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May 25, 2006

Spring Comes to Nederland

I am sitting in my office, looking out the window at the Indian Peaks, which are beginning to look a bit spotty as the spring run off begins in earnest. With the window open, I can hear Middle Boulder Creek furious in its rush to the dam, its inevitable drop to Boulder. At last, I can see the reservior through the trees before the house. It's a relief to know the water is up, that we have some moisture sitting in town. It was a damn dry spring.

Two weeks ago excavation began on an open lot on the hill above our house in preparation for a new build. The day was uncharacteristically over cast and drizzly, cold and dark, just about the only day of that sort I can remember this spring. There were two large earth movers working in tandom, wrecking the calm in our lodgepole pine enclave. Jim and I were eating lunch in the dining room, ignoring the ocassional shudder, when we noticed movement beyond the glass doors. A very small, young fox kit was tentatively walking across our backyard just beyond the deck, soaked, red and (just like the Indian Peaks) spotty in his molting winter fur. Season dead pine needles stuck to his coat. Stella began a long, low growl, her fur up in agitiated ridges. The fox paused and turned his pointed face towards the glass, curious, his nose twitching, dark eyes unblinking. Jim quieted Stella and there we sat for five minutes, mututally investigating the situation. Fox eventually broke his gaze and wandered up to a rock outcropping on the top of our property, looking back at us every few minutes to acertain that we were not a threat. He stretched his lean body, yawned, and curled up in the rocks to sleep, his ears, sharp to attentive points, still alert atop his head, the only thing we could see above the new spring grass. I couldn't stop watching the pair of vulpes ears taking respite on our land. Eventually something disturbed his peace and he popped out of the rocks, took another long stretch, shook the rain from his bushy body, and trotted up the hill towards the road and the excavation.

We now see Fox every couple of days or so. Our best guess is that his den was disturbed by the earth movers and he has been forced to venture out solo a little earlier than expected. I know better than to put food out for him, but the urge is mighty, especialy when we have the grill going and I can see only his interested nose from the outcropping. Stella remains unmoved and would like Fox to take it on down the road. If anyone is going to get anything off the grill, it is going to be her, damn it.

Posted by bethamsel at 9:58 AM