A Red Fox named MICA

The western parts of the area have received rain and the mountains snow & rain. Nothing much happening here and the snow that had been here has 99% gone. I let the wood stove burn out – takes 3 days – so the heat pump worked frequently, even with the outside temperature, mostly, above freezing. Friday afternoon I cleaned out the ashes and restarted a fire.

I’ve had the phone ring multiple times this week, several about 6:30 am. None of these do I answer. Two people did start a message and I talked to them. No problem.
I’ve had a dozen mailings from charities asking for donation. Getting more mail is as easy as sending $10 to the Salvation Army or some such. They will sell your name to others, and soon you will get letters, often with address labels, note pads, and calendars. A place called Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home has sent two large envelopes this fall. The first one had Christmassy socks – kid size. This week’s package was different, but still large, with multiple items. I mostly stay local for such giving.
I did get in touch with the Cascades Carnivore Project – this is a small group doing research in the Cascades regarding Wolverines, Lynx, and Red Fox.
One of my first outings with Washington Trails Association was a 3-day session near Mt. St. Helens. The hike-in trail to the work took us to 4,250 feet elevation. Because of the explosion (May 1980) the area was devoid of trees, so we were able to see long distances. There were elk, but one lone small Red Fox crossed in front of us. I didn’t learn until this year that these small foxes are very rare and come in colors other than red. See photos here:

A photo of the black one was used in the Smithsonian Magazine; p.90, July/Aug 2022.
I sent enough of a donation to “adopt” a fox and to get a small plush one. They claim I have adopted “MICA” – but because I will never get to cuddle Mica nor even see her/him (?), the fuzzy toy will have to do. I’ll have to send a bit more money because the postage for this was $6.25 and the credit card donation takes a fee.

Speaking of money – going into a local store this week there were several sorts of Christmas decorations. One sign said “garland” but that would normally be a long greenery to extend 6 to 20 feet. Nor were they wreaths. And if there was Ceder in the mix, I didn’t recognize it.
These are called “swags” – a term with other uses. The $24.99 (plus tax) swag on the top shelf consisted of 6 or 7 short branches held together with a wire. One branch in each was Juniper with its characteristic berries. A few had a couple of pine cones.
I had cut enough limbs from Ponderosa Pines to make 100 of these things. Maybe I should carry one up to the road and tie it to the fence along with a ribbon.
I sent the photo to Kathy. I gave her a 5-gallon bucket of cones last year for a decoration she made for her church.
She sent a photo in return showing the thinning of trees on the small island in their pond. She used some of her branches for in-house decorations.
In the background of my photo there are small plastic-wrapped bundles of fire wood. These too, are expensive, but did not have a price on them. Elsewhere they are about $5 for 7 pieces of wood. Likely, I would go through a half-dozen per day. I’m curious who buys these things.

Keeping Track
on the Naneum Fan