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On a morning ride along a Vermont road, my husband and I came upon a Red Fox. At first I thought there might be something wrong with the Fox because it did not seem to be concerned as we approached. It became apparent the Fox was interested in something down the road. At first, I did not pay attention because I was focused on taking pictures (morning light can be tricky for photography).

What is that?
It is not coming towards me…

That’s a Turtle! Maybe laying eggs?

The Fox knows this Mom is laying eggs, and it wants them, but knows better than to go near Momma Snapping Turtle, so the fox paces a bit, then walks off to think about how to deal with the situation. Meanwhile Mom is readying her nest. She will not let anyone (not me, not the Fox) stop her from completing her task.

I want eggs, but not while Mom is here.

Meanwhile, Mom keeps working on her nest.

I will have to think about this….

The Fox pops back out to check on the situation, it really wants fresh eggs for breakfast but knows it will have to wait. So the situation turns into a waiting game.

Is she still there? I need a new plan!
Still digging…
More digging – taking her time..

And so the game goes on. The Fox changes strategy and moves into the field behind the Turtle, hoping she would complete her mission soon and move on, leaving the fox to raid her nest.

Watching from a safe distance.
More digging…
More digging….

We went to our destination, and when we returned Momma was still working on the nest. The Fox was not in sight, but most likely it would return to find the nest. It’s hard to leave things as you found them and not interfere, but animals will do what comes natural to them, which is what keeps nature in balance.

I thought about “saving Mom” from the dangers of the Fox and the road, but I figure she has survived and raised many new generations by nesting where she pleases, and it is my hope that her offspring will survive in-spite of the Foxes along the way.