Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Short Stay in Paradise

The garden proper is supposed to be completely rabbit proof. No rabbit has managed to break in for a few years. However the gate is sometimes open for a while, and a hare (the only kind of rabbit we have around here - they turn white in winter not to be noticed on the snow) will sneak in and is quickly chased out.

Last week however, we noticed that not only one of them had been locked in, but he had become familiar enough with the garden to find hiding places and the moment you tried to chase him off towards and open door, he disappeared. He was not interested in leaving. He had a wonderful week or two. No predator could get to him, there were lots of young vegetables. Fortunately for us, his favorite meal is not lettuce, but the clover and grass growing on the small lawn (although he was developing a taste for Swiss Chard).

Like all holidays, it ended too early this morning when, like an illegal immigrant, he was escorted to the border, that is outside the garden fence. He did not seem to be afraid of humans, being used to seeing us plodding around. He knows we are quite slow. You can see he is not slow when you look at is hind leg.


32 comments:

  1. Cute little garden thief you have there!! he knew a good thing when he saw it. :)

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    1. He does see a good thing when he sees it.

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  2. I have the same situation with jack rabbits here. Twice they've had babies in my yard.

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    1. In our previous garden rabbits had babies under the rhubarb. We had a dog that never noticed them. I don't know how they manage as this dog was quite a hunter.

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  3. He's much bigger than the fat little cottontails we have around here. My little rabbit-proofing fences would be no match for him and my garden would be a goner. Smart creature to break into the garden!

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    1. They get bigger than this and I have seen one chased by a dog whose jumps were about 6 feet long, changing direction all the time.

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  4. He's certainly got a mischievous eye. I hope we don't have rabbits to contend with here, we shouldn't do because the environment is woodlands and forest, which isn't right for them (they prefer fields and grasslands?), plus, there are foxes to contend with too!

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    1. Here the population fluctuate. This year there are a lot of them.

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  5. Such a beautiful animal but still one wouldn't like to share the lettuce with it! Glad you managed to remove it without harm.

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    1. He is rather attractive isn't he. Outside the garden, they don't even run away when you walk pass them.

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  6. We have the deer and a cottontail, but damage has been limited this year. Deer are very picky eaters, going through and only eating certain plants. But I've been trapping chipmunks recently. We draw the line when they try to get in the house. Four have emigrated to new locales this week!

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    1. We don't have deer but we do have chipmunks. One of them was breaking peony buds for fun. I guess it was for fun as he did not eat them, just left them there.

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  7. With hind legs like that he could even jump fences.. eek.

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    1. He can but the fences are rather high here!

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  8. Did you take him/her for a long ride before releasing him? I hope he doesn't remember where he got in.

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    1. I did, but like to think he-she came in while the gate had been left open and that there is no opening. Time will tell.

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  9. Are hares as damaging as rabbits?

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    1. They are bigger, presumably they need to eat more!

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    2. Just wondered whether their diet was the same? You said it was happy with the clover so do they still pose a problem to vegetable?

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  10. Ah, Peter. Mr. MacGregor 1, Peter Rabbit 0.

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    1. Let us hope Mr MacGregor stays ahead!

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  11. Rabbits are one of the banes of my existence, but I have never even considered trying to make my garden rabbit proof. Not sure how I would do it.

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    1. You are quite right, I don't expect it would be manageable in a city.

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  12. Our little Sophie would love to give him a go, Dacshounds just adore a good chase. Good post.

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    1. Thank you for your visit. I am sure Sophie would have helped a lot. At least she would have figured out where he was hiding. She might also give us a hand (a paw?) with the chipmunks.

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  13. They are beautiful creatures, but not in the garden. We have rabbit fencing and guests often leave the gate open so we do have problems our rabbit friends. The hares haven't managed to get in for a while though. The best thing about snowfall is that after I have built my snowman and had a snowball fight, I can wander around the perimeter of our property and check for paw prints or signs of a break in the fence. I am surprised your guest didn't take advantage of all the fare on offer and stuck to clover and chard! Opportunity missed, dear hare.

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    1. He might have eaten more but if so it does not show much. Just now my problem is raccoon eating strawberries. They are much more resourceful than rabbits. I fooled them last year but not this year.

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  14. Luckily I am not affected by rabbits here so I don't need a fence. On the other hand the damage done by badgers and squirrels can be a real annoyance.

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    1. I can imagine that a badger could be trouble. Squirrels we have but very few (too many predators - I am surprised the latter have not taken care of the rabbits). Our No 1 pest is raccoons. They are very bright (for instance they have figured out how not to get caught in the trap that caught the hare).

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  15. Awww, he's beautiful. Not so good for your veggies though. Glad you managed to catch him and release him unharmed.

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  16. Somehow I have a feeling you haven't seen the last of him.

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It is always nice to hear from you (et il n'est pas nécessaire de commenter en anglais)