Fox Pups and a Cheap-o Camera
By R.J. Smiley
It was mid-May and the up north golf courses were still showing the stress of a harsh winter. The nice old guy behind the counter informed us that the course was not in perfect condition, but that the nature watching was the best in years. One female red fox had chosen a brush pile near the third tee for her den and another had burrowed into a cliff bank near the sixth green. Together these two prolific females were busy raising seven pups. “So keep your eyes open and your cameras ready,” he said with a smile. The nice old guy sold us a cheap-o throw-a-way camera – with the assurance that if we did not use it we could get our money back.
As we made the sharp right turn into the third tee, there they were. Four frisky beautiful red fox pups were engaged in puppy combat, wrestling, growling and yapping at one another. In a scene right out of Keystone Cops, we hastily unwrapped the camera and argued how to operate the cheap-o camera before the pups vanished back into the woods. To our surprise these “wild animals” were already accustomed to “man” and paid us absolutely no attention. The picture taking was great, if we had only had a zoom on our cheap-o camera. Needless to say, golf on the third was a mental blur. With a few pictures left on our cheap-o camera, the round continued.
We had played our tee shots to the par 3 sixth when we noticed a haggard looking mother fox leading her unruly offspring onto the cart path. This litter of three was a little older and larger than the # 3 litter and the presence of their mother made them a bit more skittish, but we finished off the roll on our cheap-o camera. The balance of the round was enjoyable and the camaraderie was great, but our highlight was the four sets of prints from our cheap-o camera.