Like some vulpine apparition, seeing a fox in an unexpected place is equal parts mystery and magic. Long enough to give you a stoic glance, fleeting enough to leave you questioning whether it happened at all.

On one of our many walks, Locksley and I spotted a fox. We’d see her several more times until we spotted a rustling in the underbrush. Kits! It was impossible to tell how many baby foxes there were–they were well hidden in all that greenery–but it was a pleasure to know they were there all the same.

Over the next couple of days we were lucky enough to see the fox kits play. But as they got older, they grew more wary of humans–an essential life skill for any fox, urban or otherwise.

But with a little thoughtfulness, a little observation, their presence was still evident.

Observe: the nursery. In the field by our wooded park, a flattened section of grass, with clear entrance and exit spots in the underbrush. The more the foxes played, the flatter the grass got.

Evidence of the kits learning to hunt. In this same spot we found feathers from a bird strewn all over the place, and a tuft of fox fur–as determined by color and texture.

I hope we’ll get to see our fox family again, but even if we don’t it’s a pleasure to know something that enchanting was so close to home.