Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Bunny

This is our resident bunny.  He (she?) lives a fraught existence, between the backyard where three dogs who would love to tear him to pieces occasionally roam, and the front field, the domain of the fox who has his (her?) den at the bottom of the hill.

In the daytime, when the birds are at the feeder in front of the house, he gleans their leftovers, impervious to the madly barking dogs behind the window.  And he knows that the fox won't dare come this close to the house in broad daylight.

At night, after the dogs have gone to bed, he roams the dog-saturated backyard, into which the fox never wanders, and eats...what?  Well, during our absence in December he chewed up the three glorious climbing roses that I had planted the summer before to cover the side of the chicken coop.  It will be a miracle if the roots survive under the snow.  I had never thought to fence off the bushes in the fall.

However, I did think to protect the trunks of the little apple trees by wrapping a spiral of thick plastic around them.  I had read that once a rabbit "rings" the trunk, the tree is done for.  But now that the snow is firm and packed a couple of feet deep, the rabbit has been stretching up on his hind feet and nibbling the bark off the lower branches.  I have dug deep wells in the snow around the tree, and am hoping that that will keep him away.

But I'm wondering what he'll think of next.  I feel about this bunny the way I feel about the fox who occasionally carries off one of my hens:  I hate what he does, but part of me roots for him, wishes him fortitude and perseverance, cleverness and luck enough to last out the winter.

2 comments :

  1. What a healthy way to look at the rabbit and fox. Here rabbits have eaten all the black-eyed Susans that used to grow around our house.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Surely the rabbits didn't get to the roots, and the flowers will come back? You're scaring me now.

    ReplyDelete