Another year over

Mintues to hours, days to months, seasons of change. Hard to believe here we are on the last day of the year. Happy New Year everyone! Let the fireworks fly! An ordinance was passed this year in Anchorge, AK to let everyone fire off fireworks from 6pm to 1am New Year's eve. And so we shall. Another way of getting outside to share with friends the ringing in of the new year standing by a roaring fire and setting off fireworks. And just where did this last year go for everyone? As I look back on the year, it had it's trying moments. Summer produced a lot of rain, and as I have said right along the midwest had a wonderful summer. Seems we are always opposite of each other, which means the summer of 2011 will hopefully be nice up here. Went Halibut fishing to stock the freezer for the winter months, though Destiny says we will have four halibut in the freezer for next year. This is fine tasting fish as well as smoked salmon. Halibut fish and chips for dinner last night as well. Still in the persuit of feeding my birds and looking for wildlife which includes one of my favorite subjects up here, the moose. Snow has fallen and the moose migrate out of the mountians down to lower elevations. Like right into our backyard.

I'm out the door like I was going to a fire. Spending as much quality time with them as I can - studying them while they're watching me! The odditys one does for pure excitment and of course being outside as well. As always I have many great conversations with people who love their birds and love watching the wildlife, just not as close as I seem to get. All good things to have in common with each other. Just days ago being out snowshoeing in late afternoon light in a open area I came across a moose antler that had already fallen from its host. I think this was one of nature's best Christmas gift to me I could find.
The outdoors blesses us all with so many gifts if we would just take the time to look about and see what it has to offer us. Christmas to me seems it has gone way to commerical, not like I remember it as a young boy. We have fallen away from gifts from the heart. My biggest gift is getting outside to spend time watching the birds, cross country sking through the woods, the simple peaceful quietness of the woods. Seeing a moose off in the distance. And taking those memories back to the cabin to reflect on while sitting in my rocker in front of the fireplace.

As we approach the New Year, and I don't make any New Year's resolutions, just take it as it comes, my gift to you all is that you make it the best. Don't get so caught up in what ever you do that you forget about the most important people in your life including you. Work will always be there. But please take some time out for yourself, hit the trail with a walk through one of your local parks. A long walk through the woods does the heart and soul wonders. Take a few pictures to share with with others to let them see what they might have missed along the way. I wish you just the best and a Happy New year. Let's be safe out there in your travels.
See you on down the trail,
Buford T. Porcupine


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone, tis the season to be jolly. Fa la la la and all the good tidings that go along with the present's under each and everyone's tree. Wishing you all just the best of the holidays. Spending it with family and friends I hope. Getting fat and sassy worrying about the diet after the holidays. Drink and be Merry in moderation. Keep the home fires buring. I will talk at you all soon before the this year is over.
Buford T. Porcupine


Adventures above treeline

Hello all, are you glad the summer is over? Well I'm for it! It wasn't much of a summer around the ole cabin. Moose hunting for the month of September is now over. Though to be honest with you, not many were successful in getting their moose due to the area they were hunting in and warmer temperatures. Now that is over once again some of my trail buddies have decided to go and see if they can find and view the moose that did make it through the hunting season. Viewing should be easy now as the moose rut is about to start. This trip entailed collecting several of us with 4wheelers, one such 4wheeler being a Rhino. We picked an area we have been to before with some moderate success. Our trip down the road would eventually take us up to higher ground. After parking and unloading, adding the gear and rations we were off and running down the dirt road. From there we would turn off towards the higher elevations. Once turning off the road and onto the trail head, we had to go about a city block through water that came up and inside the Rhino floor. No problem here as others had to pick their feet up on the other 4wheelers that followed behind us. As we moved along over what we call a trail, leading us slowly up, the ride turns into a hysterically funny "hold on" rocky ride. It's amazing how the Rhino will move over rocks of many sizes, uneven ruts, valleys and what is left of some tree stumps with little to no problem. I hadn't once even thought about putting on the seat belt, though I did have several hand grips to choose from when we did lean - never once thinking I was going to fall out. As we slowly climbed higher up through the evergreens and various trees, the landcape opens up to a wonderful view down below.
What lies ahead of us is rolling tundra with peaks and valleys and a rocky trail left by many before us who have made the same trip up above treeline. There was a coolness in the wind that blew that day but all of us had dressed for the weather and came prepared. Our first stop at the top clearing we waited for the other 4wheelers to catch up and took a break stretching from the tretcherous ride. Ah it was nice to be up top again. It's always about the view looking down and across and as far as the eye can see when up on the mountains. Soon after our little break we were off and running again heading over more rocks that lie in the trail. Riding along I just soak in the view heading over to a ridge overlooking a valley where down below several of the guys had some luck in past years of hunting moose.

After several hours of riding to various spots and taking breaks searching mountain sides for moose, we were able to spot a bull moose and several moose cows. But as our luck would have it, they were on one side of the valley and we were on the other! Not as close as we would like though we did get to see moose which was our intention. Any day away from the cabin chopping wood for the winter months and the other required work is fine by me. One does not pass on a ride in a Rhino up above treeline. After a good day for all of us up on the open tundra we headed back across. My trail buddy I was riding with had the idea of taking a different route back down just to mess with the other guys on 4wheelers. The trail is rutty and lots of rocks lay on the trail in spots, with all the rain we received this year what trails we did follow were soft. We collected ourselves after our last break of the day and headed off. The tundra landscape is made up of scrub brush flat at times, roving hills and creeks all running down the mountain, of course. As we moved along approaching various parts of the trail, it was clear to me why we took this direction, mud, mud and more mud crossed our path! We stopped to survey several spots to see which would be the easiest route to travel. I got the feeling the guys thought this was no problem - until each of them started across the mud and found out differently! The end results would not be a pretty outcome.

One started across on his 4wheeler taking a direct route that would only bury his machine up to the bottom of his fenders. Rhino to the rescue for a pull out. Another 4wheeler turned over, and another almost getting stuck but did mange to get through the worst area of the mud. All meeting up again and deciding to make a new route in a different direction through a creek up a small hill and back to the trail that would lead us back to the route that brought us up here. Now of course, you have to go back down from where you came from. Only this time decending down the steep path required going over the same rocks (some I would call small boulders), crossing a moving creek and feeling rocks hit on the skid plate that protected the bottom, applying the brakes more than you would like, heading back through the evergreens and spruces slowly making our way towards the base of the mountain and back through all the water. Single file. Once down each of the wheelers took off down the dirt road to rid the build up of mud, better yet why not head to the neartest moving water, the Little Su River and run the wheelers through the water washing off the wheels and under the frame. All in all it was a great adventure up above treeline, seeing some moose, the openess of the tundra, guys having fun on their 4wheelers. As a passenger riding along in a Rhino, oh yes, you can bet there lies another adventure to the same area next year after moose hunting season is over.
Hope you are all having a nice fall and have winterized your surroundings!
See you on down the trail...
Buford T. Porcupine


Labor of Love

Another summer comes to a end for us all. Hello all trail blazers, hope your summer has gone well for you where ever you might be. Disappointed in our summer up here in Alaska as we beat our record of nothing to be proud of, thirty two days of consecutive measurable rainfall. Sure was hard to plan for anything when the weather was mostly cloudy with rain always in the forecast. Ever had cabin fever in the summer time? My weather records show that we had this same kind of rainy summer two years ago. Oh well there's always next summer. As we bring a close to this summer being the end of August turning to September and closing in on Labor Day, the only weekend everyone tries to "get away" from labor-work, I found a bit of lack of labor due to all the rain we received this summer yet I still was able to travel and get in some fishing for Halibut, do some bird watching and photographing some new birds that I haven't been able to get before. In the latter part of my summer, i worked to record all the adult birds bringing their immature young to my backyard and watching them feed their young. Seems this year too, I was able to record more warblers than I've ever seen before both around the cabin and out in my travels. Labor Day is supposed to be spent with family either around the house or going off to somewhere to get away from what we know as our everyday routine. I know our local state campgrounds fill up fast to get that last camp outing in. Here our State fair is going, and I'm sure a lot of these people will be at the fair. Then there's the moose hunting season that's about to start at the beginning of September. Now one would ask for both the men and the women up here who for take in the huntng experience, is that realy labor? Ah the great outdoors - fish, hunt & camp! The labor of love, if you don't mind what you do, fishing all summer, getting ready to moose and caribou hunt, then it's really not work. I think back on all of the rain we have received over the summer, keeping us both out of our kayaks and off the trails heading up a moutanin side, all the work I put in looking for and patiently waiting for the birds, seems like all I did over this summer come rain or shine was my labor of love. And here's the thing - I would do it again and again, over and over. If you don't mind the work; whatever it is you do, then why complain about it. Labor Day if you're not working, do nothing! That's right, no labor on Labor Day! But remember those who do have to work and not because they want to (wishing they to could be off on Labor Day) but because they have to. I choose to continue to labor on looking for birds or searching for the moose and fall colors before darker nights settle us in for what's expected in the coming months. If you don't mind the work you do as I do, then why labor about it? I love my labor and it has given back what I have put into it over all these years.

So here's some of my love of labor from over this summer.

See you on down the trail....

Buford T. Porcupine


Life Goes On

So it's been awhile since I was last here...
Hello everyone Buford T. Porcupine ready to make way again. A lot has happened since my March posting. Amazing how everyday life can take control and one can get so busy feeling ten feet tall and bulletproof. That's when life hits you and hits you hard with lessons to be learned. April brought warmer temperatures as well as the returning birds. Birds around the cabin in the spring are always so exciting with so many different varieties showing up daily. You know where I am - up early, outside watching and photographing as many of the birds as I can. I made several trips up to higher elevations trying to find a certain warbler, ole Mr. Wilson. After many missed shots last year in the spring, I was determined to seek out this yellow warbler with a black cap on his head. Finally in May I was able to locate and get several pictures of Mr. Wilson, many I would be very happy with and worth sharing with others. Spring comes and with longer daylight, Destiny and I tend to run hard on may of our adventures. With that being said, that ole tune, I 've been everywhere, can lead one up to exhausting. Yes we've been everywhere, from Willow to Homer for the spring shore bird festival. Went out Seward on a cruise on the big water looking for whales and steller sea lions and whatever else we could see and then back to Homer to fish for Halibut and back home to Willow. Weather to say the least, it hasn't been a good summer for us due to a lot of rain and grey skies. In June our life came to abrupt halt as Destiny was facing some health issues that we had no idea were sneaking up on her. Destiny was diagnosed with colon cancer as well as having gallbaldder issues. Not much time was lost getting her in right away for the surgeries to catch the cancer at a early stage. Had we missed one key piece of evidence, time would only hurt us in the long run. Sometimes feeling ten feet tall and bulletproof and feeling that this kind of thing won't ever happen to you can fool you and hit you hard with all sorts of emotions. Needless to say with many weeks off from our everyday routines, giving time for Destiny to recover has put a lot of rethinking about how we lead our lives here in Alaska. Do you do things differently? Change your routines? You heal from these experiences, live life a little fuller and life goes on. Lesson here no matter how busy your life is, make your health the number one priority so as you can continue doing the things in life you so much love to do. For us it's all the adventures we seek out everyday while living our dreams here in Alaska. Oh the weather hasn't changed much. A lot of grey skies and more rain than we would like but we're back and getting back into our way of life up here. Some days are slower than others, other days we're off to somewhere locating some sort of wildlife may it be birds or the moose, brown bears on a river as the fish still keep coming. Staying very busy and passionate about what you love most what ever that might be in your life is what living is all about. Forgetting and ignoring your health, putting things off until later may creep up on you and knock you down for a shock just as it did for us both. Everyday since Destiny's recovery is a blessing. We now look at everyday just a little differently, live like your dying because you just don't know in your lifetime when these type of illnesses are going to creep on you when you least expect it. Mean while we're still out birding, hiking and taking all of Alaska in - living our lives to the fullest. Lessons learned and life goes on. I look forward to showing and sharing with you all some of our pictures from what we did take over this summer in the next few posts.

Hey see you on down the trail somewhere,

Buford T. Porcupine


Spring has Sprung

As I sit in my favorite rocker and ponder the memories of March, I think, with spring comes more light, warmer tempertures and new life. Hello all, Yes, March is behind us. The Iditarod is over with Lance Mackey mushing to a 4th consecutive win. Spring sportshows are running almost back to back, drawing people out to get them excited about this coming summer. Snow in town is for the most part gone except for the mountainous mounds of snow in the parking lots; slowly melting away. Snow still surrounds the cabin well into the woods and ice is still covering the lakes. To walk on the soft white snow is more of an ankle catcher than it is worth. Though some of my visiting birds have left for the north , the remaining birds are still free entertainment. And I am staying off and away from frozen rivers! Having said that, here's the story!! I had this great idea to walk the ice bridges on the Little Su River that runs through one of my favorite state parks. Snowshoes on, up and over a few snow mounds, making our way down onto the Little Su, I'm leading the way with Destiny following behind. All is looking good, weather nice in the high thirties to low forties and the sun shining bright off the ice - almost blinding without sunglasses. That next step proved different, because the left leg went down through the snow through the ice and that is where I stopped. OOPs! As well as a few other choice words!! To make matters worse, the snow fell in around my leg and foot making it very difficult to get my leg/foot loose. Now the scrambling started, digging the snow away to try to get my leg back out. As I am digging I am hearing the sound of running water below me. This is not a good sign! My snowshoe broke a hole through the snow and ice just big enough to go through but not large enough to get my leg, foot and snowshoe out. Mean while Destiny is helping get my pack off, lending me her snowshoe poles to poke around down by the ice hole to make it just a little bigger so I could get out of this hole before the ice decided to break. After some fast moving and some success I was able to free my leg and get back up on some solid ice and get the heck off the frozen river - that appeared to be pretty and wonderful looking. The appeal of blue ice and wanting to take a closer look does have its draw-backs. Yes it's Spring , and time to STAY OFF the rivers! Though those of us who are still bitten to fish are on the lakes fishing away as long as the ice is still thick enough. Good for them, after my short experience, once is enough for me! I will not to go out on the ice so late in the season.

Warmer temperatures and longer light have kept me outside looking around watching Spring slowly make its way into Alaska, though it's an ugly time of year with all the dirty snow on the sides of the road and all the mud. But time is moving so quickly for us all, before you know it, the trees which are now budding, will have bloomed and a lot of the waterfowl I seek out will have returned. As well as that first sighting of the robin to let you know -Spring has Sprung. The kayaks can finally get uncovered. So I hope you all are ready for spring, whether you're out walking trying to get into shape for this Summer's adventures or you just need to get out of the house and feel the warmth of the sun on your face and skin, kinda feels nice, eh? Yes, it has been a long winter for us all.


Feeling the winter blues

Hello all,

Is anyone feeling the winter blues? While the east coast is still dealing with a lot of snow, here in Alaska we have had recent snow fall as well. Snow is forecast through about the first week of March. Last week temperatures reached middle 40s and in a couple areas in the mid 50s. A few trees out back have even started to show buds. How exciting! Yesterday while hanging out in the woods, I watched two Hairy woodpeckers squawking at each other climbing up and down on branches across from each other prior to flying off. The squirrels are out and about more and are chasing each other hopping across the trees. Still winter is feeling a little bit long about now. Oh there is plenty of activity to keep us busy up here. The 75th Fur Rendezvous started in Anchorge this past weekend and as usual people from throughout the state will have participated and attended, although we opted to forego the festivities this year. The beginning of the Iditarod started downtown with the sled dog racers running a course through the city. The Running of the Reindeer is always a hoot. For those who so desire to run amongst the reindeer down one of the streets (similar to the running of the bulls!). Of course you can't have a festival without fireworks at nightfall! There was also the annual dog weight pull for all of the varieties dog categories. This entails pulling a sled and adding more weight each time. Lucky we just received more snow just in time for all of the events. Next weekend, first weekend of March is the restart of the Iditarod in Willow. All of our favorite mushers from across Alaska, the lower 48 and a few other places around the world, come to compete and race off to Nome, Alaska.

It's about this time of the year I start feeling the long winter blues. Thoughts of warmer tempertures, longer days, though I feel a little sad as some of my winter birds leave and head back up north. Not having to put on so many layers of clothing and being a little lighter in my step moving about is always something to look forward to. Those of us who love the mountains for their snowboarding, cross country sking, snowmobling, and snowshoeing (my favorite), are little hard pressed to see the snow leave for Spring. It's just that we have been in the snow for the past 6 months. Mother Nature teasing us with warmer tempertures is a way of slowly telling us that the snow will go, spring will arrive and once again each of us can dream up new thoughts about what this summer will bring for new adventures. So I guess for now I will toss another log in the fireplace and watch the remaining birds that come to my feeders. Dream away as to what I want to accomplish this summer. I know spring hits early for the lower 48, but when it does arrive I will be ready to look for returning waterfowl, spring song birds, hiking on a dirt trail instead of snow without the long underwear.

Well make the best of your March - April won't be far behind.

See you on down the trail,

Buford T. Porcupine


Some New Stuff Some old

Hello all fellow trail blazers,

Yes, I am back after taking a few months off. Well, for all the pictures Destiny and I take around this ole cabin as well as our adventures out and about, time well spent has once again paid off. One of my pictures of a red male grosbeak on our christmas tree set outside and put to good use for the birds landed a spot on one of the many calendars I submit to.
Yeah! Destiny's picture of her fox was picked for the cover of our local phone book which has a large coverage area. Our calendars seem to be quite a hit over the holidays making their way out of the state for the Lower 48. With that being said, January allowed us to slow down a bit and catch up on some much needed rest. One practice we have found oursleves doing the last couple of years, rather than discard the christmas tree, I haul it outside and set it up for the birds to land on. I shovel a lot of snow onto the christmas tree and instant shelter as well as another bird feeding station for our visiting birds that come daily. Winter here has been a long cold one, temperatures ranging from sub zero's to the teens. It still dosn't deter me from getting out to watch the birds just a little closer. Moose have once again moved down out of the mountains with tracks around the cabin and seeing them throught out the area we live in. What a thrill I might add, to get up and see cow moose on the edge of the woods nibbling away at willow buds. Just the sight of this big magnificent creature outside the cabin is wonderful. Get a cup of coffee and come sit by the window and watch the birds dart about from feeder to feeder. Downy woodpeckers both the male and females make their apperance, always annoucing themselves before they fly in. The variety of birds making their visit throughout the day is both relaxing and pleasing. Chickadees arriving at first light followed by the red polls. A couple of times we have had birds fly into the windows thinking they were heading towards the woods. One hit hard enough to daze itself and landed in the snow though still alive. The female red poll's body temperature surely would have dropped had it lay there much longer in the snow. It's off to the rescue, picking up the red poll holding it in my gloved palm. I brought the bird into the house and placed it carefully in to a box with a cover. The heat coming from the fireplace over a period of minutes must of been just enough to warm it's core back up, eyes looking responsive. As I peeked into the box to check on the red poll, in a split second, the bird had flown out of the box. Bird loose in the house, bird loose flying and flaping against the window trying to get out. Well the fish net didn't work as the bird was able to get through the net. Next was a small kitchen towel. I was able to carefully surround the bird with the towel and capture it only to let it go outside for another day. Yeah! Another new discovery for our cabin just the other night, while heading around the backside of the cabin with the headlight on my head as I was going to fill the bird feeders after dark, Destiny had heard a noise coming from the outside of the wall thinking it was me. The yard light came on and I thought to myself gee that is kinda odd to have a red squirrel on the wall up towards the peak. Suddenly the squirrel leaped and floated like a bird going across the yard towards the woods. That is not a normal squirrel, but a flying squirrel! What a sight to behold. Have not seen a flying squirrel in quite sometime. Never knew that they even existed in the state of Alaska. Well yet another new discovery as these type of squirrels are nocternal, only coming out at night. Still the visual sighting of the flying squirrel while it flew past me across the yard to a tall evergreen was yet another one of those experience's you get for living a lifestyle you believe in and love living...cabin in da woods. Febuary and still no snow anytime soon. What snow we do have is dirty looking along the roadside. Most of the trails are beat down from over use. Mountain tops in spots are wind blown from lack of deep snow. Though it is still a lot of fun to go to the mountains and snowshoe at higher elevations. Makes me wonder and be concerned for spring and lack of snow. Winter isn't over yet for us.

So I hope you all are staying busy over winter where ever you are. I'm sure we all are looking forward to spring. In the mean time keep the outside adventures going to stay fit for a active lifestyle that many of us lead. Even on my wooden snowshoes, they read: seek wilderness. Umm I like that.

Hey take care all, see you on down the trail somwhere.
Buford T. Porcupine


Home is where the heart is

Hello all fellow trailblazers,

Yes, there are no excuses for me being away except I love what we do. Funny how life can get so over whelming for all of us. With so much going on around the cabin and the area trying to take care of business as we say it, the monthly report just kept being put on the back burner. Too much and too little time. How many of us can identify with that one. Home is where the heart is for me. Summer ended, fall came and went and then winter set in. Making sure enough wood was stacked for one of the winters heat sources as well as getting other projects closed and wrapped up before the snow hit the ground. Phew, time to sit down in my ole rocker and stoke up the fireplace and catch my breath. Isn't that how we all feel after Thanksgiving came and went. Now to get back to giving the monthly report from the cold north. Several weeks ago we had again record cold temperatures. The coldest so far and this is only November was minus 27 degrees. Highs only getting to 6 above. Didn't make for wanting to get out in the cold and work but one just has to suck it up as we're living in Alaska. Snow has fallen with more expected in the next 24 - 48 hours. Winter storm watch in effect. Glad the pantry is stocked and the freezer full. What breaks I did get? I was off for a walk on the frozen lake, walking close to the edge of the shore. The quiet silence has brought only the sounds of crispy snow as I put one foot in front of the other. Stopping every so often to take a look around and scan the woods for any activity. Only a foxes tracks cross the lake leading to the other side and who knows where. Here sunrise is now about 10:36am as the sun peeks over the trees and the sun is setting around 3:30pm. So we get used to the dark a little earlier. In relaxing and taking care of inside business. Gosh does it ever stop or even slow down. Only if you want it to. It is very nice being inside where it's cozy and warm. One has to love the cabin ambiance. The smell of a wood fire, warmth filling the room. Listening to the crackling of the fire. Just relaxing as the rocking chair creaks every once in while. Don't we all wish this could be it. We just need to relax. Oh the work will still be there. Being away off on adventures, scouting and looking about, taking pictures as always and thinking how nice it would be at home. Listen to our hearts they're talking to us as we head into the busiest month with Christmas right around the corner. I know families are scattered with alot of distances in between. The thoughts are still there, remembering when all the family is under one roof and everyone comes together. But we still can't wait to get home. Home is where we can relax, slow down pause for a brief moment. Never forget what home means to each of us. Pause for a moment and look around your surroundings, be glad as to what you have as others are less fortunate. So with that in mind as the fire slowly dies out and the room gets darker, another day comes to an end. I will have to share with you next month some favorite pictures taken over the year of 2009 as we put a close to this year.

Hey take care all you outdoorsey trailblazers that don't stop just because it's winter.

Buford T. Porcupine


A Fox Tale

Hello all trail buds, seems like summer just started here and we are down to the last remaining days of August. As always if we don't find ourselves out on a road adventuring off to somewhere, I am always up early and scouting out what lies down the trail around the cabin. Earlier at the beginning of the month, I found myself up early and out of the cabin just after sunrise. I decided to check out an area close to home that I have neglected so far this year. Driving this particular road at sunrise, I have always been lucky to observe some sort of wildlife. I drove all the way back to South Rolly Lake seeing just a few birds along the way thus turning around and heading back towards the front, slowly scanning both sides of the road for anything of interest that might catch my eye. Over the hill around the bend just off in the distance laying on the shoulder of the road was...wiping my eyes in disbelief because I had just came through this area not more than a few minutes ago, was a small red fox kit.
Yes, the adrenalin was flowing and I was pumped as to how this situation would play out. Slowly driving past the resting red fox I pulled over off the road as far as I could. Got out of the truck thinking to myself the red fox would retreat into the woods. It did the opposite and stood up as I approached for a closer view. I had noticed a large kill spot on the road where it was obvious something had been hit just in front of where the red fox was laying.

The red fox slowly approached me as if to say "What do you have for me?" I found myself taking as many pictures as I could just in case the fox would run off. After quite some time had passed and several cars, driving rather too fast in my opinion, had passed between the fox and I not even noticing the fox, yet another fox kit appeared out of the woods. I was in fox heaven - this was a cross fox!

Cross foxes have darker colors of black and tan and red through out their body colors. These two little fox kits were all of about 2 pounds and were away from the den where ever that might be in the woods . Immediately the cross fox ran over and jumped on the red fox as if wanting to wrestle, show me what you got sibling red fox! Then he turned, checking me out coming while walking closer. Again I could not take enough pictures of this cross fox.
I had just been in Denali National Park in June and had taken pictures of several adult red foxes doing their daily wandering out on the road, but these were fox kit babies born not too long ago, out exploring their new world outside of the den. As the morning past, the park ranger had stopped to both say hello and tell me about the kill spot where the fox vixen had gotten hit by a car (probably going too fast through this area). I had observed several times, the red fox as well as the cross fox would go over to the spot where the vixen was hit and would lick the road. Knowing something about red foxes from my readings, they were licking both the blood scent and scent of the vixen. I had taken several pictures of the red fox laying just off the road looking down the road waitng for the return of the adult vixen. As the morning grew later yet another cross fox had made it's appearance as well. This day was getting better! I had to quit as the light was getting too high and dull for me. I drove home very fast to tell Destiny of my discovery and see my results of the pictures of the foxes I just had taken. Several weeks later of monitoring the situation, I have counted five fox kits, 2 cross fox and 3 red foxes. Sometimes finding them in the same spot just off the road, other times finding them farther down the road but still in the same area. Even Destiny had to get in on some of the action watching and photographing these little cuties. We did observe one adult fox that came in at a distance but didn't stay too long. The fact that the foxes are hanging around by the roadside told me several things, in my observations I have witnessed people driving way too fast in this state park heading towards the back to South Rolly Lake. Second, people passing by these little guys can't help but toss the foxes a little something to eat. I have tried not to get too emotional about these fox kits and let nature take its course. After the 3 weeks of monitoring the foxes and some 530 pictures later, I think we have covered every angle and fox personality as they moved about, sniffing and poking around along the roadside, always looking back and wondering when and where the fox vixen would return. I thought the whole idea of going camping was to leave your world of hustle and bustle behind you and slow your world down to a crawl. Maybe catch some glimpse of some wildlife as you passed through their world. It's way to obvious to me that on this stretch of five mile road that anyone is doing this. As I learned while talking with the state ranger in this park, so far some of the animals that have been hit include: moose cow, black bear cub, the fox vixen and lord knows what else that hasn't been reported. People do us all a favor and slow down. What is the hurry? You will have a more harmonious outcome. And your family as well as yourself just might get to see a part of nature that you miss by living in the cities. I guess this is why I live where I live. Right smack dab in the middle of da woods to observe nature at its best everyday and take some pretty neat pictures along the way to share with those who don't get to see as much of the wildlife that is a part of our everyday lifestyle. And as for the fox kits, watching them over that 3 weeks, we count our blessings that for such a short time, we got to be part of their lives as we were a part of theirs. So nature takes its course and we can only hope for the best that these 5 little fox kits will survive and go forth into their new world and grow into adults and carry on as most foxes will do. I hope where ever you might live, in your everyday travels, that you might slow down when in nature's yard and give the wildlife a chance instead of driving way too fast and regreting after the fact that you hit a deer, moose, bear or whatever it might be. Plus the damage it will do on both parts. It's just not worth it.

See you down the trail somewhere,
Buford T. Porcupine