For the past two days it’s been bitingly cold and we’ve had snow flurries. On Wednesday I actually woke up to heavy cloud cover and blanket of that fluffy, sticky, damp snow that makes the whole world white, but doesn’t stick to the roads. Actually, I can’t complain too much about the snow because in it I found my first red fox.
I was driving on Holt Stage Road near Creston. Creston is one of those blink-and-miss-it towns, it’s situated between Kalispell and Bigfork. I was out there trying to photograph the snow and the mountains as a possible weather feature for the paper. As I was leaving I saw a mangy looking dog out in the snowy field. I thought it was a dog, but since I had time on my hands I decided to get a closer look. Turns out what I was seeing was a red fox carrying its kill back to the den.
I have begun carrying my 300mm lens around with me everywhere. Here in Montana, more than anywhere else I’ve lived, this lens has been my favorite time and again. Deer. Elk. Cranes. And now a fox. The wildlife here never ceases to impress me. It’s beautiful. In places like DC nature is distinctively removed. Wildlife either refers to club hotspots, or that which one might encounter in the wilderness. Montana on the other hand, is a wilderness. And daily life bumps into the wilds of nature minute by minute. This morning the deer were out walking across the driveway again. I can say again now because this has become a near daily thing. I still get a thrill out of seeing them so close, but I don’t run for my camera every time now. They just are. They are a part of this place and truly, this is more their home than mine. The snow and cold I could easily live without. The wildlife? No. I’m enjoying that way too much to part with it.