Just a quick update for anyone worried about Reynard and Talbot. Our boss got some fox deterrent powder to be added to water and sprinkled around the garden. Mateo trundled out with his watering can, putting the most solution in the sandpit since they clearly like it there. On his way back from sprinkling around the rest of the garden, he passed the sandpit. One of the foxes was sitting happily in the sand, happy as Larry.
We suspect the deterrent is not effective.
For those of you getting attached to these foxes, don’t read on. Instead have a look at this fox from my garden during lockdown and then move on.
So, nature can be quite grim. And inexplicable. Don’t worry, Reynard and Talbot are still alive and harassing children, but one fox isn’t. Mateo found the head, but only the head, of a fox this morning, in the bushes. Did one of the children exact revenge on another fox? Perhaps the children were the aggressors all along?
Some of you might remember the cat’s head that Jessica found a few years ago. I think the police said that that foxes did it, but we were never satisfied with that explanation. It’s all very strange. Where did the body go?
Some of you might remember the gangster foxes, Talbot and Reynard, at one of the large gardens where I work. Their cheeky faces won over our hearts and their tendency to creep up on children in a sinister way fired up some panic. Seems they’ve gone one step further now.
Today my boss got a call from a parent. We have a small playground for children with a sand pit. Turns out the foxes have been jumping into the sand pit where children are playing, stealing their toys and leaping out again. They then rip up the toys in front of the children before running off.
I did suspect that the foxes were setting up a protection racket, but it looks like some of the children have refused to take part and it’s led to rivalry and the start of territory war.
‘Nice dolly you have here. Be a shame if something happened to it,’ sneers Talbot while Reynard sniggers nearby. ‘Oops!’ says Reynard as the dolly’s head is snapped off.
This is not the Beatrix Potter style story I was hoping for when I posted their photos.
So I was trundling along the path with my wheel barrow, when I saw some jays flapping around with a tufty looking bird nearby. I thought he might be a young jay, but he had a long beak, and after he turned around a few times, I saw there was a red tinge to his head and green to his body. He wasn’t fully colourful because he still had his young fluffy brown feathers, but I could see his shape was distinctively a woodpecker.
Woodpeckers are ace!
By now he had hopped a bit further on and was standing with his chest puffed out. I crept closer and took a photo. He didn’t fly away so I kept on creeping. My phone is shitty, so I knew the photos wouldn’t be great, but I kept on creeping up to see how close I could get. At one point Mike walked up from the opposite direction and saw me. He stopped where he was so he would scare my new fluffy friend away. Woody Woodpecker gave me a few more poses, hopping around before flying off.
Then I realised unfortunately that my new manager (my boss’s boss) was standing watching all this. Fortunately he thought it was hysterical to watch me sneaking up slow footstep by slow footstep, especially since from his point of view the bird was obscured and he thought I was creeping up on a tree.
‘I’m actually working very hard!’ I shouted over to him and he seemed to accept it.
Here is what the woodpecker will look like as an adult, you can see that proud pose already forming in the photo I took:
This is going to be short because I have some evil, life-force sapping virus. I think I’ve had it for a while, which probably explains why my blogs have been so crap recently (doesn’t explain their quality before that, but oh well).
But anyway, the foxes came back, and had a sleep near their shoe, so I glad I kept it. My phone wouldn’t get a good enough picture, so this is from Hamoudi’s. Look at the little chaps!
I get a lot of wildlife in my garden. South East London is greener than North London which entices nature to set up home, and then my garden is mostly left to its own devices so animals get to settle in. Parakeets swoop round in a gang every morning, drunken blackbirds sit on the lawn with their beaks in an apple, and I’ve had a family of foxes visiting for the last few years. What I like about our foxes is that so far they only visit, they don’t crap everywhere or dig holes. Aside from a few squashed plants (which might be the fault of cats) they only come to play or lounge around. Sometimes they bring toys.
This is the shoe they left in my garden last night. I don’t want to remove it in case they want to play with it later.
And a picture from last spring, this is the baby fox who came all the way up the fire escape to sleep on the roof under the kitchen window.