Tag Archive | rabbits

Consolation

Because of ongoing health problems I missed seeing some of my most favorite things this spring including the daffodils at Morton Arboretum, tulips at Cantigny, spring blossoms at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and the lilacs in Lombard. However, the flowers in our garden provided some consolation. They seem to manage pretty well without too much help from me and hopefully I can get out there before the weeds take over. We’ve had a lot of rain recently and when the sun finally did put in an appearance I managed to get a few shots of some familiar faces.

A colorful display of tulips and some mud-spattered daffodils as well as a few  other springtime flowers helped to brighten the day.

 

A white-crowned sparrow and my arch-nemesis the rabbit also paid us a visit.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Eyes

The topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Eyes so, without further ado, here are a few examples of eyes that looked out at me from my photo files.

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These eyes may look sleepy, but they don’t miss a thing; a lion at Brookfield Zoo.

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Ooooh bunny! What big eyes you’ve got! All the better to find the tastiest snacks available in the garden, my dear.

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An emu, giving me the eye at the Indianapolis Zoo.

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The very prominent eyes of a frog basking in the sun at the Arboretum in Dubuque, Iowa.

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An anxious moment as granddaughter applies a little makeup around the eyes.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2016/09/13/cees-fun-foto-challenge-eyes/

Back to Life

Back to Life

Despite a gloomy start to Spring, the weather has improved considerably this past week, and things are finally coming back to life in the garden.  In fact, life has moved at such a pace recently that the daffodils came and went before we had time to really appreciate them. The tulips, however, are just starting to show what they can do.

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I spotted my arch-nemesis, the rabbit, outside the kitchen window the other day.  He was evidently working on the assumption that if he couldn’t see me, I couldn’t see him. Not so, my furry friend!  I’ve got my eye on you!  (note to self; get out there and spray coyote widdle on the lilies.)

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At least the azalea and tulipa tarda seem to be safe from this marauding muncher. Lilies appear to be his favorite snack which is why they get my special attention at this time of year.

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In all the years that we’ve lived here, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a chipmunk in our garden. Plenty of other things have paid us a visit; ground squirrels, raccoons, skunks, possums, squirrels and rabbits to name but a few, but never a chipmunk, until now.  He may just be passing through, so I made sure to get quite a few shots of him for the picture files.

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Ducks have always been regular diners here and they showed up the other day to see what was on offer. They polished off all the bird seed that was on the ground and a few crusts of bread then waddled away to see what the neighbors were serving.

 

Neglected

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When Robert Burns wrote about the best laid schemes of mice and men, how right he was! Due to circumstances beyond my control, both the garden and this blog have been much neglected of late.  Owing to the fact that, for the past few weeks, I’ve been sidelined by an unpleasant and persistent bout of vertigo, my plans for the beginning of summer definitely went agley.

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Not only has it played havoc with my equilibrium, thus preventing me from doing much in the way of gardening, but has also made it difficult for me to work on the computer or concentrate on anything for any length of time.

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Luckily the flowers, most of which are hardy perennials, were able to take care of themselves, although the weeds have made the most of the opportunity to spring up on every available square inch of ground.

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My arch-nemesis the rabbit has also taken advantage of my absence to nibble away at some of the new Asiatic lilies that had just put in an appearance.

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Hopefully, with some much-needed physical therapy I’ll soon be able to see off both the weeds and the rabbits.

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The Great Grass Disaster

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Earlier this year I went to a great deal of trouble to dig up and grass over a couple of flower beds in the garden thus reducing the amount of weeding required in order to keep the place looking tidy. Everything went according to plan, I threw down enough grass seed to increase the size of the lawn and also feed any birds that happened to stop by.

With all the rain that we had at the beginning of the summer, the seeds grew like a champ and before long the bare rectangle was covered by a fine layer of green. I cordoned off the area in order to keep anyone, especially my husband, the mailman and the neighborhood kids, from stepping on the new blades of grass and everything seemed to be going along fine until disaster struck.

Large brown patches began to appear on the newly grown grass. Now I realize there are plenty of reasons why this can happen; too much rain, grubs, dog wee, to name but a few. But I know better! There’s only one culprit out there that has it in for me to this extent. The rabbit!
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Ever since I put this grass seed down he’s been hopping over to check it out, darting under the carefully-placed string cordon quicker than a teenybopper at a Justin Bieber concert. It started out with just one but, as is usual with rabbits, one quickly developed into four. First thing in the morning and then in the early evening they’d be out there, nibbling at what I hoped were the weeds that were appearing along with the grass shoots. For days I watched them as they congregated on what they obviously considered to be ‘their patch.’

“Why don’t you chase them away?” my husband asked reasonably enough.

“I can’t! They’re so cute. I haven’t got the heart to frighten them off,” I answered. He shook his head and wandered off.

“Alright!” I called after him. “I know I’m being a weak willy but I can’t help it!”

I could hear his muffled reply from the other room, “Well don’t blame me if it all looks like something out of the Badlands by next week.”
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A Badlands Bunny (literally)

He was right, of course. Well, no more Mr Nice Guy (or the female equivalent.) I’d tell those rabbits a thing or two. I flung open the window and screamed at them.

STOP WIDDLING ON MY LAWN!

The rabbits didn’t seem to take any notice but an elderly neighbor who was outside deadheading his roses looked startled as though I’d caught him doing something he shouldn’t.

The next morning I looked out to see four furry bodies stretched supine on what remained of the embryonic patch of grass. They gazed at me blankly as I shook my fist impotently in their direction. “Don’t think you’ve heard the last of this!” I yelled, but of course they have. They’ve won again. I’ve come to the conclusion that all the heat generated by their mangy carcases while lounging about on my would-be-lawn has killed every living thing there. I’ll have to rake it all out and start again in the fall when they hopefully will have moved on to greener pastures.
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The Rabbits Return….Again

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“That’s it! I’ve just about had it up to here with you mangy, flea-bitten marauders!”

With these few well-chosen words the annual gardener-versus-rabbit war begins anew. You may have read earlier posts regarding my love-hate relationship with the local rabbits in which case you will not be surprised to learn of this resumption of hostilities between self and those burglarious bunnies.

Some of my favorite flowers are gladiolas and earlier this spring I had strategically planted a couple of dozen corms, spreading them around the flower beds in the hopes that at least some of them would escape the notice of any passing rabbit. Hah! What was I thinking! Nothing gets past those furry felons.
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They had already nibbled my oriental lilies down to the nubs and as I gazed out of the window the other morning I was horrified yet somehow not surprised to see that every one of the so-recently up-thrusting gladiola shoots had been reduced to the tattered remnants of half-eaten leaves.

The culprit eyed me boldly as I burst out of the front door and strode down the path towards it. As I’ve mentioned before, these rabbits have no fear, or shame for that matter, and this one stood his ground as I approached muttering dark oaths. When I got to within a few feet of it I stopped, arms akimbo.

“Well? What have you got to say for yourself?”

The rabbit, who had just finished rolling in a patch of newly-sown grass seed, twisted itself at an impossible angle and fastidiously dislodged some of the tender young blades of grass that had clung to its back.
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“Morning, sunbeam,” it replied as it righted itself, its carefree affability aimed at disarming me from the get-go, but I wasn’t having any of it. I wasn’t falling for that old soft soap this time!

“My gladiolas!” I pointed an accusatory finger at the remaining shreds.

“Yes. Very nice….” The rabbit paused to give a slight cough, clearing a hair, or was it a hare, from its throat. “Much better than last year’s.”

“I didn’t plant any last year,” I riposted, feeling that I’d outscored him with that one.

“True, but her down the road, the one with the statue of a kid peeing into her koi pool – very classy I don’t think – had some glads that made us sick for a week.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. I hate to see an animal suffer,” I commiserated.

“Well, you know how it is,” he said scratching at some hidden irritation. “I told the Mrs, ‘You can’t beat the stuff down at number 22,’ but she would insist. Gave me the trots like you wouldn’t believe and her fur fell out something awful.”

“Good Lord! Let’s hope nothing like that happens here. I try not to use any harmful pesticides,” I added, somewhat self-righteously.

“And we certainly appreciate it,” the rabbit replied, hopping over to the one surviving gladiola shoot and devouring it with evident satisfaction. “It’s a pleasure to eat here, really.”

“Oh, I say! Thank you. That’s very nice of you!”

“No problem. It’s a treat to get some decent grub. We can always rely on you to provide a good blow-out.”

“Oh, well…. anytime,” I said, retreating back down the path. “Always happy to oblige.”

Back inside I lifted the curtain and watched as the rabbit moved on to some freshly sprouting dahlias.

Bamboozled again!!

The Rabbit’s Return

For the past few years I haven’t seen too much evidence of my arch-enemy, the rabbit, in the garden.  There was a time when, the moment a green shoot dared to show its head above ground, this voracious marauder would devour it without as much as a “thank-you.”

But looking out of the window this morning I saw not one but two of the furry little felons, furtively lurking about among the tulips, no doubt with the intention of robbing me of what little greenery has so far managed to emerge from its winter sleep.

Evidently the local coyote, fox, cat or whatever member of the animal kingdom that has kept these interlopers at bay for so long has fallen down on his job and the rabbits have moved back in. And where two reside can more be far behind?

I decided to go out there and have a few words. Let them know who’s the boss.

As I approached, the larger of the two sat up on his haunches and greeted me, his nose twitching.

“Hello.  Nice weather we’ve been having.”

“Hello,” I responded, the wind rather taken out of my sails. “Haven’t seen much of you lately.  Where’ve you been?”

“Over on the other side of town.  Me and the Mrs found a nice little bijou residence up by ‘The Frog & Trumpet,’  the one with roses round the door and a wisteria half way up the chimney.”  The rabbit turned his head and nibbled at a nearby leaf.  (I’d never put the missing oriental poppies down to him before but now I’d caught him red-handed, so to speak.)

“Oh yes?”  For some unaccountable reason I felt slighted.  I knew the place to which he was referring and it wasn’t small by any stretch of the imagination.  It was a garden that could easily have featured in a glossy magazine and possibly had.

“And what have they got that I haven’t, apart from a Mercedes, a boat and a few prize-winning dahlias?”

“Lettuces like you wouldn’t believe! And carrot tops as big as trees!” his better half interjected excitedly.

“Alright, Mother! We don’t want it to get about,” Mr Rabbit cut her off.  ” The next thing you know we’ll have Mrs Cottontail moving in with all her mob and there won’t be anything left.”

Mrs Rabbit, her enthusiasm quelled, moved off and began digging a hole under the Russian sage.

“So why have you come back here?” I asked.

“Missed the weeds,” he replied laconically, scratching behind his ear. “You know how it is.  Too much of a good thing and you get sick and tired of it.  Besides, they’re digging up the rockery. Putting in a pool.  So, needing some temporary accommodation, we thought well….. the old place wasn’t so bad. You do a nice selection of lilies here and these poppies aren’t half bad either.”

“Thanks,” I told him, mollified. “Well, nice to see you again.” And, feeling as though I’d somehow been bamboozled,  I went back indoors. Well at least it’s only temporary.