Monday, June 18, 2007

Encounters with wildlife

While riding my bike this past Saturday, I had a very unexpected experience. I live in metro Atlanta, so my rides are on surface streets in the suburbs. No place exotic at all. I had just topped a little hill and was on my way down the back side of it when I saw an animal run across the street onto the grounds of this big church about a quarter of a mile away. It looked like a cat from that distance, and I wouldn't have thought anything else of it. However, a car coming from the opposite direction honked its horn at about the same place which got me paying attention and trying to figure out why they were honking and disturbing the peace on a perfectly good, quiet Saturday morning.

So as I approached where the 'cat' had crossed, I could see it running down the drive into the church. What stood out first was how long and bushy the tail was. "Hmmm," I said to myself, "that doesn't look like a cat's tail." Then I noticed its head and ears. Very small head, very large, pointy ears. And then it dawns on me. I think that's a fox. So I quickly crossed the road and biked into the church. I was actually able to get to within about 10 feet of it on my bike and, sure enough, it was a fox. It actually let me bike by it a couple times so I could get a good look. Sadly, I was on-call that day, so I had the on-call phone and not my cell phone which has a camera. It would have been a perfect photo chance, and I think the little fellow would have stayed still long enough for me to take the picture if I had gotten off my bike. Oh well. At least now I'll be keeping my eyes open on future rides in the hopes of seeing him or her again!

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