You nique up on it. I got quite close before it got uncomfortable.
Somebody laid their first egg! Size of a quarter.
Or else it´s a last gasp.
Here’s the baby bunny, bellied up to the food dish. I haven’t seen it for a few days and it’s grown. Never see any adult rabbits near it. Cute little thing, loping, all long legs like a puppy, about the size of a can of beans.
Take a picture, though, and it looks like a normal, grownup rabbit.
I was cutting down glossy leaf buckthorn (GLB is a terrible, horrible invasive species resembling an alder crossed with a T-rex, but that´s another story), slash moving the pigs today. I have a combination campaign in progress against the GLB.
I have to clear buckthorn just to make a path to put the electric pig fence through “the woods”, so the pigs have ample shade. The old growth buckthorn provides shade, and the piglets root up all the GLB sprouts. Then when we move the pigs along, we can cut down the big stuff, and seed the lumpy, pig tilled ground.
It´s slow, but it´s better than nothing, and the pigs´needs force me to at least do a little bit, regularly. There´s quite a difference already in the field the pigs have worked all year.
So I was toppling and wrestling buckthorn, and after the pigpen, I drifted a little away from the pigs with my snipping, and ran right into a high-bush blueberry laden with big blue berries. WOW!
Right next to it, another, 7´tall, entwined in the branches of an alder. Surprise, surprise, Mom and the Oreos were lounging beneath said alder.
Awesome! I looked around for others in the vicinity, but no luck. This must be twenty years old. It´s nice to find survivors from the ambitious planting efforts of the previous owners; so much did not survive the nearly 15 years of vacancy between their occupancy here and ours. I didn´t think there was anything left to find here!
The pigs have been especially talented at unearthing the glass bottles that they used to mark the fruit and nut trees they planted. Most of the lids have rusted through so the paper has been wet, but a few survive intact, artifacts of hopeful ambition, although the trees they once marked haven´t. Survivors to date: walnut trees (magnificently), one hazelnut, two blueberries!, mint, comfrey, oregano, garlic (!), a lilac, some apple grafts.
I got this big bowl of berries off of it, and there´s more to ripen. Now I have to make jam.
I was so pleased and surprised to find actual blueberries! We have a fair number of blueberry plants, that are besieged by field weeds, but besides that, I’ve never beaten a chicken to a blueberry. They clean any intrepid berry off long before they reach blue.
These berries are on the chicken-less far side of the former pasture, but the wild bird population is very strong too, so it’s a pleasant surprise to find a few ripe berries of my own! There were three whole plants with blue berries!
I was at a friend’s this week picking berries in a lush, abundant field. He doesn’t have chickens.
In the winter, all the nests become apparent.
Completely hidden in plain sight when the leaves are on, exposed when they come off. These well-made little nests are sewn right on to the branches, feats of micro engineering that stay whole, bowled, and upright in the storms.
The first is in an alder between the greenhouse and the beehive. Well traveled spot. They don’t seem to go to too much trouble to avoid us and our movements.
The next is on a long arm of one of the big regal apple trees right by the farmhouse. Also in the thick of activity. This may have been a robin nest as the robin was acting furtive around the apple trees quite a bit. But it seems so small. Also precarious, but looks are deceiving.
The third I found earlier in the winter when a guinea fowl was snatched in the middle of the day (ending the hens’ good-weather outdoor privileges). There was no sign of foul play, and hopeful she was only lost, I mounted a search, walking in ever wider circles, becoming upset and resigned to the truth.
Thrashing through the brush, I ran into a knee-high nest, a precious little thing built by some grass-nester. Two dead leaves that happened to fall into it curled up in it like they’re at rest.
This is why we can’t get anything done in the spring. If we’re not early enough, there are birds nesting everywhere we want to clear brush or trees.
The rabbits are turning white, belly first.
Unconcerned about anything except my inept use of red-eye reduction.
Unfortunately there’s no picture of this.
HW was walking along our path. He spotted a bunny about 50 feet ahead of him, hopping towards him.
It’s very usual to see bunnies; we have a lot of rabbits around and see them every day. They even have their usual spots. There’s the beehive bunny, the chicken coop bunny, the other chicken coop bunny, the driveway bunny, the end of the road bunny….
This was the shop bunny, he’s already known for daily appearances and odd behaviour. We’re not sure if all his screws are tight.
This bunny was running towards HW, not at running-away-from-something speed, but rabbit-on-his-way-somewhere speed. Hop hop hop. He was also drenched, his hair pasted down on his body by the rainwater on the long grass and weeds.
HW stopped on the trail and stood still, to watch this wet bunny approach.
The bunny ran right up to him, and came to a stop between his feet. The bunny swung his head to one side, then the other, wiggling his nose to sniff each of HW’s boots. Then without looking up (Huh. That’s a bit different. *shrug*), the bunny hopped between his feet and carried on down the path at the same speed! Hop hop hop!
HW came running to get me. “You have to come look at this!”
He ran back all the way down our path to next to the garden, and in the grass right next to the path, there was this:
My instinct was of course to immediately lean down to touch it, an instinct I luckily arrested halfway there, freezing in place. No! Don’t touch!
Apparently, that big snapping turtle that lives in the culvert on the road, that’s been too wily (and fast) for me to catch on camera before, decided to walk up here, apparently headed for the garden, and got intercepted at a path. She’s not happy about it.More than likely, she is a she, looking for a place to lay some eggs.
Behind her, there is a path cut through the weeds, showing exactly where she came from.
Since it’s been so dry and she walked a half klick from the creek, I left a bowl of water, and after a brief photo shoot, we left her alone.
What a prehistoric creature! Turtles are so…different, and ancient. It’s like looking at a dinosaur come to life.
An hour later, the turtle was gone. Her path did not continue, so she either retraced her steps exactly in disgust after the attention, or walked along our path for a time before she left it into the woods, weeds, or garden (more likely). Who knows!
Two bee stings in three days. That’s about average for a summer. I can be done now.
(Not my honeybees. Bumblebee and some wild bee that helped me discover their underground hive in the field.)
So excited to see comfrey here. Out of nowhere, there it is! I’ve been wanting it so bad, and wishing I could find some, and lo and behold, it was already here!
Comfrey is perhaps my number one (desert island) herb. I crave it, often, and find it so nourishing and healing. Some consider it an aggressive weed, like all the best herbs, naturally.
It’s growing in the mint, etc patch, a perfect place for it. I bet someone planted it there once upon a time.
I was snipping down scrub in the field when there was a rustling at my feet and tiny brown furballs came scuffling into view. I thought they were voles I’d disturbed at first. Then I caught one and brought it to H.W.
Adorable! Too small to be perturbed about capture, they were just happy to be warm and held. They were in a little bowl of a nest in the grass. I always thought rabbits had their young underground, that that’s what warrens were for.
We caught the rest, H.W. fortified their little area so we wouldn’t walk over it accidentally again, and we put them back. Since then we’ve avoided them, so we don’t know how they did, or if mama was too scared to come back to them. We’ve seen rabbits around, though- big brown robust rabbits, nearly like jackrabbits.