Once Upon a Fox…

The summit has been socked in for days, but today the clouds finally lifted. Photographer Ernie Mills and I took the opportunity to drive up to get some fantastic photos and shoot some video.

We loaded the van with all our gear; cameras, tripods, lens, hats, gloves and plenty of layers-the temp read 32 and winds were in the low 30′s. We were ready for anything but nothing could prepare us for what we came upon nearing the two mile. A small fox had just popped out of the woods, stood for a few seconds, looked at us, and began trotting up the side of the road. When he turned to cross the road we noticed something hanging from his mouth. As he continued up the road we got a better look-it was his lunch, a red squirrel. He trotted alongside the van for about a 1/2 mile, never once considering ducking into the woods to eat it. He’d stop every now and again probably wondering what this huge object was following him. After Ernie took about 600 shots and me keeping an eye out for traffic, we decided to leave him be and let him eat.

Just as a motorcycle rounded the corner behind us, he finally veered off into the woods probably never to be seen by us again. We stopped at a pull off and quickly looked at the photos Ernie got and were blown away at the whole experience. As we traveled up the road we were both awestruck at what we just witnessed. People see fox but to see one after a successful hunt -incredible. Don’t worry we felt for the squirrel (a little). We stopped again at 4.5 mile to get some more footage and it was unbelievable, right on cue the same fox still with squirrel in mouth, came up out of the krumholtz and crossed the road right in front of us. Ernie jumped out and cautiously followed him up the path to grab a few more shots before the fox disappeared for good. My camera was still attached to the tripod so I was only able to get this one shot of the two of them. What an amazing experience!

As we neared the 6 mile we could see the remains of the 5 inches of snow that fell over the past few days preventing safe travel for the public. I was so excited, I absolutely love snow!! We reached the summit and there were patches of snow everywhere. Of course I made a snow ball and had to throw it as far as I could. The winds were weak and the temps pretty chilly but it felt so good on the skin. Ernie continued snapping away, so intrigued by the mountain and how different it is every single time he goes up. I love the mountain too but I really, really like snow. We headed over to the observatory deck and found the snowman they had made and I had to get my picture with him! On the way back to the stage I couldn’t resist jumping in the snow to make a snow angel. We got what we needed and both agreed we did not want to leave…..ever.

No matter how many times you travel up Mt. Washington by car, by foot, by train, by any other means it is always an incredible adventure! I can’t wait to see whats next.

A few more photos from the day can be seen on our Facebook page. You don’t need to have a Facebook account to look at the photos. ~ms

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