|Endangered San Joaquin Kit Foxes, Carrizo Plain|
I had been to the Carrizo once before many years ago and frankly, I thought it was a bit barren and unappealing. This time, however, our visit coincided with the full flush of Spring; birds were nesting and calling everywhere, flowers were in spectacular carpets - and the foxes were very cooperative.
This relatively small, and little-known, National Monument protects a precious remnant of the ecosystem that was once found throughout the entire San Joaquin Valley, and is now mostly lost to agriculture and development. The Carrizo nearly disappeared, too, when, oil was discovered in nearby Taft, California in the early 1900's. That wasteland of wells, pipes and barren ground could all too easily have been the fate of the Carrizo, were it not found that the oil deposits there were buried too deep for economical extraction. Thank God!
Anyhow, here is a quick shot of a kit fox family: I am still editing, and plan to go back again for more as part of a long-term life history project.
Nikon D300, 200-400mm lens