[sighted in my backyard...photo by Gary]
I love me some critters when I'm out running, and this one was a nice find (please disregard the fact that it is actually a lawn ornament).
Far from being rare, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is quite common here in southern Pennsylvania, and I frequently see them in the local farm fields or woodlots near the road. You can read more at National Geographic.
However, the backcountry is a different story, as foxes are definitely not creatures of the deep woods. They like edges, boundaries, and mixed terrain, and enjoy a carnivorous diet. Red foxes are largely nocturnal in habit but are often about during the days.
The mandatory connection to Ultrarunning? Red foxes are reputedly quite clever. This is demonstrated by the fact that they always wink at me whenever I see one while out running.