When a Fox Comes Calling…

The winter deepens.

We are but four weeks away from the midwinter.

This is a time to leave out food scraps for the birds and mammals facing into the cold short days and bitter long nights.

The plight of hungry animals was literally brought home to me during the winter of 2010.

Snow had fallen on frosted ground.

There was no thaw.

The frozen ground held sway for six long weeks.

One very beautiful, but frozen day, a handsome fox boldly walked up to the back of the cottage.

Food that was put down on the ground for the birds had tempted the hungry animal.

As I snapped these photographs, the fox looked up and stared right at me.

Hunger fuelled courage.


  1. I can’t begin to tell you how envious I am of you. I have been in love with Ireland for yrs and truly wish I lived there. I have ancestry from there and I swear in a past life I lived there. Your place is so wonderful and the way you respect the nature and animal life is so beautiful. Thank you for your pictures and posts. Some day I hope to return to Ireland, I dont think I would come back to the United States ever, til then I dream through your pictures and posts. Thank you and Blessed Be, Amethyst
    Welcome to Bealtaine Cottage and I’m happy you have found solace and comfort here.
    I am happy to share it.
    Many who visit online also make the physical journey to this small sanctuary.
    You are always welcome.

  2. What a gorgeous group of photos, especially of that beautiful fox! So tell us, what happened to the fox? Did you feed him/her? Did he only come the one time, or did he return? Such a precious moment to be so close to a fox…bless the animals this winter.

    I spent the best part of that winter cooking pasta for the fox…returned several times that I saw and many that I didn’t!

  3. What a beautiful creature and how honoured you were for her to come so close. while I am here, do you have any advice for me? A neighbour has just rooted out, with a digger, a mixed hedge that must have been about 100 years old in the growing. My heart is breaking and I feel helpless – too late to stop him with this hedge. What can I do for the poor hedge and what can i say to him about other hedges he might decide to get rid of?
    What’s done is done and sad though it may be, any parts of the hedge you can get hold of, even with the smallest root attached can be planted and will grow…anywhere!
    As for the farmer who did this…his lack of understanding is simply that! He obviously does not know how much an old hedge will add to the fertility of his land, as a barrier for weeds that blow seed around in the air, trapped only by a good hedge, where birds seek shelter and livestock gather on cold days. Who planted this precious hedge…his own ancestors! Climate change is adding to severe erosion…we need all the trees and hedges we can get…and more! The cost of re-establishing a mixed hedge is large indeed…once gone it is gone forever!

Your comments are welcome!