Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fraternizing with the Enemy

Spring has come on so quickly here in Wisconsin. I've watched Rob busily working on starting seeds and getting cold tolerant crops in the ground for the farm and nearly forgot about our home gardens. Last week I got a small area cleared and turned and got a few rows of beets started. My goal on this beautiful day was to finish clearing and turning that bed and get it planted with carrots and spinach. I was clearing the last little corner of the bed with a small rake when I noticed some fur in the straw I was pulling back. I carefully cleared away a bit more, expecting an abandoned mouse nest, but saw it was actually rabbit fur, and soon spotted a few pairs of teeny ears to match. I know I will be cursing our cottontailed friends in a few short months or even weeks, but lets face it, I'm a sucker. I've always been a sucker in particular for baby bunnies. So I called Wildlife in Need and they assured me that mom won't care that I disturbed the nest, and that if the dogs hadn't bothered them thus far then they might not bother them at all. Baby bunnies have big mammalian tummies, so Mom is careful to only visit at dawn and dusk so as not to attract predators. Wildlife in Need assured me that I could even fence off 3 sides of the nest to keep the dogs out, and that as long as mom could get to them, she would. I let the kids get a closer look before I covered them back up. They are quickly outgrowing their little depression in the garden but we think we counted 5 sets of ears in the little jumble of legs and backs. I planted the other half of the bed that I'd already turned, but left this half for momma and her babies. Hopefully when they grow up they'll decide that a two-dog yard isn't the best home, and move along. Happy planting!