It’s a Wild Life

I’m going to take it as a compliment that wildlife seems to be exploding in my yard this year.  Just a few weeks ago, my wisteria became a temporary housing development for a family of robins.  I can’t believe how quickly this little nest of eggs became a little nest of baby birds.  And they are on their own, not 3 weeks in total.

Last evening I was out tending to a border along my fence when Willis discovered a family of baby bunnies right on the edge of the lawn.  I had no time to teach him to be gentle, that these little creatures were not playtoys.  They did sound like little squeaky toys.  I prefer never to hear that again.

It’s not unusual for rabbits to make their homes right out in the open like that.  The more I thought of this location, the more I realized that predators usually won’t attempt an attack right out in the middle of a yard.  At least that’s the excuse Mr. Google gives for this seemingly careless choice of location, Mama Bunny.

It was surprisingly well hidden right in plain sight!

This isn’t the first time that Willis has brought my attention to some bunny friends.  However, mama moved that nest shortly after his last discovery, or so I choose to believe.

Speaking of that wisteria, I really need to get that vine under control.  Here’s hoping there’s not another family hiding within!

Postscript:  Our little family of bunnies got flooded out of their home shortly after this post was penned.   Thanks to our local Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for the quick call back (on a Friday evening, well after regular hours.  These people are the best!)  They guided us through a rescue effort, and I know that we did all we could to provide these little guys shelter until the Mama Bunny came back to take care.  We tried to save them, but Mother Nature had other plans.

 

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Puffer Poo

creator of Puffer Poo

This is Puffer.  She’s a 7-year-old Jersey Wooly.  I did not know a thing about rabbits when I bought her from a friend who raises them and shows them in the Westmoreland County Fair.  She also belongs to the local 4H, which is how she became involved with rabbits.  I still don’t know much about rabbits, other than they are far less social than dogs and not as crafty as cats.  And she doesn’t like me very much at all.

I truly believe her dislike of me stems completely from the fact that I’m the one who trims her nails and brushes her fur.  Not that I do either one of those tasks as regularly as I should.  And maybe that’s the problem.  If she were groomed as often as she should be, she would like it, right?  Eh, probably not.

My kids, well, actually my daughter, wanted a dog.  Unfortunately, the Hub is EXTREMELY allergic to dogs and cats.  In fact, I had to part ways with my cat because of said allergies, but that’s a sad story for another day.  Any time we visit my sister’s two dogs, the Hub has to make sure to take his allergy meds before the meeting.  These allergies are so bad that he ends up with asthma-like symptoms if he handles the dogs at all.

So I’m investigating “non-allergic” breeds, not that I’m convinced they exist.  I mean, it’s not the fur so much as the dander that causes the allergic reaction.  And even poodles, yorkies, schnauzers, any dog that does not shed still produces dander.  I think.  My sister’s dogs are shihtzus, very cute ones.  The Hub is fine with meds in his system, but he does get congested once we leave the house.  So for now, my husband’s health is trumping our dog-ownership.

But back to Puffer.  She creates some of the best fertilizer for the garden!  I don’t even have to add it to the compost tumbler.  It’s all ready for use.  She eats only hay and alfalfa pellets, so no ‘hot manure’ worries.  I call her special fertilizer Puffer Poo.  I save bags of Puffer Poo and spread in the flower beds in spring, then mulch a little into the beds in the fall.

Puffer has the life.  In the winter, she stays in the house, in her ‘indoor apartment’ (crate).  She’s in an excellent location, in the family room where my kids play xbox a lot.  Too much, actually.  But when the kids are in the family room, Puffer has free reign of the room.  She’s litter trained, too, which was an incredibly easy thing to do.  She picked the corner of her crate, I added a few samples of Puffer Poo right in the litter box, put the box in ‘her’ corner, and she knew exactly what to do.  Pretty crazy, considering how hard it can be to housetrain a dog.  We just need to make sure any wires are out of reach – what is it about electrical cords and extension cords anyway?  They don’t look very appetizing to me, but then again, neither does timothy hay and alfalfa pellets.  It’s almost time for her to be moved to her summer home.  Once these crazy days of frost are over (usually mid-May), I will transfer her to the outdoor pen.  This pen has two rooms, one with an excellent view of the cement pond.  I’m not sure how many visitors she has out there, but I have a feeling there are quite a few.  The raccoons have not figured out how to open her cage yet, but those crafty critters will probably do it someday.  Our neighborhood has an abundance of wild bunnies, and I’m sure they party it up when I’m not looking!