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Love-Hate Relationship

We have plenty of wildlife in our area aside from birds.  There are Whitetail deer, Raccoon, Skunk, Squirrel, chipmunk, Fox, Groundhog and……Rabbits.  The rabbits do not just come and go like the other animals, they reside in our garden, a couple of them every year.  We had a brave little guy last year that dug his burrow under the pool deck.

Whitetail Deer, a frequent visitor capable of denuding a yard.

We don’t mind having them hanging out in the yard because of their taste for broadleaf weeds like Dandelion and Plantain or even our tall grass when Bill doesn’t get around to mowing the lawn.  Yes, when we let the lawn grow, not on purpose, it becomes ‘rabbit heaven.’  We know the lawn is past due when all we can see are the ears sticking up.  We nicknamed them the “Hairy Lawnmowers”.  We love it when they reduce the weed population in the lawn for us.  Having wild rabbits hop around, stretching, and sleeping in the garden also soothes me.  But love turns to irritation when they cross the line and munch on the flowers.

This spring I’ve seen two of them, so far.  I think they are youngsters, with a noticeable white bindi on the forehead as of last winter.  Rabbit stew crossed my mind today when I found they had leveled half the Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata).  I don’t really know what to do with them.  As much as I would like to chase them off our property, my inner self wants to see them stretch their fuzzy little selves on the lawn on a hot afternoon and doze off.   Ahhhhh.  Their calmness rubs off.

I think this is the one that damaged the Woodland Phlox.  We frequently catch him red-pawed near where the phlox is planted.  Our suspicion was raised when he tried too hard to look innocent then played the ‘cute’ card.

One of our resident rabbits, Ralph.