I tread in the tracks of the fox which has gone before me by some hours, or which perhaps I have started, with such a tiptoe of expectation, as if I were on the trail of the spirit itself which resides in these woods, and expected soon to catch it in its lair.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Last week I was lucky to run it to this beautiful fox at the Amsterdam Water treatment Dunes in The Netherlands. I read about the foxes that live there and it was highly ranked to be one of my visits while in The Netherlands last week.
I had never been to these dunes as they don’t allow dogs in it. That had always been the factor not to go there. So this was my first visit but I highly underestimated the size of the dunes. It is huge and only to discover by foot. Where to look for foxes now?
When leaving the parking lot a ranger stopped by and was happy to tell me the approx. whereabouts of the foxes. Only once in the park I was looking at the giant map they have and it got a bit overwhelming. My sense of directions is not always at its best in unknown territory and felt my chances of finding them getting very slim looking at this huge map. But then another photographer walked by he was on his way out of the park. He looked like a pro and might as well be as he was already leaving and I was there in the early morning hours. So he must have been there at the crack of dawn. He probably did notice my camera around my neck and gave me a friendly smile as if he knew why I was there. So after that I decided to ask him if by chance he did see any foxes when he was out. “What foxes”, he said? Oops that didn’t sound all to hopeful….. But then he smiled and said, “Just kidding, I’ve seen them numerous times here but not today.” I asked him if he could show me on the giant map where he did see them. He hesitated a bit, like most photographers do I guess when telling their photo spots. So I told him I was traveling from America and wouldn’t be back next week to steal his shot. He then laughed, and said, well you’re Dutch is awfully good for an American. Totally forgot about that detail, but it definitely broke the ice and he started telling me all the good wildlife spots in the dunes he knew. So happy!
It was a bit of a walk to get to that spot and when there, no foxes. All the people along the way leading to the spot didn’t see any either. What if today was not a fox kinda day? It would be so sad… After all that walking I was really hoping to see one. But I also know in nature it doesn’t work like that. So I started to focus on the deer that were numerous along the path. Many many deer…. Beautiful ones with full racks….
Sleepy ones and alert ones….
But no foxes…. yet….
Yet, because while walking around in “the” photographer’s spot I did see something moving on the top of a dune…. Fox no.1!
Slowly making his way through the dunes. Wow… Such a great thing to see…. They remind me of my dogs but in a prehistoric sly kinda way. Determined and on some sort a mission. While I tried to get a little bit closer, I got a call that another one was spotted right where I was standing when I spotted the first fox…. It had been laying down a little bit lower than I was. So I walked back and sat down and watched it. And slowly it walked around me. I knew they are used to people in this area, but I didn’t expect it to be like this. It circled me and I think it was hoping to get some sort of food. Bad luck for Fox because that wasn’t going to happen. But loved the interaction. Those eyes…. Those eyes were absolutely stunning! Hypnotizing almost even….
It circled a bit more and showed more of his sly fox moves….
Then it heard something in the ditch….
Gave me one more look and vanished along the path. How awesome was that…. What a thrill. My fox encounter…..
And if it couldn’t get any better, while it was walking away a third fox came down from the other side of the dunes. An older one. Limping a bit.
This was turning out to be my best fox day e-ver! Fox 3 wasn’t all that fond of Fox 2 and showed that like foxes do….
The not so friendly fox move…
It really got intense for a moment. And you wouldn’t believe the sounds that came out of their fight. It for sure reminded me that they are so not like my dogs 🙂
After some more growling and hissing. Old fox 3 won and laid down along the path. With a smug face…
Like nothing growling ever happened. If you hadn’t seen it, you wouldn’t believe it was capable of that kind a growling seeing it laying in the sun catching some rays like that.
For me it felt like that was my queue to let them be foxes and wander off again.
What a great experience, such a wonderful encounter of the fox kind!