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Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Monday, January 16, 2006

Fun with Woodland Critters

About two weeks ago, my wife brought an unusual sight to my attention. Apparently, her and her mother were looking out of our glass sliding door onto our back patio at about 8 AM when an unlikely creature sauntered by...a red fox.

Now, if we lived out in the sticks, this wouldn't surprise me. But we live out in the suburbs and, although there are SOME woods nearby, a red fox isn't something I would expect to see. I told my neighbor about it and he said that he also saw a fox in his back yard either last year or two years ago, so apparently these things aren't as uncommon as I'd have expected. Plus, he also noted that one of the local developments is named "Foxmoor", so maybe the name did mean something and wasn't just the brainchild of some cutesy developer.

But today I saw something that really made me scratch my head. I was on the side of my house, checking out the new siding that's in the process of being installed and I come across a severed deer leg laying in the stone bedding, right next to one of the contractor's cardboard boxes. No deer carcass...just a leg, about a foot and a half long. Could it be the fox and one of his meals? Something else?

Ruling out any bizarre contractor vinyl-siding ritual sacrifices (although I wouldn't be adverse to that if it improved the quality of work), I called my stepfather who spends every other weekend out in the woods hunting. He'd be able to offer some insight. He came over later in the afternoon and identified the leg as that of a doe and speculated that it was a recent kill by a local hunter (apparently, Saturday was "Doe day") and either a dog, fox, or coyote might have pulled it out of the trash.

Yes, I just said coyote. In Hamilton Square. What's next, bison? Red-necked wallabies? Mormons?

We don't have a fence and we have a 16 month old son who's going to be exploring the yard come March. So I think tomorrow I'm going to check out some of the hidden areas in my backyard to make sure there's nothing hiding out there. If you don't see my blog updated in two weeks, send out the authorities. (I'd say sooner, but I don't want to rule out general laziness)


Blogger Darren said...

We used to see foxes near our house in Lawrenceville, too. A good portion of the land over there is actually protected wetlands, but it was still sandwiched between 95, route 1, Quakerbridge Mall, etc. You wouldn't have expected that, but we'd see them.

What I have heard, though, is that it's not uncommon to see bears in Robbinsville. Probably not huge ones, y'know, but little black bears or something. Still, coyote is kind of interesting. You always just imagine them being in the desert, or possibly chasing after Road Runner...

1/17/2006 9:52 AM  

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