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?