A Regular Visitor and the Best April Fools Ever?

Dear Readers, you might remember that this little vixen popped into the garden a week ago in broad daylight, and since then she has been a fairly regular visitor. She generally appears at about 5 p.m., hoovers up any suet pellets that I’ve thrown down for the birds and sits in the sun for a bit, watching all the goings on. On Monday she was astonished but not perturbed by the next door neighbours sorting out their garden furniture so that they could have a few friends over for the first time this year, and sat and watched the whole process.

I have taken to throwing out a handful of (organic grain-free) dog food for her, on the basis that the suet pellets can hardly provide a balanced diet. After all, at this time of year she might have cubs somewhere.

She has one patch of bald skin, but it could just be her winter coat growing out rather than mange, fingers crossed.

I love the way that animals come to drink at the pond as if it was a watering hole in the Serengeti. And there are no crocodiles, which is a bonus if the wildlife films of wildebeest crossing the rivers during their annual migration are anything to go by.

And then the neighbours dropped something, which didn’t go unnoticed….

I suspect that one reason that the vixen visits during the day is that the big dog fox comes at night – cats often occupy temporal territories rather than physical ones, so the most dominant cats visit my garden at dawn and dusk (the best time for hunting) while the others are relegated to midday or early afternoon when most creatures are resting. So maybe this little fox is trying to avoid running into trouble. Whatever the reason, I think I might just have doubled my dog food requirements.

And now, as you might know, today is April Fool’s Day. In 1957 the BBC produced what I think is the best April Fool’s joke ever. When you watch it, you need to remember that in 1957 only a tiny proportion of the population had ever eaten spaghetti – it was as exotic as pizza and sushi and all the other things we take for granted these days. Plus, the whole set up is so plausible. What I love most about it is that it isn’t cruel – many April Fool’s Day pranks seem to depend on upsetting someone.

What is most strange about this is that I’m sure I remember it being shown, but it was three years before I was even a ‘twinkle in my mother’s eye’. Maybe it was repeated every year?

Anyhow, see what you think. And let me know what your favourite April Fool’s Day pranks were, if you have such a festival where you live!



14 thoughts on “A Regular Visitor and the Best April Fools Ever?

  1. Fran & Bobby Freelove

    She’s a lovely vixen and they’re really good photos. We’re very lucky to share our gardens with such beautiful creatures, our couple come every single night for their food. We have to do everything to protect them as the mortality rate is shocking at roughly 75% in their first year.

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      I know. In London it’s mostly road accidents, but the foxes also pick up garden poisons like slug pellets. I don’t think I’ve seen a single individual fox who has visited for more than a year before disappearing….

  2. Anne

    First up, the last two photographs of your vixen are excellent – I can imagine that pose upon hearing an unusually loud and not easily identifiable sound while drinking from a pond in the local Serengeti 🙂 The April Fool commentary is the epitome of what the BBC used to be like – it is fun to watch.

  3. SilverTiger

    A fine set of fox pictures, indeed. I hope you will have many happy encounters with the little fox in future. We have foxes in our district of London but so far, I haven’t seen any in the back garden. Town foxes seem less fussy about keeping to nighttime patrols: we have often seen them – and sometimes managed to photogrsaph them – in the daytime, running among the people and the traffic. Too often, our sightings are of dead foxes beside the road…

    The “spaghetti tree” episode was famous and much praised in its day and thereafter. It is an all-time classic. In future, it may be equalled but never surpassed!

  4. Rosalind Atkins

    I don’t know about every year, but it was certainly shown when I was a child – I remember wondering what was funny, as it seemed all perfectly sensible to me. I was not quite up to my first birthday at the first showing, so that will have been a good few years later!

    1. Bug Woman Post author

      They can be very bold, can’t they! I had one big dog fox who would sit on my front garden wall waiting for his handful of dog food…


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