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We invite you to share your stories and photographs of encounters with the Natural World; love letters to the Earth and dreams to guide us. It seems more and more clear that Nature and our non-human kin are reaching out to us for connection, and we are responding. Sharing stories will strengthen this connection, and sustain us.

Please submit written work of 500 - 1000 words and up to two photographs with each piece, with captions of what we are seeing. Make sure to include your full name and contact details. Prior to publication, we will get back to you with any questions or edits and will notify you of whether and when your submission will be added to the site.

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Bright Eyes

By HarrietT

Right now I want to tell you about one very special red fox by the name of Bright Eyes, above, who was orphaned and taken to a rehabber in Glen Burnie, Md. over 8 years ago. She nursed him back to health and gave him to me when he was a toddler, to prepare him for release into the wild at Fox Haven. I trained him to hunt by pulling a dead fish on a string around the pen that he had to chase before eating. He loved to jump up on my back and prance around while I was getting it ready. He was playful and curious and cautious.  

I released Bright Eyes in early summer on the most remote part of Catoctin Creek thinking I'd never see him again but he was there waiting for me when i went back to check on him, for about 5 days. Then he disappeared and I didn't see him for 8 months. Until he suddenly appeared on Easter eve standing under a street light looking at me wagging his tail near my home inside the beltway on the Potomac River, 50 miles away from where I released him. Question is how did he find me? I doubt if he just jumped in a car and said 'Take me to Harriett's'. He came all the way down Hwy 270 along technology corridor from Frederick to Wash DC. 50 miles! I asked Rupert Sheldrake about it and he wasn't surprised. I figure he just followed his heart.

And so for 8 years he has been coming into my yard, occasionally, to eat, sit with me, wag his tail and do a little dance with me, warms my heart. In baby season, like now, he takes a lot more food and comes back for more and more to take it back and regurgitate it for his mate who stays with the babies nursing. Last week he took 7 pieces of chicken and 8 eggs, one by one, patiently and methodically down the road and back to his mate. Bright Eyes is a good father.

He's brought his babies back occasionally and they crouch down, splaying their front feet out begging for food after I've fed him. But more seriously, it gets scary when his grown sons challenge him, attack, ambush him when he has food. Last year, he disappeared for 4 months when his son claimed this territory and I was afraid he'd been killed, but couldn't do anything about it. He goes back and forth across MacArthur Blvd. and I've told him telepathically to look both ways before crossing, like my mother told me, but he may have learned himself after all these years. My neighbors tell me they see him sitting by the road waiting until there are no cars. He's smart, street smart. All these years, he's been my teacher, to be alert, mindful and attentive all the time.