By : Deborah Susan Jones : Editor
Foxes . . . . to my surprise are less plentiful in my experience in the countryside than in urban areas and although we have Foxes that prowl our garden, as it is next to a wood and plentiful prey, and I even saw one walking across the road in front of the studio in the moonlight, it is hard as a rule to just see or hear them, whereas when we had our studio in London they not only were plentiful, but even lived in a shed used by Wimbledon Theatre for props storage that was situated at the end of my neighbour's garden.
The above scene was therefore something of a surprise and I can only think that the place Peter saw it, at the back of a Church in All Stretton, backs onto countryside and the hills around the Cardingmill Valley and I assume, attracted by the smell of food from a dustbin, it felt that a quick rumage was less work and effort than chasing after birds beyond the gate at the end of the Churchard.
As with many an encounter with wildlife, it was a very quick, abrupt affair, a swish of tail, a rustle and you are left wondering if it really happened at all, which is one of the nice things about recording these events, it fixes them in time, and reminds us of them.
Often, the encounter with a Fox is disappointing, they tend to be small creatures and in fact their average lifespan is typically quite short, perhaps only a couple of years sometimes and encounters with traffic are possibly more a problem than predators.
This was a mature creature it seemed to Peter, unusually big, though surprise encounter is always startling and robs one of precious seconds in experiencing the event so he'll try hard to take-in everything as efficiently as he can though in this case we were mid-conversation with friends who had come up from London and I was mid-flow of explaining a few things about the area including the Lawley Hill opposite so it was "a flurry of fur" to say the least.
I recall bright fur, a wildly swishing tail that seemed huge, and a lot of tugging at some plastic on a dustbin rim that later inspection turned out to be a crisp (potato chip) bag, Walkers Crisps to be exact!
So there you have it - spontaneous observation, which is what's nice about creating Wildlife Art for Peter, the surprise event, which is a constant source of enjoyment.
The area around our studio is absolutely teeming with Wildlife and wherever Peter goes his eyes are like a video camera with no off button, the movie is endless. . . . .o see if I could and this painting here is it.
Deborah Susan Jones : Editor