Friday, September 10, 2010
Waxing New Moon in Libra
and open to Her Wisdom."
3rd Day of the 10th Lunar Cycle
Ruled by Persephone
Lunar Tree Cycle of Muin/Vine
9th Day of the Celtic Tree
Month of Muin/Vine
Moon Phase: waxing New
Moon rises: 9:41AM EDST
Moon sets: 6:34PM EDST
Moon in the Cardinal Air Sign
Blodeuwedd's Cycle of the Moon
Lunar Meditation: The blessing
Sun in Virgo
Sunrise: 6:55AM EDST
Sunset: 7:38P EDST
Solar Question for the Day: "Who needs to
be gratefully acknowledged in your life?"
Lughnasadh (Gwyl Awst) Quarter
of the Year
September 10, 2010
This is Freya's Day - Venus Day, Day of Sharing and Relationships. There are Major magickal energies for Beauty, Partnerships, Assistance and minor magickal energies for love, romance, and creativity.
Healthy Witch Tip - Practice Total Recall -- British scientists found that people who thought about their last meal before snacking ate 30 percent fewer calories than those who didn't stop to think. The theory: Remembering what you had for lunch might remind you of how satiating the food was, which then makes you less likely to binge on your afternoon snack.
The fox is the only wild member of the dog family left in Britain. It is much maligned, partly because it will cause havoc if it gets into a hen coop, but probably equally because it provides an excuse for those who enjoy blood sports. However, despite its persecution in parts of the countryside, and because people do not seal their rubbish carefully, the fox is becoming increasingly common in urban areas. Contrary to urban myths, an adult cat is more likely to see off a fox than fall prey to it. Foxes are actually wonderful animals and excellent parents. We once had foxes in the garden and the sight of the cubs sitting in a circle around their mother in the Moonlight is one I will never forget. Later I had the task of hand rearing one and from the pet-owner point of view I can say that having a young one with the messiness of a puppy and the mischief of a kitten means that life has no dull moments!
In some parts of the world it is said that if a fox passes close to your home it means bad luck is on the way. However, in Scotland to see a lone fox means good luck is on the way, while to see several indicates troubles are coming. To see a black fox was said to predict a death in the direction it was going.
Magically, the fox is an animal of skill, cunning, and knowledge. It has the power to travel from one world to another. Invoke its energy when you are seeking knowledge, especially of the otherworld.
[From: Kate West's "The Real Witches' Year"]
Where do foxes live?
Everywhere! They can survive in all land habitats, including cities. Foxes are found throughout the whole of Ireland.
Do foxes live in groups?
Foxes live in family groups, each group with its own territory. The male is called a dog, the female a vixen, and the young are cubs. They sleep in a den called an earth. The earth may be a burrow, perhaps a disused badger sett, or may be a simple hide-away under a shed or in a drain or some such. The family group usually consists of one dog and several related vixens. Only the dominant vixen produces cubs, and the other vixens help to mind them.
When do foxes breed?
Foxes mate between late December and early February. They can be quite noisy during the mating season as the pair communicate. The dog may utter a triple bark, and the vixen a long wailing scream.
Between late February and the end of April, the cubs are born. Usually there is 4 or 5 cubs in the litter. They are blind and deaf, and the female stays in the den with them for the first three weeks. The dog fox will deliver food to her during this period. If disturbed, the vixen will carry her litter one by one to a new den.
When the cubs are four weeks old, they start to venture out. The cubs will remain with the family group for seven months. By November the young dogs will leave to find their own territories. Some of the young vixens will stay with the family; others will wander to new areas.
What do foxes eat?
Foxes are carnivores, eating mainly rabbits, hares, rats and mice, but they are also very adaptable and will eat many things including bugs and worms, and even fruit. At the coast they will eat crabs and fish, and in cities they will raid bins. They have a bad name with farmers because they will kill poultry and very young lambs. They will also scavenge the carcasses of dead deer and sheep, etc. Foxes will also cache food for later use.
What kills foxes?
Foxes are regarded as vermin and 30,000 are believed to be killed by hunters and farmers each year. Fox hunting with horse and hounds is also legal in Ireland. In urban areas, sarcoptic mange can be a problem and some foxes die from severe mange infestations.
How long do foxes live?
Many cubs die before their first birthday, and few wild foxes live above four years. Occasionally foxes can live for ten years.
Are foxes protected?
No. Foxes are commoner than is sometimes realised, and are regarded by some people as vermin. They may be hunted or shot, but certain traps are illegal.
Do foxes hibernate?
No, they are very adaptable and can find food all year round.
Are foxes nocturnal?
Foxes are active mainly at night, but if they are in a safe area with little disturbance they will also be active during the day. Vixens with a litter may also need to hunt by day as well as by night.
Can I feed the foxes in my garden?
Yes. Many people, especially in suburbia, feed their local foxes. Table scraps or canned dog food are appreciated. Such ‘pet’ foxes may become very tame, so that it is possible to sit and watch them feed.
Foxes are Beneficial on Fruit Farms
by Linda McCandless
Geneva, NY - Dave Gill, a Research Support Specialist in Cornell University's Department of Horticultural Sciences, called to report a sighting of a family of seven red fox pups on the Loomis Farm at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY.
Gill is an enthusiastic proponent of foxes in a farm setting - especially fruit farms.
"People don't stop to think about the good that foxes do in an farm setting," said Gill. "One adult eats hundreds of mice and rats yearly." Gill prefers gray foxes because they are less likely to go into a hen house. If chickens are not a consideration, he would encourage either red or gray foxes as a natural predator for rodents.
At the Experiment Station, where there are nearly 700 acres of fruit and vegetables used for research and extension, foxes are important for the fruit farms in general, and the Rootstock Breeding Program in particular. Rootstocks - sometimes called "stool bed liners" - are propagated in "stool beds," then the rooted sticks, called "liners" for short, are harvested in the spring, then grafted onto the desired variety.
"When foxes work the stool beds and orchards, we have very negligible damage to the apple liners and trees. This spring I found no damage. A couple of years ago, we had no foxes, a foot of snow cover, and extensive damage to stools and some damage to orchard trees even with mouse bait," Gill said.
"Foxes do a number one finish job in conjunction with a mouse bait control program," he said. "Last winter, you could see almost straight lines of footprints in the snow where a fox wove its way back and forth along every sawdust-mounded row of our stool beds by Preemption Road. They walk along and pick the voles out of the mound cafeteria-style and stash their catches of voles, rabbits, and young spring woodchucks in nearby sawdust piles."
Foxes are nocturnal and sometimes make hunting lodges in the Station sawdust piles because the piles are easy to dig and warm even when the roof is frozen.
The Station family of foxes is doing so well because Gill thinks they are dining on turkey. "A gray fox will not tackle a turkey unless the fox finds it dead; a red fox will."
For this reason, Gill believes grape growers would benefit from using foxes to guard the grapes.
"Some grape growers in New York complain there are too many turkeys and that they eat ripe grapes before they are weighed and counted in the yield trials. Even if a fox takes a few grapes for its services, it is a lot less than a band of turkeys will take," he said.
If this urban fox gets any bolder, he'll be asking for someone to pass him the suntan lotion.
Stretched out on a garden sun lounger to enjoy the early morning rays, he apparently hasn't a care in the world.
And, after grabbing a quick snooze amid the growing cacophony of the waking city, he trotted off to his den in nearby undergrowth.