I had hardly fallen asleep when a woman's scream filled the bedroom. Perhaps inspired by some knight of old, I leaped from under the duvet ready to come to the aid of the fair maiden.
|Singing for the succour ... Perfect pitch for the songsters in my garden might not exactly coincide with our musical notions. Photo by cloudvisual.co.uk on Unsplash|
The bedroom window stood wide. Through it came the cry from the garden right below.
The long, agonised shriek sounded remarkably human.
However, the view revealed that it rose from a seemingly love-sick quadruped. That's not supposed to happen in February, but online experts suggest that the furry lady might well have her calendar mixed up.
Very likely, London's really weird winter has not really offered proof of the season - not even one snowflake.
One of the strange aspects is, as I reported last month, some furry females were really vocal in January.
|Fox bias, it seems ... When it comes to snuggling a fox, we seem, well, rather chicken. Photo by Sheri Hooley on Unsplash.|
However, here rain by the lake-ful swamped the garden over and over. But snow, none. Frosty mornings? No more than two.
It seems then that the foxes are as baffled by the weird weather as are we fox feeders
The love calendar for the critters seems surprisingly different from most mammals. Sarah McPherson, on Discover widlife, reveals that fox pregnancies are quick.
Usually, in February, she says, 'most females are pregnant.
'The vixens become increasingly secretive: they start clearing out potential den sites under sheds, and re-open old holes in banks and on areas of waste ground before selecting one in which to give birth.'
Deaf and blind
Most cubs are born by mid-March. The cubs are born deaf, blind and unable to thermoregulate, so the dedicated mother rarely leaves them for the first fortnight.
'She is provisioned by other adults in the group,' Sarah reveals.
The first we humans will see of the cubs is not until late April, when they start eating solid food. So maybe this year, in London anyway, our strange winter means that the fox calendar will debut a month late, too.
My nightly fox feeding continues, even though there's quite a change in their tastes. Dog rolls and cat pellets vanish quickly, but no longer the pound shop's dog biscuit selection.
Treated with foxy disdain currently, too, are bread slices to round off the offering.
However, come dawn, Eurasian collar doves, wood pigeons, magpies, ravens, and crows, seem grateful for the choosiness of the night visitors.
Thanks very much for visiting the mostly Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, which are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory and on Blogger,