Magical Moments: Adorable Fox Caught in Dreamy Dandelion Bliss

fox sleeping in dandelion

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is one of the most common and widely recognized mammals in the United Kingdom. It is a native species that has a significant presence in the UK’s ecosystems and cultural history.

It is a fascinating and highly adaptable mammal that has successfully colonized many urban, suburban, and rural areas around the world.

red fox

Known for its striking red/orange fur and bushy tail, the red fox has become an integral part of maintaining the balance of nature in the countryside, city, and everywhere in between, by helping to control populations of insects, rodents, and other small mammals.

The red fox’s ability to coexist with humans in an ever-urbanizing world is a testament to their remarkable survival skills and resilient nature.

red fox and cub

I hope that through my photography I can introduce a different perspective of the red fox than perhaps is often perceived by the general public – one that breaks down the stigma of them being mere ‘scavengers’ and ‘menaces’.

By presenting them through my lens, and how I and many in the wildlife community view these beautiful animals, I hope to invoke an appreciation and greater understanding of their clever, playful, and at times charmingly mischievous ways.

red fox photography

Ultimately, I hope to help people see their importance in our lives and how deserving this magnificent species is to be protected. 

Planning the shot

In the heart of a suburban town, amongst the busy high street, I stumbled upon a quiet corner, a cemetery. It was calm and peaceful, with not a lot of footfall – the perfect place for a fox family to take up residence.

fox family

I had set out on an early morning scout to catch up with a local fox family that I had come to know well. Based on my frequent observations, I was hopeful that cubs would be making an appearance soon.  

The sun was shining as I slowly approached the den site. I could see my favourite red fox vixen, and as I got closer, I noticed as many as 12 excited cubs!

fox cub

Over the next few weeks, I spent a lot of time silently watching them, getting to know their routines, behaviours, and personalities.

I soon realised that the vixen was using a particular area, covered in beautiful wildflowers, to rest during the day. This sparked the vision I knew I wanted to try and capture – her sleeping peacefully amongst them. 

fox and cubs

I managed to take some beautiful photographs of the sleeping vixen, but then noticed that from time to time she would wake up covered in dandelion seeds.

It was such a beautiful and calming sight; I just knew I had to capture this moment.

I also knew that if I wanted this image, I was going to have to act fast, as once the seeds had all dispersed, I would be out of luck.

red fox in wildflowers

For the next few days, I would go down to the cemetery every evening, hoping to capture “the” moment.

One particular evening I arrived, and everything just seemed to fall into place.

The cemetery felt full of wildlife and incredible birdsong, the sun was setting, and there was a special and indescribable feeling in the air.

I patiently waited for the vixen to awake from her slumber in her dandelion bed. Finally, she began to stir.

She sat up and paused, her eyes still sleepily shut, with the last of the sun’s rays beaming down on her, almost as if she was appreciating her final moments of alone time before she had to start her evening shift with her demanding cubs.

This was the moment I was hoping and waiting for!

fox sleeping in dandelion

I couldn’t believe it and was over the moon when I managed to capture a few shots of this fleeting moment. All too soon it was over, and I was left shaking – I could hardly navigate through the menu on my camera as I was so filled with adrenaline.

I knew I had captured something amazing and when I saw the preview, I instantly took a back-of-camera photo and sent it to my partner.

I knew I had to share this image with the wildlife world as I felt it captured an entirely different side of the urban red fox.

The red fox has been unfairly portrayed and misunderstood. While it has faced criticism due to its predation on livestock and occasional disease transmission, it’s crucial to appreciate the valuable ecological role they play.

fox cub

Red foxes help maintain a balance of biodiversity by controlling populations of insects, rodents and other small mammals. In urban environments, they have had to learn to survive around us, as we have not given them any other option.

I hope that the way I have captured this vixen amongst the dandelion seeds can show people that foxes are loving, beautiful creatures who deserve our appreciation for their unique qualities and contributions to the natural world.

This photo portrays how the red fox wants to live alongside us – in calmness and in peace – and somehow, even though we have taken over their habitat, they continue to share their world with us.

Equipment used

Although I now have a Nikon Z9, at the time of the shoot I was using my trusty Nikon D500 paired with a 300mm f2/8 lens. This ensured I was far enough away so as not to disturb the fox or her natural behaviour, which was essential to me getting “the shot”.

wildlife camera equipment

I also proved to myself that it’s not necessarily about the equipment, but rather, more about getting out there, putting the hours in and learning your subject, that will award you with those truly unique photographs.

This image then went on to win not only my category at the British Wildlife Photography Awards but also, the highly sought-after front cover of their book.

I was honoured and grateful to see how many people managed to relate to the photo as I did and was amazed to see how it sparked quite a bit of press coverage in both TV and print.

Visit Lewis's website

A plumbing and heating engineer by trade, wildlife photographer Lewis Newman uses his photography to capture nature's wonders. Balancing a life of practicality and creativity, Lewis finds solace in the wild, and uses his work to inspire viewers to challenge their perspective of everyday animals like the urban fox.

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