Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Foxy Lady

I moved back to the Yukon five years ago for many different reasons but the biggest one is that I feel most at home here. I've lived in a lot of different cities and towns all across Canada and in Europe but when I come back to Whitehorse I feel like my skin fits.

The next biggest reason is the land. We're surrounded by majestic mountains on all sides and that not only means we get to look at beautiful views it means we get to see wildlife on a regular basis.

Last night I arrived home and picked up the cat to give him a snuggle. As I was petting him in my arms I looked out the kitchen window. I hadn't closed the blinds before I'd gone out and the pitch black yard suddenly became illuminated by the porch light, which is activated by a motion detector.

There, on the snow in front of my window was a bright-red, bushy-tailed fox. He did a little spin, perhaps confused by suddenly being in the spotlight, and then took off, trotting down the sidewalk and into the cut-through on the other side of this building.

This past weekend, I went for one of my usual walks, which takes me along the Yukon river, up a bank of low lying cliffs and along a trail bordering the airport and overlooking the downtown core. I saw a big bird sitting on one of the streetlamps lining the road that runs parallel to the river for a stretch.

I knew it was a bald eagle. It was too big to be a raven and I thought I could see a white head. As I got closer it lifted its head and turned to look toward the river. Yes, an eagle.

As I approached, it did not fly away. Extreme close-up! I was just about underneath the streetlamp before it lifted its wings and swooped down toward the water.

"It's going to dive for fish!" I thought. But as it dove downward I saw 3 ducks bobbing in the river. The eagle flew right over top of them but instead of scooping up one of the tasty birds it flapped its wings and flew on, landing instead on a strip of ice nearby.

It's not like you can't see wildlife in the Big Cities. As a matter of fact, when I was on the streetcar in Toronto recently I overheard a conversation between two young women during which one told the other that she'd seen a fox on her street the night before.

So I can't very well say, "We get foxes and you don't!"

But to look out the window and see foxes and coyotes (often happens) or leave the house and in less than a minute be walking alongside a mighty river where eagles and ducks hang out, well, there's nothing like it.

Inspiring Message of the Day:

The wings of an eagle,
The fine snout of a fox,
Make life worth living
Despite its hard knocks.

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