Minute one: Looking for fresh air and exercise to break up the recent stay-at-home routine, you go for an early morning walk. It’s not long after sunrise, and the North Shore is quiet. Minute two: A red fox darts across your path, over a lawn and crosses quiet Green Bay Road. You get a good look. Then it disappears behind a tree. Minute three: The fox peeks out at you, then trots to a hedge where it disappears again. But you get another good look. It has a mischievous glint in its eye. Its tail is long and full.
Minute four: You stop, and keep an eye on that hedge. Will the fox pop out again? No, it’s gone. A flash of red that became lost in all that green. A moment that took your mind off the rest of the world. Minute five: You think about how a person could spend five hours in a North Shore forest preserve hoping to spot something wild like that quick red fox. And, in just five minutes you saw one on tame Green Bay Road. Dumb luck is quick. When it happens, you’ve got to notice, and appreciate. This column was adapted by Mike Lubow from his book: Wild Notes: Observations over time about birds and other fleeting things. Available on amazon.com.