Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands

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Where’s that Ranger? I’m telling on you!

Where's that Ranger?  I'm telling on you!

Yeah, like, RIGHT! Ok, I didn’t know it at the time, but I was a bad boy on this particular day. Out on a ride with some of the residents of the Village at the Harbour, an assisted living senior facility in Friday Harbor, I had taken an apple along, knowing that the foxes that live at the National Historical Park at the south end of the island like treats.

What I didn’t know was that it is against the rules to feed the critters. The next ride out that way, my apple went unthrown, for the Park had signs up warning visitors not to feed the foxes or any other wildlife in the park. It apparently upsets the balance of nature to get the animals used to fodder from folks like me.village-van-ride-jan-30-2011-004

I had to admit, when one red fox took up begging alongside the road, the damage of feeding them from vehicles was apparent. One just sat down and comfortably waited for someone to throw him an apple, tempting me mightily. It was kind of sad, for he looked like beggars I had seen on big city streets, all big eyed and forlorn.

We may tolerate fellow humans to sink that low, but not our furry friends on San Juan Island! Weeks later, there were fewer foxes around and those that were had a gaunt look. Perhaps it is natural for them to go through a feast and famine period.

I once took a book to read down to Granny’s Cove and was all alone except for a young fox who was attempting to catch sand fleas in its mouth as they hopped off the beach at its approach. I don’t think the fox was playing. Imagine being so hungry that you attempt to fill up on tiny crustaceans the size of a grain of rice! My book went unread as I continued to watch the drama of it snapping away at what looked like nothing at all from my distance! And there I was wishing I had my camera.

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