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And now for something completely different.

I am staying overnight in a hotel in Bowmanville, a town not far to the East of the GTA (Toronto and co.) I’ve stayed here before, I quite like it. It’s quiet – apart from the odd siren – and there’s a wee pool and a place right next door where I can charge the car (thanks Clarington Hyundai!). I was actually out just now, checking on the car, as you do, before heading off to bed. It’s a nice night, not too cold and it’s dry. As I was walking along the path back to the hotel, out of the corner of my eye I saw a cat walking towards me. Turns out it was actually a red fox, quite beautiful, strolling along the path, past me and on down past the car dealership to who knows where. I would have taken a picture but I was rather amazed and more than a little happy at seeing such a perky little animal roaming the streets (So the picture up top is one from the web, sorry!). I did get a little sad after the excitement because, well, it seemed to me that it was such a shame that the fox was reduced by our expansion to living in a much smaller world than it should have been used to. So I did some quick and dirty research. For stuff like this, the Canid Project is a pretty good source, it appears to me. Anyway, it turns out that foxes are actually synanthropic, which means that they "live near humans and directly benefit from human-altered environments" – they're not the only ones. Skunks are too (to our dogs' dismay - Jessie is still a bit whiffy a week or so on, even after being bathed in Skunk Off). What's more, they're actually, like humans, species that live on edges. In a fox's world that means the edge between forests and grasslands for instance. In humans it means more that they live on mental and probably philosophical edges. So what it really means is that the fox was actually in her (or his? I’ll got with her for no other reason than it feels right) element, between gardens with water and trees, and grasslands around the highway, for example. It’s not ideal, and sure it would be wonderful if we trod a bit more lightly, but what an amazing adaptive creature I ran across. It’s also a really good creature for keeping rodents down, so there’s that. No wonder she looked so at home. And not scared of people (well, at least not scared of me). I still consider myself immensely privileged to have ‘met’ her. Foxes got you down? Try living alongside them and see what they have to teach you about resilience. Still not sure what to do? Try this. Thanks for reading this far!

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