Archive for February, 2010

Bun Rab

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Well, it’s official.  This little lost Dutch breed rabbit is now part of my family.

I’ve named her Bun Rab, in honor of the rabbit of the same name featured in Walt Kelly’s marvelously funny, witty cartoon strip POGO, which, sadly, hardly anyone under 40 knows about anymore!  (You can view some strips of POGO at this blog, “Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Whirled of Walt Kelly” – a great service being done for humanity!)

Anyway, after having an exam by my vet, who pronounced her quite healthy and about a year old, she’s now part of my “flock.”  Her life hasn’t always been rosy.  She has several nicks in one ear; and the vet pointed out that a dark spot in the middle of her ear showed where she’d lost some skin and hair.  So at some point, she’d been in some sort of predator/prey situation.  But she’s as calm an animal I’ve ever seen and seems to adapt to new situations very quickly.

I have her installed in my kitchen, which leads into the livingroom.  It is one of the nicest rooms in my place.  With a baby door set up, she has free run of the kitchen from dawn to dusk, after which I lock her in her cage (temporarily an extra large bird cage).  I’ve rabbit-proofed the kitchen so she won’t find any electric cords to chew, etc.  We have a lot of fun in the kitchen as we get to know each other better.  She is more relaxed now when I stroke her head.  She’s finding her way and so am I.

Sam continues to find Bun Rab irresistible.  I placed a perch on the side of his cage so that he can look at her from his cage:

But, given the chance, he wants to have an even closer encounter!  (I managed to pull him away before he climbed into the kitchen):

The good news is that Bun Rab now eats grass hay – I don’t think she’d eaten it in her former life.  My vet stresses that the bulk (80%) of a rabbit’s diet must be grass.  So that’s what she’s getting with supplements of very small amounts of pellets and vegetables.

By the way, if you want to know how the original Bun Rab looks, here he is:

A Wabbity Wabbit Surprise

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Well, I have a guest rabbit staying over for a few days.  It all started early this morning when my office co-worker spotted a rabbit trying to evade some children on the parking lot of the park where she exercises her/our office dog Cedar.

She was able to approach it head-on, rather than scaring it by chasing it.  And the little guy/girl seemed quite grateful to be scooped out and saved from various immediate dangers:  dogs, passing cars, etc.

When Cedar first became aware of the rabbit, he began salivating, seeing visions of lovely rabbit haunch in his canine predator mind; and since my office mate has 5 cats as well, the better part of wisdom was to send the bunny  home with me.  My birds can’t do any damage to it, since my house is full of prey species!

Although she doesn’t like to be handled much yet (I call it a she for simplicity’s sake and because I think it is a female), she is extremely calm and very decisive about what she likes and doesn’t like.  I made a quick stop to the local grange store to buy her some rabbit pellets and a water dish.  And during the day I had a crash course in rabbit care research on the web in which I learned that the bulk of a rabbit’s diet should be grasses – timothy hay and such – and vegetables, introduced one at a time until she adjusts to them, as well as proper pellets.  Well!  She readily ate her pellets, but was disgusted after I placed some hay into her cage.  She pawed it out of the way and dragged her pellet dish away from the offending hay.

Then, when I put her in the car to drive her home to place her in a larger cage, I emptied her water dish so it wouldn’t slosh in the car.  Well!  Again, she was offended and kept pointedly licking her water dish, nearly keeping her nose inside it and looking at me somewhat accusingly.  I laughed out loud.  Here is another sentient being who, although she can’t talk, speaks volumes through her little rabbity silence.

When I got her home, she was in a dog carrier, so my birds couldn’t see what I’d dragged in.  But they knew something was up.  I set up the rabbit in my kitchen, which is not far from the bird cages.  They can’t see her, though.  So I thought it best that I introduce her to each of the birds, starting with Sam, so that they wouldn’t be scared of little noises by some uknown “thing.”  And for the rabbit to see what makes all the noises in the house.

I thought they would all freak out, but Sam was totally fascinated and wanted to climb over her wire cage.  I couldn’t keep him away from her.  Did he think she was some exotic parrot?   Chipper kept greeting her with “Hi Chipper.”  Pippin looked but ignored her, as she wanted me to play the towel game we do together.  And Charlie, since he won’t allow me to pick him up, saw him from the living room and sounded an alarm call.  Perhaps there is an instinctive knowing that every non-human in the house is a prey species and they have nothing to fear from each other?  Who knows?

Anyway, we’ve alerted various shelters and humane societies, the local school near where it was found, and we hope to hear from somebody.  Otherwise, I will be facing a very tough decision!

Bud Buck

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

I read somewhere that a first year male fawn who begins forming antler buds is called a “bud buck.”

Well, here he is!  He’s the son of the blacktail deer I wrote about last spring.  He was twin to a female fawn.

He’s already about 6 inches taller than his sister and seems to be thriving.  Except for two weeks of severe cold in November, this winter so far has proved to be pretty easy on the deer.  There is lots of green browse for the grazers, so they all look quite good right now.

I think this fellow is going to be quite a handsome buck soon.

Spring is Coming!

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I know it probably  doesn’t feel like Spring is coming for many of us, but I always know we’ve passed beyond winter’s absolute hold  when I see a particular patch of snowdrops blooming in February.  Without fail, they always remind me not to lose hope of ever seeing the sun or feeling warm again.

It’s been a bit of a hard winter for me.  Owing to some health issues – fortunately nothing too serious – I’ve not been able to paint for awhile.  But I’m working on this and hopefully, along the the snowdrops and spring, I’ll be able to paint again soon.

Meantime, enjoy the shoots of green poking up through the soggy turf or snowy patches.  Warmer times are coming…

New Artistic Talent

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Here she is!  My niece Sidney – new talent has now burst onto the art scene.  She paints with bold colors and has an excellent sense of composition.  And a terrific smile.

I especially like the tree waving to everybody.

What else have you got, Sidney?