Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Finding Rhythm

There's a definite rhythm to life around this place, I'm noticing. In the mornings, after Alex leaves for work, instead of rushing around to do the same thing, I'm now able to take a more leisurely pace. I head down to my studio/office and drop off my mug and notebook, then outside to let the chickens out and make sure everyone has water and food for the day. When I come back in, I like to spend a few minutes just watching all of the animals -mine and the wild ones- get their days going. It's a pretty busy place for a while, and then things settle down again and I can get to writing.

A Nuttall's Cottontail outside my window.
From my window, I can see both sets of chickens as well as the rabbit hutch. Right now there's a little wild rabbit (a Nuttall's Cottontail, I think) running around the outside of the chicken run fence with Steve, the resident buck rabbit who lives inside the run. Before we moved him from his winter hutch to the run, I'd often see three or four wild rabbits inside the fence in the mornings. It's a pretty big area, with trees and bushes, so between the safety factor and the free food, I don't blame them one bit.

Wild rabbits can be a problem in the garden, and as much as I like watching them, that's just one place I really don't want to see any. To keep them out of my veggies, I sprinkle blood meal around the perimeter of the garden fence. It's pretty stinky, but it's non-toxic and it works. I'm still trying to come up with a good way to apply it; shaking it out of the box works, but it's dusty so I have to wear a dust mask.

Last year was a big year for wild rabbits around this area. Their population tends to spike every 7 years or so, waxing and waning in between peaks. We should start to see a decrease this season, kicking off another cycle of decline for them. It's all a part of the rhythm.

Do you have wild rabbits in your yard? What do you do to keep them out of your plants?

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