The Playful Fox

Dave Sandford


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The Playful Fox

Ontario, Canada.

The playful fox. This was one of 4 foxes on the scene on this day. I’ve been asked a lot of questions lately about my local wildlife posts & how I see so much. To be honest,i don’t. Remember, social media is basically our highlight reel. Wouldn’t be as interesting if I was posted scenes without my main subject in it, would it now? The truth is, these moments seen on here & other similar feeds are often fleeting. If I look back to April when I started this project, I’ve sunk in an average of 6 hours a day in the forest. There are days I see nothing, there are days like yesterday it feels like the whole forest came out to play. I thought I’d pass along a few tips for those who want to potentially see more. 1 know your subject, even a quick google search helps, know what’s in your area & where to look, Meadow, water, high in a tree, low in a tree? Time of day that’s best. 2 Time & patience are key, the more you have the better your odds. 3 How do you conduct yourself? What type of energy are you projecting? Don’t expect to see much if you are walking & gabbing with a friend. Being quiet, moving slowly but with intent & purpose. Your body language tells animals a lot. Should you cross paths, don’t use fast movements, don’t be in a rush. I often freeze, even take a slow step back, kneel down, yawn, bow my head or look off as I’m not too interested. Make yourself as inviting as possible. Animals are curious & if you come off as non threatening they often will relax their guard. In this case with the foxes, late day.. & foxes are super curious, playful (they’re k-9’s after all) I got on my hands & knees & even my stomach. Being at their level & even below they feel less threatened & it increases their comfort/curiosity level & like this family they became very playful, coming right up to me & my camera for a closer look & sniff. Lastly, if you do find animals, respect their boundaries. Allow them to come to you, if an animal is caught off guard or takes off don’t force the encounter. Let it be. Aim for another day or move on & come back later. Just like us, animals have different personalities, good days & bad days. Put yourself in their shoes.

Original caption, Instagram @davesandford - Fall 2020


©Dave Sandford.

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