Saturday, December 30, 2023

The Facts of Life

You know why.

Those are the words that made me smile in this post from a local NextDoor group.

Dear Longfellow neighbors. I just want to let you know that the foxes are having fun these days and running & chasing each other. You know why!  Please drive carefully along Eliots Oak Rd, particularly where there are fields and creeks, as they are crossing the road constantly. We have seen many this morning in our back yard and crossing the street. Happy new year!

These words brought back memories of an excruciatingly dull class in Middle School called Home Living. Only the girls took Home Living, along with Sewing, and Cooking. In Home Living we learned how to bathe a baby (doll) and interior decorating (inside of a cardboard box.) Once a week we were permitted to bring in advice columns from Ask Beth (for discussion) if they contained teen issues of general interest.

It was on one of those days that the issue of, shall we say, “canoodling” arose and our teacher, nearing retirement age, made one of the disapproving faces for which she was well known. She declared that such situations were to be avoided because, “you know what kissing leads to.”  The classmate who had brought in the clipping raised her hand and asked, without any noticeable expression, “What does kissing lead to?”

There was a pause. Miss Preston’s mouth now looked like she was keeping a row of straight pins at the ready for a sewing project. Finally, staring directly at the questioner, she answered,

“I think you know, Theondra.”

And that was the last time I remember discussing newspaper clippings in Miss Preston’s class.

I just want to let you know that the foxes are having fun these days and running & chasing each other.

Why are they having fun and chasing eachother?

You know why! 

This is a fun and informative discussion, especially for NextDoor - - and not merely for the suggested canoodling. There’s also some talk about how this annual fox activity is out of sync with the traditional peak season: January - March. Change in local climate comes into the mix and the behavior of other native creatures is mentioned.

No one is complaining. No one is insulted. There are no conspiracy theories. It’s simply a pocket of observant nature lovers in Columbia, Maryland. This is something to be thankful for. I’m also thank that today’s middle school girls don’t have to sit through Home Living.

Have you observed anything in the natural environment lately that you found notable and/or puzzling?

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