To have an opportunity to spend time in the company of Foxes never fails to bring you closer to nature - little did i know i would be trusted enough to share in some of their most intimate family moments.
The urban Red Fox
On my return from a summers afternoon walk to the local village shop came an encounter I'm not likely to forget.
While taking the short cut through the nearby church yard my eyes were drawn to a patch of brown fur sitting motionless on the grass path ahead.
A fox was resting in the summer sun, eyes shut, and not perturbed about my presence at all. I had walked this route so many times but never enjoyed such an encounter.
As foxes have an acute sense of hearing it occurred to me it would have been only to aware of my clumsy stumbling way before I had a chance to see it and highly likely would have sought concealment in the nearby hedge if it had felt uncomfortable.
I'm sure it was only a couple of minutes before a small energetic bundle of fluff and fur came running up to who i now know was clearly Mum.
I slowly descended to the path, sat cross legged and spent the next hour just watching.
Over the rest of the summer I returned often and Mum became even more comfortable with my presence. She trusted me enough to lead me to her den, introduced me to her cubs and shared her most intimate family moments.
The enormous sense of wellbeing being able to witness the maternal bond between Mum and cubs made me realise how lucky i was to share my summer with these beautiful animals.