Fox and playful Kits

I was out photographing the annual shad run and it was pretty slow. Heard about some nearby foxes and walked over to check it out. Mom was having a handful with her kits. I counted 5 but others said there were 8 total. Having never photographed kits before I found out what a challenge it is to get a good shot of non stop action, rolling around, fighting, etc. I liked this one as you can see all the faces and the vegetation is interesting. Thought about taking the tree out but the edges of the ends of the large leaves did not come out well.

Specific Feedback Requested

Thoughts on the composition please. I originally thought this would look nice as a vertical but the colors/shapes/etc. of the vegetation made me want to leave them in.

Feedback appreciated.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D500 Nikon 200-500. F10, 1/1600 and ISO 2500. DXO for NR only

Even though the focus and the action is pretty terrific, I find the dead-center placement a bit of a snooze. Mom unfortunately isn’t looking at the cubs so I’d like to see more room in the direction she is (probably at the the other 6 kids!). I also might try toning down the exposure in the vegetation and giving the whole thing a bit of a crop. Don’t cut too much off the top and bottom since there isn’t a lot of room there.

What a great thing to witness. Reds are so photogenic!

Andrew, this shows both mom and the two kits well, especially the rolled eye of the kit on the bottom. I think a vertical crop would work better. You’ll still have mom and the two centered, but the mustard plant would add a bit of off center interest. Enjoy the pleasure of the viewing, those can be hard to come by.