All creatures

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For those who are reading the fox story for the first time – here are two links to my previous posts – Kindness and Fox News.

This spring, I got a word that Minnie, the six-years old vixen,  was pregnant. The only “suspect” was a two-year old male fox Henry, badly mauled by dogs in his early days and restored to health in Pat’s care. Being very busy at that time, I didn’t come over to greet the cub and take pictures. I feel sad about that – I don’t think I will have another chance.  Now the cub is gone. Pat has too much on his hands  to accommodate one more fox, and a lady from Kilkenny was happy to give the little foxy a family and a little kit for a sibling to  grow together. I only hope for an interview in near future.

I didn’t take pictures of Henry. He was in a bad mood, and we left him in his pen. I only can tell that he looks very grown up, and his injured eye is not as teary as it was last year.

I have got a new “fox picture”, this time with Minnie.

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Grainne and Minnie are full of character, and are visually different.

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Minnie is not angry in these photographs, or upset in any way.  She is just being herself, playing and watching if your attention is still on her 🙂  As you know from my previous post, Minnie doesn’t like walking and prefers being carried and cuddled, and talked to all the time. I think I performed all these tasks very well, and she expected me to carry on, but Patsy thought different and Minnie had to walk to the den on her own feet.

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After the photo session, we all went to the garden. The weather improved, a lovely change.  All the creatures of the house joined us, and I was amazed with their friendliness and good humor: even a huge rooster didn’t mind to be photographed. Cats, chickens, dog Blackie  –  all of them relaxed and at ease with the strangers.

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And of course we talked about foxes, how important they are to the environment. Their diet consists mostly of rats and mice; if they steal a chicken it only means that the chickens were not locked properly. Wild fox killed his ducks yet Pat doesn’t blame the fox but the hole in the fencing. While opposing the fox hunting, Pat doesn’t encourage people to take a fox cub home if it has been found alone. The cub is not abandoned. Foxes belong to the wild and they will survive in the wild. Pat wishes people would just leave them alone.

We were invited for a cup of tea. Pat’s brother showed us a photograph of their parents. Calm, intelligent, beautiful faces. They have raised their eleven children well.

As I have learned, Pat is famous not only because of his foxes. While attending a hurling game, he was spotted and taken a picture of for Kilkenny People newspaper. What has drawn the photographer’s attention? A hat. Pat’s sister is knitting these hats for the match goers, in county colors. Amber and black – Kilkenny colors. I asked Pat if he had another hat for a photograph, and he brought me a Red and White, a Cork one… Didn’t feel comfortable in it… 😉  I should have replaced the colors in Photoshop… 😉

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On our way back home we took a few pictures in Thomastown.

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A French tourism-oriented website recently posted a story about Pat and his foxes, and asked if they could use my photographs. I am delighted that more people will learn about this wonderful man and his beloved pets. They are already known in England, Scotland, and New Zealand, thanks to Grainne who is kind of a movie star, since she has several film and tourism commercial credits.

I hope you enjoyed the day with Pat Gibbons, and will visit with him in person on your next trip to Ireland.

Have a great week!

83 comments

    1. Oh thank you! 🙂 I hope that more people learn about Pat and his foxes and don’t “help” a wild animal when it doesn’t need a help, but as you say – just enjoy watching it.

  1. You really do look radiant !
    Always enjoy your posts—this one is beyond fantastic !
    I honestly get excited when I see you’ve posted something new.
    Thanks for taking me to wonderful places and introducing
    new creatures and people.

  2. Minnie looks adorable, I would love to cuddle her for hours! 😀 I enjoyed the post so much, looks like you had fabulous time there! Great initiative and thoughts of Pat, I hope this will inspire people to protect the nature and also the foxes 🙂

    1. Thank you Indah! Cuddling with Minnie made my day 🙂 Hope that the effort made by all the wild animal advocates throughout the world will make a difference.

  3. Love every picture of the foxes here. They are so cute and seems even more better when they are held. Your picture holding Minie is great!!!

  4. Lovely photos, Inese, you really captured the exquisite beauty of the fox. And I agree with you in that foxes belong in the wild. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your comment! Yes, it is what Pat is saying – never take a wild animal cub home. You have read the story – all his foxes were almost dead when he got them. He actually took Henry to the vet to put him down. Now they help Pat to raise awareness on wild animals 🙂

  5. (Clapping hands!) Inese this is marvelous! I’m on my lunch break, in an office building, in the city, surrounded by noise — I very much enjoyed spending some time with you and your friends in the country. The pictures are wonderful, and so is your write up. Mega hugs!

  6. What beautiful condition those foxes are in. We have lots of foxes in our neighbourhood. They are healthy enough the ones that come into my garden, as well as those that wander around the streets in my vicinity, as they have the best of both worlds, with the woods and hills nearby as well as plenty of people leaving out tasty scraps for them. The foxes further into the town centre are much more tatty looking.

    1. Thank you for your comment! Foxes are lazy and will always prefer some scraps to the hunting. Who can blame them? 🙂 Survival instinct is very strong and they are very flexible. And they should be – a life span of a wild fox is under two years, and a pet fox can live ten years or longer. Sad truth.

      1. Old Mr Fox, who used to cross our garden regularly, did so for at least 5 years. Am so glad to learn that he was long-lived for a wild fox. I know he had a very grey muzzle in the end.

      1. we have badgers around us, they pull the carpet off the compost and little funny, looks like one had a taste of lavender plant id repotted and left all the rest – imagine a badger running around, trying to get rid of the taste

  7. Wonderful article, and congrats on the use of your photos by the French agency!

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