Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Wood Witch Loses Her Cool

I do try hard to be a sharing and giving and caring person on this earth.  I have no more right to be here than all the other living things, right?  I leave out seeds through the late fall and all of winter into spring and leave out water year-round for my feathered beauties.  We compost most kitchen scraps and do not mind when the turtles, raccoons, crows and whatever other scavengers depart with some of that stuff.  I let all the bugs eat to their hearts content unless I feel the plant is losing the battle.  I plant natives as much as possible so that the life cycle of local living things can both eat and lay their eggs.  While I might spray with something, it is on very rare occasions and with something less toxic.   I am a peacenik.


The other day I was weeding and out of the shrubbery bounced a small, young rabbit.  He paused at the edge of the brick edging and looked up at me with the most pitiable look.  I knew he was thinking. "Don't move, she can't see you...oh hell, she is only two feet away, OF COURSE SHE CAN SEE YOU!"  He put on his little baby face and opened his big brown eyes.  I talked to him softly and in my best rabbit whisperer voice asked if he could stay out of the flower bed and just eat the clover which was taking over my lawn.  He paused, seemed to smile, and then disappeared across the lawn into other shrubbery.  I turned to continue weeding and that is when I saw he had eaten HALF of my liatris stems almost down to the bulbs!  They had long ago finished their lovely purple fuzzy blooming, but now the bulbs were feeding for winter and he had stolen most of their dinner.  Ugh!


A few weeks later while sitting in the shade waiting to get a photo of a hummingbird (which Hilary more than put me in my place with her photo), I saw a gray-brown shadow out of the corner of my eye slowly making its way to where I sat on the low stool.  Since I had not chased him last time, this time he just watched me with my camera while he ate his afternoon snack.  


He even felt safe enough to lay down in the cool grass and meditate for a while.


It was the nearby caw of the crow that brought him sharply upright and I am guessing that he knew angry crows meant nearby hawks and he scuttled off under the pyracantha.


It was not until days later as I was walking to my front door (camera in hand as always) that I saw him right at my feet looking intensely at my toad lily plant.  If you look behind him you can see where a few of the stems have already been cropped.



He was not worried about me as he clearly began to chew off on of the lovely stems with lily blossoms!


I am afraid that is what threw me out of my peaceful "wood-witch one-with-the-planet" mood.  I threw out my arms and went screaming toward him.  His survival response was good and I chased him down into the ravine calling out witch curses all the way.  I haven't seen him for days, but I know he is watching, waiting for me to go on my upcoming trip when it will be vacation time in the yard once again.

20 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

Wascally wabbit!
Hoards live up the lane from me. Either the cat or the dog are keeping them at bay; I don't know which.

kenju said...

I know just how you feel - we had a rabbit in our former yard too - but I have to say that he is so cute that I would protect him at all costs...LOL

joeh said...

We are all part of the ecology. Chasing the rabbit away from plants you love is how nature protects those plants. THeir beauty is what protects them and you are the protector. The rabbit being cute keeps you from doing more than just shooing it away. If it was a spider, you might step on it...well you wouldn't, but I might. Fun post. and Hilary's photo of the Hummingbird is a tough one to top.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I enjoyed this story. It is hard to get mad at rabbit, their being so cute and all. But, chewing our plants down is chewing our plants down. Wish I could find who stole all my green beans.

Red said...

Sometimes us all natural stuff people have to eat crow! I'm glad you look after things and try to be unbiased.

Granny Annie said...

And Peter was feeling so safe until suddenly he knew he had wandered into MRS. McGregor's garden.

Hilary said...

You're a hoot. I know your soft heart wasn't entirely in the chase. Those big bunny eyes can get to anyone. Good captures of your long-eared friend. And thanks for the linkage and kind words. You're too sweet (and that's why the bunnies love you).

Jenny Woolf said...

I bet he doesn't appreciate you being so kind! :)

messymimi said...

Being nice to him doesn't mean you have to be a doormat and let him eat you out of crop and garden! (That seemed to make more sense than house and home.)

Bob Bushell said...

Lovely story, excellent photos.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Good bunny pics! Lilies are tasty I guess- without the chicken wire in earlier years, the squirrels n opossums got them all, n the impatiens too!

i used a water cannon to squirt a raccoon away from the bird food last week. Fear of people is always better for them, I believe.

barbara judge said...

I love this post as I can relate to it when I lived in Berea, Kentucky. I was at peace with nature until some critter caused unexpected damage -- then I was on the look out for the critter. Didn't happen very often though in the six years I lived there. Nature balances itself. -- barbara

ellen abbott said...

the rabbits ignored my garden for the first several years. then they started eating my tomatoes. up went the chicken wire fence. they did however continue to chow down on the pansies I planted. I hardly ever see the little buggers though as they come and do their damage before I venture out in the mornings.

Kat said...

Those sassy rabbits! I am always shouting at the rabbits. I am the ONLY person in my neighborhood who puts out any flowers because the rest of the neighbors know how sassy the bunnies (and deer) are to the flowers around here. It is a CONSTANT battle.
They're lucky they're cute. Little turds.

chris said...

you have a lot more patience and tolerance than i do! i laughed out loud when you finally gave in and chased him away! hope he's found a new hunting ground and that your plants will still be intact when you arrive home!

Pauline said...

What a word picture that was! I can just hear you in full chase!

Mage said...

LOL You are wonderful. You leave this peacenik, beatnik, condo liver laughing. Our crows are ferociously arguing this mornning. :) Hope you are having a grand, dry trip.

TexWisGirl said...

gotta draw the line somewhere! :) so cute. congrats on your POTW!

Kerry said...

Ha! Well you may come back to a bunch of stripped plants, but you did get a well-deserved potw out of it! Hope you're enjoying your trip.

Barbara Shallue said...

This made me laugh. I had a similar experience with kangaroo mice a couple of years ago. I started out nice and they took total advantage of me! Now they need to stay the heck away from my house!