Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Come on out! I know you're down there!





























Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, Peter, their brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grannies and grandads - they are everywhere. Did you know that ten rabbits graze as much grass as one cow? Well, there are tens of tens in our pastures. They are driving Tess insane as they pop down their holes at the last minute when she is in hot pursuit.
And even worse, they have penetrated the flower garden. Sitting looking out of the window, admiring the aquelegia, a tiny brown long-eared creature suddenly hops up, sniffs the bloom and begins to nibble. It is such a pretty little thing that there is a terrible temptation to just go "aah" and let it be. Not that we can do much else really.
The farm cats are adept at catching young rabbits and have not been fed for days - they go on a hunt, carry the poor lifeless form back to the hay barn, gorge on it and then sleep it off, their barrelled stomachs moving in gentle rhythm as they snore away the afternoon.
Myxomatosis will soon be about again. This happens every year. We get a huge crop of rabbits and then suddenly, one day, we begin to find desperately ill, blind creatures lurking in the hedgerow. The farmer is very humane and puts them out of their misery. It is a cruel, man-introduced disease. I know rabbits are a pest but they don't deserve that fate.
So, for the time being, I am enjoying seeing tiny rabbits hopping about round the house, sitting on the lawn, nibbling the pansies. Tess (and the farmer) is enraged but I know that their life is a short one. Before long the vast majority of them will die and only the few strong ones will remain to start again, so that it all happens again next year.
In the meantime, here is a rabbits eye view of a few of my garden flowers - sweet woodruff,
viola (doesn't that little face look indignant!),ajuga, rock aquelegia, solomon's seal and aquelegia.
Wish I could kid you that these photos were taken by that rabbit, but you wouldn't believe me, would you?

15 comments:

Gramma Ann said...

Yes, I agree, rabbits can be pests, esp. in a vegetable garden. Sometimes they get the food before we do.

The flowers in your flower garden are lovely. I love the story you intertwined around them.

I have been taking a blogger's holiday for a week or so, but will try to get out of my holiday mood. Thank you so much for your visit and kind comment. I love being a Gramma, but, my new grandbaby is 850 miles away. But we plan to go visit next spring, because we have another grandbaby due on September 21, 2009, so we will be able to visit both next spring. If I can wait that long and just be satisfied with the photos of them.

Ann

jinksy said...

I haven't see any Solomon's Seal for such a long time- used to have a lovely clump of it in my original garden, but never sprinkled rabbits around for entertainment. Give my love to Peter, Flopsy ,Mopsy and Cottontail...

elizabethm said...

I am not sure I could be as philosophical about having my plants eaten as you are! Love the photos, that viola is just perfect.

Jenn Jilks said...

The cycle of life. Too bad humans have interfered so much.

Great photos!

Arija said...

I could wish you had kept those darling little rabbits in England instead of shipping them out here with the convicts. They've been nothing but a plague ever since. Perhaps the Calisi virus works better in hot dry weather, but this summer the rabbit population had been markedly less, to the point where our main rabbit supplement hunter ginger Sam is getting quite slim. He used to feast on at least one a day before.
I am glad you came home to a floral display in your garden.

Professor Yaffle said...

Live and let live is a good enough philosophy to live by. However there are times when one species thrives too much at the expense of others. I have seen many cases of "mixy" and agree it is terribly cruel. I have seen documentaries, where the ground appears to come alive in OZ with countless numbers of rabbits, clearly in plague proportions. This has reminded me a of a small farm near where I live that I visited in the early 80's. I saw a 4 acre field completely bare of all vegetation due to the rabbits. As I stared in disbelief, rabbits darted everywhere in the middle of the day and wherever I walked I could hear countless more in the scrub.

My blog is all about wildlife, particularly birds in my garden. A couple of years ago, the birds seemed to have disappeared due to us having been overrun with grey squirrels. It seems not only did they scare the birds from the food that we put out, but they also stole the eggs. Once they were checked the balance soon resumed.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Next Spring is really something to look forward to Ann

The Weaver of Grass said...

Jinksy - I have one clump of solomon's seal in a most unsuitable place. Each time I move a bit it dies, so it has to stay where it likes living.

The Weaver of Grass said...

elizabeth - I love violas - they so often appear to have a little face.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Jenn - I agree. Rabbits know no field boundaries - and no animal deserves the fate of myxi.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I think rabbits are a pest to the farming communities - pity they are so pretty Arija - I almost wish Beatrix Potter had never written Peter Rabbit!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Professor Yaffle - I shall visit you again in a minute and hope this time to leave a comment. Here I come......

Heather said...

I missed out on blogging yesterday so have only just discovered all my garden favourites on this post. That aquilegia is stunning. Isn't it wonderful that inspite of all the dreadful wind and rain, our flowers are doing their stuff for us. Rabbits are adorable to look at but I'm thankful we don't get them in our garden. Tess looks very businesslike halfway into that burrow.

EB said...

You're very benign about rabbits compared to most afflicted gardeners I know. The lack of them (and deer) is one of the compensations for gardening in a town but I love to see them in the evening grazing the verges. I hadn't heard that myxomatosis was still around.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I just love the determination evident in Tess's stance!