I wasn’t planning on going down to the river yesterday morning. Then, I looked outside and saw the dramatic bands of red, purple and blue. How could I resist? I put down my pen and started getting dressed.
By the time I arrived, the light was still low, but the drama of the pre-sunrise sky had already dimmed. My friend, Roger, arrived shortly after I did, and bundled in our layers of down, we waited and watched the morning unfold around us.
Suddenly a loud cry filled the air.
“Whoa! What was that?” I asked, turning to Roger in surprise.
“An eagle?” Roger suggested hesitantly.
“I think it might have been a fox,” I said, looking down the river toward the origin of the sound.
The noise came again. Then, after a brief pause, again. It’s hard to describe a fox’s cry, but it is piercing and somewhat eerie. (click here to listen)
“That’s definitely a fox, Roger,” I said.
We both looked around us, trying to find the source of the call, scanning the opposite shoreline, following the repeating cries.
“Oh! Look! Look! There it is!! Do you see?”
“Where?” Roger asked.
“It’s over on the other shore, just a little ways in from the point.”
I pointed and Roger followed my not-so-clear directions until he saw it as well.
Over the next few minutes, the fox lingered, calling repeatedly. Roger and I took photo after photo. After a bit, I moved to a different vantage point, slightly closer to the fox. Even as I took the pictures, I knew they probably wouldn’t turn out well due to the the dim light and the distance. When not taking pictures, I watched the fox move along the shore, periodically stopping and crying. What a beautiful creature with those velvet black legs, russet coat, white chest and lush tail! It moved so gracefully, loping along the shore, stopping, calling. Entrancing.
After about 5 minutes or so, the fox slipped around the corner and out of sight. Not long afterward, Roger and I went our separate ways.
All day long my mind drifted back to that moment at the river. To the piercing calls. The far away silhouette. The beauty of that lone fox wandering along the icy shore at dawn. The moment still feels so big. So memorable. I’m flooded with gratitude for having been in that place at that time. It is nice to have a photo or two, even if they are a bit blurry. But really, I don’t need one. Not at all.