a potential entry way for other animals, and that may explain the fixation. But notice the open mouth in the photo on the right. Perhaps she's beckoning a mate. If so, he didn't show.
Photo note: These photos were taken in the dead of night with an infrared flash. When the foxes are front and center they have a washed out appearance, so gamma adjustments were made on some.
Let's commemorate Good Friday with some fox photos.
For some reason the foxes didn't visit the feeding arena as frequently as they did last week. Hopefully that means they're getting plenty of food elsewhere.
These photo were taken on the evening of 4/15/2014. (The moon was full, and there had been a Lunar eclipse in the early hours that day, however there were no photos snapped or animal visits during the time of the eclipse.)
There's very little light even with a full moon. So they see with their noses.
Happy Easter from the bone yard!
When they both show up in the same photo there's no doubt. There are two foxes! Last year we got three in one photo, but this is a first time in many moons that more than one showed up in a frame.
There must be more than one fox that scavenged the bone yard and got snapped by the Fox Cam. But they look so similar it's difficult to tell them apart. However, there's one with a recognizable characteristic. I've been calling him "Old Crooked Tail."
Well, Old Crooked Tail mooned us the other night. See below.
For an example of how similar the foxes look, see the two photos below. The photos were taken about an hour apart, and the foxes are in roughly the same spot in the field of view.
Surely, these must two different foxes. The one on the left looks a little bit larger than the one on the right, however that could be the slight difference in distance from the lens. They would be difficult to distinguish but for the crooked tail.
Once a week we view the goings on in the bone yard -- the undisclosed location where the Fox Cam captures the nocturnal critters scavenging for food.
The evening buffet lately consists of two frozen chicken drumsticks. It's difficult to make them out in the night photos. But there one is, partially thawed and glistening in the light. ... And it's gone.
Old Crooked Tail on the left showing us his namesake feature. But look at the one on the right. Same night almost four hours later -- look at the straight tail -- is it the same fox? I don't think so.
The "No Cats" sign didn't do any good last week, so we started this week with bilingual signage. Maybe now those ravenous rascals will get the message. (Click on the thumbnails for the big picture.)
But then the rains came. The sign lettering was a thin layer of Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue on cardboard sprinkled with tiny reflective glass beads. It was just a joke anyway, but as you'll see farther down, one of the signs held up pretty well.
The next night:
One night something strange appeared on the scene.
Each night the cats must hide in the weeds waiting for the chicken leg to be put out for the foxes. Well, there was a surprise in store.
Unfortunately, the cats ignored the sign. Maybe some bilingual signage might be in order.
The fox doesn't come around every night, and when he does, it's not always at the same time. An irregular routine is probably part of an urban fox's survival kit even if it means missing a meal. The food goes out at roughly the same time each evening, and maybe some night the fox will get it. But not this night. Or any night this past week, for that matter.
Finally, here's an interesting shot. You can make one fox in the background, but there is a set of eyes trailing him (see yellow circle). Is it another fox? Maybe they are traveling in pairs again as we approach Spring.
The feral cats usually beat the fox to the food, but the fox does check in once or twice a week. And one night this week his timing was almost just right, and there was a confrontation.