Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Backyard Buddy

My portulaca eating Backyard Buddy, The Rabbit
Note: this is the actual rabbit, I just took this picture


This is my backyard buddy.  Not really, a little sarcasm from your friendly blogger here early in the morning folks.

I just took this picture about a half an hour ago, early this morning.  Mr. Bunny Rabbit is out for his morning meal in our backyard.  His "morning meal" (and afternoon meal and evening meal) apparently consists of the flowers of my portulaca plants.  


Portulaca, i.e. "Rabbit Salad"

This rabbit and I have been battling all summer. He's (or she) is a persistent bugger.  I'll be walking around the backyard, refilling the birdbaths and sometimes I almost trip over him (her).  We give each other a LOOK, just daring me to do something about it, and then he (she) takes off, usually to the cornfield that borders on our backyard rabbit salad bar.


The Rabbit Equalizer

Bill wants to kill it. I'm a little squeamish about taking such a drastic measure, although I wouldn't be TOO upset if a roaming fox decided to come by and have rabbit for dinner.  What I don't see doesn't bother me plus, to me, that's nature taking its course.  




We put out one of those Have-a-Heart traps (bought specially for our little buddy) but he (she) hasn't taken the invitation....yet.  Even with a slathering of peanut butter on a carrot, no trapped rabbit.  

When we lived in Pennsylvania on our 6.875 wooded acres, an occasional rabbit would appear for a week or two and then disappear, no doubt having kept his (her) appointment as dinner for the many foxes we had surrounding our wooded oasis in PA.

I've taken a water gun out to this bugger, and he (she) does take off when I pull the gun out.  But this bunny is a sly one because he (she) just keeps coming back when I'm inside the house posting a blog, feeding my face or taking a nap, not necessarily in that order.

So what's to be done?  I've decided next year to admit the terrorist rabbit has won.  I won't plant any more portulaca.  Hey, if the powers that be in  New York City decided not to rebuild the Twin Towers just because they would be an obvious target for the terrorists and instead build that innocuous, single tower, tentative looking building   that looks like it's saying "Please don't hit me", who am I to question THAT wisdom?  





Next year:  Marigolds!


Me this morning with the flower bed that the rabbit DOESN'T eat - marigold, snap dragons and asylum


23 comments:

  1. awwwwwww, cute bunneh! NO KILL IT!

    we planted flowers the deer don't like; they ate all our tulips, but they leave the hyacinths alone.

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    1. Anne Marie,

      The rabbit stays. He or she is just TOO cute. We put the have a heart trap away. I wont' be planting portulaca next year though.

      Ron

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  2. Catch him and eat him. Fried rabbit is delicious. My uncle would set out traps at the farm to catch them. We also ate squirrel that he shot out of the trees. You are higher on the food chain than the rabbit!

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    1. David,

      I only ate a rabbit once in my life. One that my father shot. All I remember was that I was eating a rabbit then I bit down on one of the buckshot and almost cracked my tooth. Not an enjoyable experience at all and one that I wont' repeat. I understand rabbit is a delicacy in France. Figures.

      I've also eaten squirrel, compliments of my father. Squirrel stew with dumplings (the best patt) with the head and all. Used to suck the squirrel brains out through the eye socket. What was I thinking?

      Ron

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  3. Ron,
    I can see the appeal of portulaca from both you're and the rabbit's point, I had been planting them for years when I had homes with ground. I now live in a 2nd floor condo so I plant them in containers and they thrive on the small balcony. I never had problems with any critter eating my flowers I guess I always lived in more urban locales. The flowers are pretty enough to plant in containers if that is an option. At least you get to see them and hopefully they won't become meals for your furry friend. You're right, I couldn't kill most living things with the exception of spiders and snakes whose only station in life is to make me uncomfortable enough to eradicate every one I come across.

    Good luck next year on the portulacas.

    Jack

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    1. Jack,

      I've always wanted a backyard habitat with the full ecological system except maybe for the deer. We had that at our home in Pennsylvania and the deer were just too much, even though I liked the deer. The rabbit and I can share the backyard......I suppose. It is frustrating to plant a salad bar for him/her though.

      Like you I do not like killing anything, even snakes and spiders. In fact I would never kill a snake. If there is a spider in the house, I'll catch it and put it outside. The only living things I do kill are mosquitoes, flies and those little gnat flies. Even mice, I'll catch them in a Have-a-heart trap and dispose of them elsewhere.

      Ron

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  4. Awww, it's such a cute little bunny.

    I don't do gardens or flowers, so I'm always on the side of the bunnies and chipmunks, LOL. My mom and grandpa are always waging war with their backyard wildlife.

    I wonder why bunny likes portulaca so much?

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    1. Grace,

      I've made peace with the bunny. I just won't plant portulaca plants in the future. He has plenty of other goodies in my backyard to eat. I like seeing him back there anyway. Helps to complete he landscape.

      Ron

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  5. Ha...I've plenty of rabbits in my yard, I've run over little ones with my lawn mower, not to mention snakes, toads, etc... And foxes, deer, raccoons, birds of many sorts frequent my place.

    But I have no flowers...I am way too lazy.

    Maybe you should get a python from Florida...but keep it out of the house...lol!

    :-)

    -Andy

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    1. Andy,

      Yes, that's what I need....a python. I can just imagine. :)

      Ron

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  6. Meh, he'll just go for whatever is next on the menu!

    Me, I deal with mice. I hate mice. Since the owls were chased out of the woods when they were cut down, I have to put poison under the house twice a year to keep the buggers at bay. Wish I had rabbits or something!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,

      Thank goodness we don't have the mice problem. No owls but we do have a couple cats in the neighborhood who I think help to keep the mouse population down. That's what you need, just one cat. You'll have no mouse problem ever. My friend Bob M. used to have that problem with his double-wide. He got a couple of cat and viola! No mice.

      Good luck!

      Ron

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  7. Hi Ron - love the photos. Cute bunny - but a pest. Sounds like you've got a good strategy tho. We are overwhelmed up here in Toronto with cute racoons who love tipping over garbage cans and finding homes in people's attics. I don't think any treaty will ever be worked out to alleviate the ongoing battles. However, good luck with the plan.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,

      I have a strategy, I plant what Mr. Bunny doesn't like. Plenty of plants to choose from.

      Ron

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  8. Anonymous10:39 PM

    Ron,
    My thoughts would be what harm is it that you have planted something the poor little rabbit likes to eat. No big deal. Let it
    be. What would you do with it if you catch it? Anyway it may
    have young in that nearby cornfield. The summer is winding
    down the little rabbit needs to get ready for winter months.
    I have a problem with a neighbor ( we are separated by a
    vacant lot and acres and acres of scrub forest around us
    and across the street ) that traps my cats and then ( as a
    friend down the street caught him ) throws them to the
    gators down the road at the boat landing and is a "happy kid"
    watching the gators tear them apart ! Previously, I caught
    him shooting at my cats with his 22 automatic pistol. That
    cost me $600 in vet bills when the bullet lodged in two of my
    cats guts and got infected. The local Animal Control can't do
    anything to him unless we get a photo or they catch him.
    They have paid him a couple visits though after the locals here
    complained. But I'm missing two cats now - I fear they are
    gone for good. Please leave the rabit be.
    Stuart in FL

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    1. Stuart,

      The rabbit lives! He/she can stay in my back yard as long as he/she wants too, including her little baby bunnies which I've seen. I'll just not buy all that portulaca next year and plant them. Instead I'll plant marigolds or one of the other many plants that the rabbit doesn't prefer.

      Your story about the cats has me upset. What an awful thing to do! I hate to think about it. People who do something like that to animals just for the "happy kid" fun of it are missing something in their humanity. I remember something I caught my two younger brothers doing once when they were teenagers. They had found some baby rats next to the manufacturing plant where we lived. Them put them in a barrel and were dropping darts into the barrel "for fun." I don't like rats but I could never be that cruel. I got all over their case about that and they stopped it.

      By the way, most animal control officers I know are just as cruel. One guy I used to work with, Horace Busby (yes, I put his name out there but he's long gone now) picked me up for work one day. He also worked at the steel scrap yard where I worked. He was the local township animal control officer part-time. As we were driving to work in his pickup truck, all of a sudden he swerved his truck off the road. I didn't know what happened. I thought he was trying to avoid hitting a cat he saw walking by the side of the road. He said "Hell no! I was trying to hit the MF!" He said "That would be one less cat I had to pick up." I couldn't believe he did that. Of course I never let him pick me up again after seeing him in this light. People can be so cruel Stuart. I hate to even think about it. Makes me crazy.

      Ron

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  9. The rabbits and other critters were here first before we starting building on their property.

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    1. Stan,

      You are absolutely right! I needed to be reminded of that. I will accommodations for Mr. Bunny and plant something different that he/she will leave alone. There are many flowers that they don't like. I have plenty of other "goodies" for Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit to eat in my backyard. I do like seeing them out back. It was just frustrating to buy over hundred portulaca plants and have them served up as rabbit salad. I learned my lesson.

      Ron

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  10. Ron,
    My comment that I wrote earlier in the day might have gotten lost so I'll summarize it. I plant flowers in containers as I live in a 2nd floor condo with just a deck. Portulacas do especially well as they grow and drape over the side of the container. You can plant them in hanging baskets also. I never had a problem when I had actual houses with land, too urban I guess. I don't get along well with spiders and they can live outdoors all they want. Inside they are dead. The biggest problem we have now are ducks and geese. The geese especially number 30 to 40 and graze and poop in the grass and on the sidewalks. Messy. You have to admit though, the bunny is cute for a pest.

    Jack

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    1. Jack,

      My father always loved portulaca plants. Bill likes them too. Apparently the colorful flowers are tasty for the bunny. I know portulaca plants do well in containers, my neighbor has hers in containers surrounding her backyard deck.

      The bunny rabbit is an annoyance. I don't want to kill it and another commenter brought up a good point that she (the bunny) may have young. In fact she does because I've seen them. I have a big enough backyard with clover and all kinds of goodies for the bunnies to feast on. So what I'll do is not plant portulaca plants where the rabbits can get at them. There are plenty of other flowers that I have planted, like marigolds, that the rabbits leave alone. I'll go that route. And yes, the bunny is cute. However, I would be to awfully upset if the neighborhood fox paid a visit. Let nature take its course and all that.

      Ron

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    2. Jack,

      Oh I know about the geese problem. Also very nice to look at but what a mess. When I lived in Pennsylvania the town of Downingtown had an awful problem with the geese. They finally got control of the problem by collection the eggs in spring which wasn't too bad. But the other Final Solution was to gather the geese when they couldn't fly and put them in bags and gas them. I hate to think about it but that's what they did.

      Ron

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  11. Ron, Have you ever read Watership Down by Richard Adams? You would love it -- it is a classic! After reading it, you will increase the items on your bunny's salad bar to include several kinds of lettuce, etc. Another commenter's mention that she may be a mommy and living in the cornfield behind you, and that the rabbits' home was where your development is, reminded me of the book.

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    1. David,

      Yes I have! Many years ago. I loved it. In fact, whenever I see a rabbit in my backyard, here or when we lived in Pennsylvania I think of that Mommy Rabbit. That's why I don't do anything drastic. I was just venting in my blog. That rabbit is probably out back right now munching away. :)

      Ron

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