Archive for March, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Now that we are officially in the spring season, spring has complied completely around here.  The plum trees are glorious, and with gusts of spring winds, the falling blossoms appear like pink snow.

The local Fawn Lilies (above) and Shooting Stars are making some dramatic appearances.

And it’s not just flowers that are busily blooming.  The bees in the local cemetery are hard at work tending to the flowers!  You don’t see them here, but they are busily humming in and out of the snag at the bottom of this Madrone tree. (Someone has kindly placed a warning to stay a respectful distance.)

Bun Rab Settles In for the Long Haul

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

…by creating a nest!

This really rattled me because about a week after I had Bun Rab, she went into a serious nesting mode.  She frantically collected hay and created a very nice nest; and then she began to seriously pull fur from her body to created a little bull’s eye of fur in the middle of her nest box.  This could only point to BABIES!  EEEEK!  Not what I bargained for, for sure.

Here is a video, showing Bun Rab pulling fur for her nest when she was still living in the bird cage.

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I have also read that unspayed female rabbits can also be triggered into fall pregnancies.  I’m seriously hoping for the false stuff, because bunny babies are going to be very awkward.  However, Bun Rab was found in the park in which another domestic rabbit also resides.  (He was also dumped there some months ago and no one has been able to catch it.)  If the other rabbit was male, it would only take a few seconds for a one-night stand, and cause ovulation in the female (which explains why they breed “like rabbits.”)   Well, gestation is about a month and I’ve had her for 3 weeks.  If she hasn’t delivered any babies in another two weeks, we are in the clear!  (Interestingly enough, the minute I transferred her nest and litter box to her new cage, she relaxed and stopped her desperate nesting behavior.  Maybe she was done, or maybe I reset her default?  Time will tell….Her tummy is not large, but rabbits as prey animals don’t often show that they are carrying babies.)

Meanwhile, Bun Rab is really enjoying her new cage and her new set-up.  I finally got her out of the bird cage into a real rabbit cage, which I close only at night for safety.  It took her a few hours to get used to the idea of being so high off the ground, but after working out a wide enough “ramp” (made from one of the bird cage panels), she obviously enjoys racing up the ramp and leaping into her cage, making a large thump and jolting everybody by the noise she makes.

She can see out the window during the day and watch the birds (if she wishes), doze  in filtered sunlight, or she can hang out under her ramp where it’s cooler.  Although I’ve provided lots of soft pet beds for her to try, she prefers lounging in litter boxes filled with hay where she can munch to her heart’s content.

And r-e-l-a-x……Ahhhh….

Weekend Houselife

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

It’s been a quiet weekend with cold mornings turning into warmer afternoons.  The inside flock loves the afternoon sun as it streams into the livingroom and will eagerly take baths, knowing they can preen and dry out with the sun warming them up directly.

This shot was taken after Sam took his bath.  He had to wait for the little guys to finish sun bathing before he could take his turn.  He likes watching the deer traipse by – or not.

Sometimes they just hang out, like the old matriarch doe here, catching some rays and relaxing a few feet away from the front window.  Looks like she has her ears cocked to the noises within our house.   I sometimes find the deer curious about these strange coddled birds INSIDE the house.  At such times, they will stare intently into the front window and listen and watch.

On other fronts, Bun Rab continues to thrive and relax more as she understands her new place in the household.

We had a rocky first week during which I nearly tore my hair out trying to figure out where she wanted to pee, of all things.  When rabbits pee, they gush – and it is pungent and has super staying power.  I’d read that they tend to chose a corner and use that as their place of peeing, once they have established their territory (by peeing randomly here and there).  The problem was, she peed in two corners consistently.  She finally trained me into understanding that she wanted TWO litterboxes, one for each corner.  Duh!  That took me awhile to figure out.  Since I understood, peeing has been contained and consistent, and we are becoming good friends.

Rabbits are so different than birds that it took me some days to make the adjustment.  I also realized that I had to ramp down my expectations about Bun Rab and allow her to “tell” me what she needed.  I’m getting there!

All my birds are now used to Bun Rab – except Chipper, who still freaks out when Bun Rab makes a sudden movement that Chipper happens to see.  In time, I figure he’ll get used to her.  Sam is still smitten with her, as am I, and spends long sessions with me as I watch being herself on the kitchen floor.

Here she is, queen of her domain, relaxing contentedly between her TWO litterboxes… (it seems cramped, but she has complete freedom to move about the kitchen, so it is always her choice when she wants to go to her cage).

Bun Rab is still housed in an extra bird cage.  Her permanent cage is coming next week and it will be slightly longer than her present house.

About time to become a fulltime rabbit and not pretend to be a bird!

The original Bun Rab from Walt Kelly’s POGO says it all:

More Signs of Spring

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

I love how these mosses are already putting out fruiting bodies during a warmer sunny late winter day.  The greens are so vibrant!

And I really love how this horse’s thick, curly winter coat looks in the sun too.  (The owner of this coat was rather anti-social.  I tried to photograph his face, but he kept snorting at me and turning away!)

Oh, how we love the sun when it comes out these days – in between lots of rain, which is due again tomorrow.  Hope you too are experiencing some sunny days wherever you are.