Sunday, March 27, 2011

Signs of spring: bunnies in the garden

Bunnies are not especially welcome in the garden, especially the vegetable garden. But they can be pretty cute. One warmish day recently I watched as a bunny seemed to be nibbling at the roots of a large thyme plant at the edge of my garden. I was only a couple of feet away, but he/she ignored my presence. After awhile I noticed that the bunny was not just nibbling but digging. As I watched, that rabbit excavated a sizable hole under the plant.

Beginning the nest

Digging in
Cleaning up

The finished product

I thought I remembered reading that cottontails don’t burrow, and wondered if it might be a nest for babies. I checked on the internet, and that seems to be the explanation. There was another rabbit hanging about, and there was some chasing, frolicking, and at one point the second rabbit made a sudden and amazing leap right over the first one. All part of courtship, apparently. But since that time, she has not returned to the nest, and there are no babies. So maybe she decided she didn’t like our location after all. And after I had actually planted out some of the lettuce we’d been growing indoors, just for her!

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