On Thu, 1 Aug 2013 17:30:09 -0400, "Joe Roberts" <josep...@att.net
Happy to hear you too appreciate the chance to get a first hand view
of mother nature. I sure do, perhaps one of the reasons I like relic
hunting out and away from "civilization".
Surprisingly, papa didn't hang around very long. Might have had an
"accident". From what I read, both raise the cubs until they can get
out on their own. Around my climate, that's by the end of May. I only
saw the male for the first couple of days after they moved in. He was
a skinny fellow and I only got one picture of him (I think it was him)
sort of slinking around the back corner of our shed.
The fox family made their home under my shed from late March to late
May of 2010. My cat was 19 years old at the time and a little more
frisky (she is now a lazy 22 year old girl that needs a lot of "lap
time":) My cat loved to go out and "tease" them. If they chased her,
she would just scramble up a tree and continue to taunt them.
But when my cat got to teasing them, they certainly made a ruckus with
some loud and blood curdling yelps and barks:)
My next door neighbors with very young children enjoyed watching them
grow and play. It was a "real life" educational period for all of us.
The neighbor with very young kids even had a party inviting their
friends with their children over to spend the evening watching the fox
family. They had several "Fox Family" parties through the month. The
4 youngsters were pretty much unafraid of anyone further than 50 feet
away (as long as they were near their den under my shed).
I did have a problem with the neighbor across the cul de sac.
Somehow they heard about the fox family in my back yard (though it
doesn't surprise me, the foxes were the star attraction of the
neighborhood). People many houses away on our street would bring their
kids over to the house and ask permission to watch the foxes playing.
The daughter of the neighbor across the cul de sac (though she was in
her early 20's) was what one might call "slow". I later would learn
she called the City, the local police, even the Ohio Department of
Wildlife. She had a small dog and was afraid the "big bad foxes" would
go to her house and eat her little doggy.
A family of wild foxes that just happens to have decided to make their
den in your backyard (which by the way is a very suburban development
with minimum sized lots of 1/2 acre) isn't against any laws. So they
didn't do anything about it or even bother to call us. However, it is
probably not legal to "feed" the foxes so the stuff you might see on
the ground where the foxes lived is "definitely not dry cat food":) I
have no idea what it is:)
Anyway, finally the girl's mother and father came to our door. I
wasn't home at the time but they told my wife that their daughter was
really afraid for her dog and asked if we would have the foxes trapped
Well, I tried to be a "good neighbor". I called the wildlife officer
for our area (he works for the Ohio Department of Wildlife) to inquire
about having the foxes relocated.
He was the one that told me about all the complaints that were made.
He had even talked to the girl's mother. He pretty much told me we
should consider ourselves very lucky to have foxes in the
neighborhood. The foxes eat mice and other rodents that can spread
disease. On top of that, we are getting an ever growing population of
coyotes in our area. He said coyotes will eat small dogs and cats but
they won't move in to an are where foxes are. Apparently they don't
get along. He told me he tried to explain to that to the girl's mother
but the mother wouldn't have anything to do with it. She was adamant
those foxes had to go. (There was no mistaking an disgusted anger in
his voice when describing his conversation with the neighbor woman
that had called him making absolute demands.)
He advised me to just let them go, that they would be gone my mid June
Then he told me if "really" I wanted them out of there to keep the
peace with my neighbor, I would have to call a commercial licensed
trapper. They would charge a minimum $100 setup fee and a minimum $100
dollar fee for each animal they trapped, and worse, the foxes could
not be simply released elsewhere, they would have to be "put down".
I tanked him very sincerely for helping me understand the situation
better. It's really great to talk to nice, polite, and knowledgeable
The cost (to me) would have totaled a minimum of $600 (notice when the
neighbor talked to my wife, they didn't volunteer to pay for the foxes
removal even though they had been told by the wildlife officer since
it was private property, only a paid commercial trapper could remove
them, but then again, only if I allowed the trapper on my property)
Have a look at these pictures on Photo bucket.
There was no way in the world I was going to let anything happen to
these beautiful animals.
So I did nothing. Since then, I don't recall that neighbor (husband,
wife, or daughter) either waving as we drove by one another or even
saying "Hi" to me or my wife since then. To tell you the truth, I
really don't care:)
A couple last things. I was hand holding an inexpensive camera while
driving the boat, steering with one hand and holding the camera with
the other. The raw video that came from the camera was jumpy and
jerky, each swirl or wave of water causing me to move my hand rapidly.
I think I used a cell phone for one video and a compact inexpensive
small Canon camera for others.
To remove the "shaking", I processed the video with a 100% free
program called Virtualdub.
Virtual dub allows you to process a video file to do a number of
different things with it.
I simply ran the video through a Deshaker filter before putting it on
That filter eliminates shaking by comparing frame to frame movements
of the camera and putting the whole frame back into alignment with the
previous. After processing, the video frame is reduced a little to
account for realignment of the frames. In other words, a 640x480 video
might end up cropped to 630x471 or something like that.
I pretty much use Virtualdub for all of my video processing. It's free
and generally speaking much easier to work with and has far greater
capabilities than many if not most of the very expensive commercial
Well, sorry, enough BS from me for the day. But since it has been so
quiet around here lately, someone needs to fill up the space with
Rats, gotta work tomorrow. Second year in a row since I retired I have
to work on my birthday. Actually, not so bad since it doesn't remind
me how old I am getting:)