Our Furtive Foxy Friend

“A fox is a wolf who sends flowers.”
Ruth Brown

 

The Fox

The North American Red Fox aka the Vulpes vulpes

Around dusk this past evening, I was on my walk and saw what appeared to be a fox. We have lots of coyotes roaming the city, but a fox? I must have been mistaken.

It piqued my curiosity, so I did a little research about the fox. I found out some interesting facts about foxes on a California website.

The fox, the smallest member of the dog family, is a highly adaptable species that inhabits mostly forest, chaparral, and desert regions, but can be found in nearly all habitats. There are three types of fox common to Southern California, including the Gray Fox, Red Fox, and Island Fox. The Southern California Kit Fox, a subspecies of Kit Fox, died out in Southern California in 1903.

Foxes are more solitary in their habits than are others in the dog family. They are territorial and can be aggressive, especially during the breeding season. Their once-a-year breeding season corresponds with the availability of food.

Despite the fact that urban foxes use human buildings for shelter and human refuse for food, their contact with humans is quite limited. Most people who live in an urban area have never seen a fox in the city. Foxes keep a nocturnal schedule, and in the nighttime are often mistaken for dogs when they are seen.

Red Foxes, the most commonly recognized fox, are known for their cleverness and have the largest range in North America. Although they are close relatives of the Gray Fox, they are considerably larger, normally ranging in size from ten to fifteen pounds. Their coats may be reddish or gray or even black, but their legs and feet are always black. The tail is tipped with white.

In California there are two populations of Red Fox- the native Sierra Nevada Red Fox, a threatened species found only in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, and the more common, non-native Red Fox. Non-native Red Foxes were introduced decades ago for fox hunting and fur farming. Over time, these foxes escaped or were released. Their populations have grown and gradually spread. Currently, they have been spotted throughout the lowland areas of California including the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, San Francisco Bay-Delta area, the Southern California Coast Range and Coastal Plain and in most major urban areas.

Socially, the fox communicates with body language and a variety of vocalizations. Its vocal range is quite large and its noises vary from a distinctive three-yip “lost call” to a shriek reminiscent of a human scream. It also communicates with scent, marking food and territorial boundary lines with urine and feces.

Now after reading about the fox, I’m positive it was a fox that I saw. I know it wasn’t a dog, because it had all the mannerisms of a fox.  Plus, when the fox saw me, it gave me that look that only can be given by our furtive foxy friend.

Shine On

My Little Piece of Heaven

“My soul can find no staircase to Heaven
unless it be through Earth’s loveliness.”
Michelangelo

 

PBRC Areial View

Aerial view of Portuguese Bend looking out on the Pacific Ocean.

JimmyPBRC GardensPBRCJimmys Favorite Past TimeBlue Grooming Bay

There’s a very special place that is not well-known among Angelenos. I always felt extremely fortunate to have been part of this very special place. The beautiful flowers, trees and vegetation encompassing this place made it my secret garden.

The aromas from fresh hay, flora and fauna were always intoxicating. The 1920s Spanish architecture of the home and stables so breathtakingly dreamlike, that it was often used as a film location.

For over eight wonderful years I would visit this place daily, rain or shine. The reason for my visits was because my best friend Jimmy lived there. He and I would explore the surrounding hills and valleys. Every spring we hiked and then we relaxed on the rich green grassy knolls.

It was my church, my sanctuary, my favorite place to be. It made me feel needed, wanted, and safe. It gave me purpose. It kept me happy and sane.

I miss this place more than I ever thought possible.

Now, it is forever in my daily thoughts as well as my nightly dreams. I would like to return someday, but it is much too painful to return. For to return to this place, where Jimmy once lived, would not be the same without him.

So, for now, I look at old photos and videos and reminisce about a time when I was the happiest I’ve been in my life. Those years seem as if they were all a glorious and magical dream. A time when I was the closest to heaven as I’ll ever know.

This wondrous place was and always will be, my little piece of heaven.

Shine On

LeRoy Neiman

“It’s a nice feeling to go out in the world and
look for excellence – the best in man.
My subject is very valid.
It’s about people, and about life.”
LeRoy Neiman

LeRoy Nieman

LeRoy Neiman, June 8, 1921 – June 20, 2012

There’s an artist that I’ve admired for over forty years. He was an American artist famous for his breathtaking energetic images. His brilliantly colored, expressionist paintings and screen prints of athletes, celebrities, musicians, leisure activities, Playboy illustrations, and sporting events made him one of the most popular artist in the United States.

Leroy Neiman’s artistic style is familiar to a remarkably broad spectrum of Americans –rich and poor, black and white, urban and rural, educated and illiterate, and young and old alike. He was the official artist at five Olympiads.

Back in the 1970s, I received a large coffee table book, LeRoy Neiman: Art & Life Style. Whenever I feel like relaxing and looking at beautiful works of art, I will sit down with a cup of herbal tea and enjoy the majestic work of LeRoy Neiman.

Shine On

Just a few more samples of Neiman’s work.

San Francisco by Day

Ocean Sailing

neiman_85294_1

wegpainting

leroy-neiman1921-2012-marilyn-monroe-1364939140_org

The Beatles

Stupid Moments

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish
on its ability to climb a tree,
it will live its whole life
believing that it is stupid.”
Albert Einstein

Stupid Moments

The movie A Christmas Story, classic stupid moment.

We all experience at some time in our lives that moment when that voice in our head says, “W-T-F was I thinking!” Hopefully, these moments are few and far between.

I like to think of them as mental farts, similar to a brain fart, but more humiliating. But let’s face it, they are what they are. Stupid moments.

Shine On

Looking Back

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

Looking Back

Standing at the stern watching Catalina sail away.

The boat ride from Catalina to the mainland was quick. Getting back into the swing of things, well that didn’t take long either.

But, driving around today taking care of all my errands, I’m reminded how courteous and friendly everyone on Catalina is: It’s such a contrast to the Angeleno lifestyle.

So, I’m already planning my next return trip to captivating Catalina. Hopefully, my husband will be able to join me, and am looking forward instead of looking back.

Shine On