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A Strange Day at the Nature Preserve

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My yard is a certified wildlife habitat, something I'm rather proud of.

Sometimes, nature doesn't exactly follow what I had planned.

I discovered several missing plants in my walled garden. Later I found a baby cottontail had slipped through the mesh of the gate. He is in paradise! He is so cute and unimaginably tiny.

His body is about the size of half an apple, his ears like a pair of almonds.

Apple? Almond? I'm starting to think like Mrs. McGregor! She was famous for putting Peter Rabbit's father into a pie.

I'd like to get him out of there, but I know from past experience that it's impossible to herd a bunny. So I set a dish under a hose drip so he can get a drink, and hope he moves out before he gets too big for his entrance. That garden was planted for me to eat, not some bunny!

A family of house finches in my hanging basket is grown and has just left the nest. They are the second brood of the season. I miss their little fluttering wings and the eager chirps to their parents when they brought food. They are clumsy and uncertain flyers for these first few days. Sometimes they need to be rescued and placed in a tree.

A few minutes ago, I heard several adult birds shouting their harsh danger call. Thinking a cat was in the yard, I went to investigate. A young sharp-shin hawk was sitting on the ground, eating a young finch. When he had finished, he flew off, sort of a clumsy and uncertain flyer himself, but with a full tummy. Still, I'm sorry he ate one of my babies.

Later, I went to the big tree in the front yard, planning to cut out the twig holding last year's old hummingbird nest to give to my friend's granddaughter. Imagine my surprise when the hummingbird came buzzing my face in its defense. She is reusing the same nest! I've never known this to happen before!

So as I say, it has been a strange day at the nature preserve, but always interesting!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You are rather proud and I am rather jealous! Plenty of life lessons to share. ;)
    1280 days ago
    I'm assuming the bunny became food for a baby owl. He is gone from the garden. I saw signs of an airborn attack before sunrise Saturday morning.
    1420 days ago
    Sounds like a slice of paradise~ hope that bunny finds his way out, too! BB~ emoticon
    1421 days ago
    Sounds perfectly lovely. Good for you to care for the little creatures.
    1422 days ago
    I hope you don't have coyotes like us!
    1423 days ago
    This past winter we had a herd of rabbits move into our yard. Never had a problem before but they discovered my tasty plants and don't seem to want to move on now. Today I almost stepped on a rabbit sitting under my bird feeder. It had crouched down into the grass so I wouldn't see it (and I almost didn't!). They are awful cute though. Waiting on the cat to notice them and do her job.
    1424 days ago
  • _VALEO_
    There is so much life going on in our garden when we take the time to look at it, and you describe it so beautifully and vividly. Really looking forward to hearing more about your little neighbors.
    1424 days ago
  • KAREN608
    Ah I know animals do not respect fences ... but our live is richer for that. Hawks gotta eat I guess. Never saw a baby rabbit THAT small. They can get very used to people if they see you everyday. Once I lived in an area where I left the clover in the middle of the yard, and the rabbits LOVED to play there. Every morning I'd go outside and brush my hair in fair weather, and they used to come up to me and look at me since I never chased them. Once I saved a baby from the neighbor's cat. Few rabbits around here since most have outside cats.
    1424 days ago
    Sounds to me like you live in heaven...or at least my idea of heaven. I have a few nests to report with the same kind of fledgling flyers but mine are just house wrens and robins and some darling tiny chickadees. And my old garter snake either has a girlfriend or is a female because there is a smaller one too! I always plant a little extra for the bunnies. I never see them in the garden...just hopping up the hill.
    1424 days ago
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