Conversation with My Wife (193)

Spring! Our favorite! At least until the leaves start to turn.

Breakfast, around 8AM, eating on our four-season porch while looking at our backyard go through spring in almost real time. It’s overcast, and there’s been a light rain so everything is damp but not soggy.

Being retired lets us see the days as they pass. When we were working, we’d be on the road to work before the sun came up, this time of year. Certainly, we’d be eating breakfast in the dark, unable to fully appreciate Being rather than Doing. (See, Ann, I was paying attention!) And unable to appreciate our yard and its springtime changes.

DEB: The red bud trees stand out so well! Even without the morning sun!

Redbud trees with their eponymous buds (which are really more magenta, doncha think?). In a week or two these will all be cute little flowers. A LOT of them.

ME: And I think we have another daffodil or two still opening up in back. It’s like all the daffs I’ve planted in back over the last three falls decided to make an appearance this spring. Not complaining, mind you, just commenting.

Our “back bank” (our lot is sloped; the entire development is on the side of a ridge) with most of our backyard daffodils in view.

DEB: And thank you for the ones out front. They are so nice to come home to!

Deb is still working part time at a local tax firm. She was supposed to finish up toward the end of April, but then the tax deadlines got extended so they asked her to stay on the extra month. Because My Wife Is Awesome.™

ME: Again, there seem to be more coming up by the steps than I remember planting last fall. And they’re too well organized to be our furry-tailed volunteer gardeners.

Our front steps, with flowers and ground cover on either side.

Our squirrels dig up bulbs. Then they plant them again somewhere else and forget them. As evolutionary trends go, this one mystifies me. But it makes for interesting observations come spring time.

DEB: Oh, and psycho bunny is back.

Rabbits in our yard sometimes act strangely. Sometimes very strangely. There is always one each year who is flat-out crazy. Sometimes they’re jumping at something we can’t see, sometimes they are practicing sprints up and down the hill, sometimes they are rolling around in a particular patch of dirt that lacks any perceptible redemptive value. Sometimes all of the above.

DEB: Okay, check the middle waterfall, almost straight up slope, he or she is digging a hole under the ground cover.

ME: Wow! Almost deep enough to get their entire body in. That’s new.

The bunny then hopped over to a patch of decorative grass. It was starting to grow again, but there was still dead grass from over the winter. The rabbit grabbed a mouthful of dead grass, then some more. Then suddenly tore over to the hole.

ME: Okay, why would they stuff grass…

(light bulbs go off over both of us)

DEB: That’s a she. She’s making a nest.

ME: Wow. (watching the next trip to the grass patch) So apparently this takes a lot of grass? Who knew?

The bunny took the grass with her into the hole, butt sticking up in the air. She would spend a minute or so like that, then tear back over to the grass patch.

(left) Bunny digging away, right at the edge of the ground cover. (middle) Bunny collecting dead [mostly dead] grass. (right) Bunny hanging her butt over the nest hole.

After Deb left for work, I kept an eye on our bunny. She continued gathering grass for many minutes, then just sat still with her back end over the top of the hole. She sat still for maybe ten or twenty minutes (I wasn’t paying full attention) before she suddenly got very active again. She peered into the hole. Then sniffed around the hole, walked a little ways away and came back, sniffed around the hole, pawed at the soil and plants around the hole, walked part way to the grass clump she’d been using for nesting material, pawed at the ground, moved a few steps, pawed at the ground. And then suddenly skedaddled.

I, being the curious type, went to check out the area after a couple hours. It was a good thing I’d taken photos and marked the location — there was nothing a casual glance (or even a non-invasive inspection) revealed to show a hole. Not even any tracks nearby.

(left) Where momma rabbit had been digging. Not that there’s any way to tell. (right) Same area with bits of yarn to mark the spot. The Humane Society recommends not disturbing a rabbit nest; the mother only feeds her kids twice a day, so leaving yarn or some other non-intrusive marker can help indicate if she’s been back. In other words, don’t assume a nest is abandoned if it’s been hours since momma showed up.

Darn clever, these wascally wabbits! Anyway, I think we just got baby bunnies in our backyard.

Our front flowerbed, which is usually a week or two ahead of our other beds. The daffodils here are over, the hyacinths are on their way down, but the tulips are coming into their own.

Copyright ©2021 by Jack Herlocker. All rights reserved, and I would appreciate it if you didn’t copy the bunny photos, because new moms deserve some privacy.

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Jack Herlocker

Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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