We've had a small red fox visit our backyard several times this summer. I'm used to seeing little animals like rabbits, raccoons, even the occasional deer walking in the woods behind our house. But they don't usually come into the open yard.
When I first saw this fox, he was so small I thought it was an orange cat. He was sniffing around the fire pit, eating a bit of melted marshmallow that was stuck in the grass. He must have been pretty desperate for food to venture out to such an exposed area. That night I left a green apple out near the fire pit.
Sure enough a day later he was back. He saw the apple but stopped short of it. Maybe he caught the scent of human beings close by. He stood out there looking at the apple, then around the yard, then back to the apple… as if he were deciding whether the whole thing was a trap. In fact he stood there so long he made himself vulnerable to be captured (if only by a camera). As I watched him I wondered what kind of calculations was he doing in his head. He knew this thing was not here yesterday, and he must be suspicious of new things. I think he was weighing the risk of being caught versus the reward of a sweet fresh apple on a hot day. Maybe he was gathering his strength, preparing for an attack or staking out an escape route.
In the end his stomach must have won the argument because in a blink of an eye he and the apple were gone.
On this, 9th challenge of our first VP9 cycle, I've been thinking about creative risks and rewards. I've enjoyed venturing out into unfamiliar territory on some challenges, and coming back into my comfort zone on others. Can't wait to see what the next cycle brings.