I feel a certain affinity to Algonquin Provincial Park since visiting for the first time this past fall. The wealth of wildlife, the serene peace and beauty, as well as the wonderful friends you meet along the way, are just a few of the selling points that will have you sold upon entering through the gate.
I was fortunate to meet a pair of red foxes back in November that have allowed me to photograph their daily interactions with each other, and within their home territory. Each subsequent visit I have met up with them again - and it is always a pleasure to record their inquisitive nature with my camera.
This past week I made a return trip to the park to photograph the abundant moose that call Algonquin home. As the day wore on, myself and a new-found photographer friend made the trip up to see my foxes. Strangely enough, none were visible this afternoon, and after searching the woods for close to an hour, we made the decision to head back to our parked cars. It was then that I saw one – visible just through a tree and laying on the ground. Immediately Wesley exclaimed “it has kits with it!” To say we were excited was an understatement. My goal has always been to find a fox den. I knew this family had one in the immediate vicinity, but after searching numerous times, my hopes of finding it were slim.
As we rounded the corner of the tree, a number of kits scrambled up an embankment and scampered out of sight. The mother stayed put, sunning herself amongst the moss and lichens that line the forest floor. After giving the kits some time, I headed up the hill in the general direction that they went. The sight that met me was nothing short of incredible.
There were six kits in total and all were inquisitive, playful, and beyond cute. As I snapped photos the mother hung out mere feet away, either sleeping in the sun or scampering up the hill. She was also attentive to each and every one of her family.
After taking a short break back at the cars to apply bug spray, we watched the mother fox emerge from the woods carry a ruffed grouse in her mouth. We grabbed our camera gear and made our way back to the den. Unfortunately, nothing remained of that meal other than feathers, but the sight on top of the small knoll was a moment that every wildlife photographer dreams about. The mother was nursing all six kits.
I watched in amazement the next couple of hours. Each kit had its own personality, and watching them interact with each other – and their mother – was definitely special.
Spending time with this family was definitely a highlight in my photography career. I plan on heading back to the park later this week. Can’t wait to see these little ones once again.
I will be offering photographic prints for purchase from this set. For those interested, details will be announced next week.
Yours in the Outdoors,
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