This afternoon around 5:30, both the inside cats moved cautiously to the front door and pressed their faces to the glass.
Between gulps of high quality Purina One from the outside cat food bowl, this handsome creature peered back.
Urocyon cinereoargenteus, the gray fox.
The gray fox is sometimes confused with the red fox because of the prominent rusty patches around its neck and flanks, but it is a much different animal; in fact, despite their superficial similarities, the gray and red fox are not classified in the same genus.
The gray fox is thought to be one of the most ancient of canid species, and among all the canids, it is one of only two which are skillful tree climbers. According to some sources, the gray fox can climb vertically for 30 feet or more without the aid of (tree) limbs, in much the same manner as felines.
The gray fox often dens in hollow trees several meters above the ground, and is typically active at night or in the twilight hours. This individual, however, boldly made the rounds of our yard well before dusk today,
pausing just long enough to wolf down a discarded apple before vanishing into the woods out back like a grizzled gray ghost.