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By Joseph Dempsey spacer for and gator

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I can hear the “awwws” now as readers are ogling the gray fox above. And rightly so, I suppose. He or she does look kind of warm and fuzzy, but tell that to a chicken or other critter running for its life from “warm and fuzzy.”

This particular fox probably is not with us anymore, since the picture was shot on film in the mid-to-late nineties. At the time the fox was a resident of the Urocyon Hilton at Audubon Park, aka, the New Orleans Zoo. Seeing the fox so clearly in daylight was a special opportunity since gray foxes are nocturnal creatures. Also monogamous, for what it is worth.

A trip to the zoo, as I postulated a few weeks ago, is good for the soul, but not necessarily for the feet if you take in the (excuse me here) lion’s share of what there is to see and otherwise experience. But sore feet will self-heal and soon be forgotten. Conversely, there may be some stuff to see and hear that will remain ensconced in your write-only memory. Such as seeing a full-frontal fox.


Around the corner, far from the fox, is another of God’s creatures, also a predator. Unlike the fox, this critter is viewed with fear, trepidation, and frequent “yuks” — unless you are a University of Florida fan, in which case the beast is venerated.

We are speaking of the American Alligator. The gator, not far too far removed from his pre-historic format, is a very successful species. There was a time when the gators’ success was in doubt, due to the popularity of its tough hide for shoes, purses, belts, and other personal accruements. Sane game and fish laws prevailed, and now our gators are back to what they do best, which is making more gators and, as the top of its particular food chain, keeping nature balanced.

To work well for planet earth, nature needs ‘em all. There is, I surmise, a sound reason for the existence of every one of God’s creatures, although I have yet to figure out the right reason with regard to the state bird of Louisiana, the “skeeter.” Perhaps the skeeter exists to remind us that we do live in an imperfect world. And the skeeter, if that reminder is his job, excels in his, actually, her duties. That being said, I’m outta here.

N O T E S:  
Fox and gator shot a long time ago with a Nikon N90s, loaded with Fujichrome 100 and mounted on a tripod. Past that, I ain’t sure.

divider go there now But wait, there’s more!
See a couple of other critters,
a steam locomotive, and a mystery building on our blog, Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind. Stuff from the archives, seen by few other human beings until now.

Click the jump wings
to see the previous
Photo of the Week.
Click the camera
for an index to every
Photo of the Week.
weekly grist

Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog.  — J. D.


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