Monday, May 28, 2012

Rabbit Wars

My pansies before the rabbit's breakfast-lunch-dinner
I am at war with a rabbit. I know I am pretty mild mannered but it has come down to a battle of wits. I have to get rid of her* or she will continue to feast on my pansies.



Having grown up in suburban London, the wildlife was limited to robins, squirrels and the very rare sighting of a fox. So I was quite charmed when we first came to live in suburban Maryland. Bunnies bounced on the lawns, chipmunks scurried in and out of their holes and if you were really lucky you might catch a trio of deer strolling majestically down our cul-de-sac.If they'd all started to sing I might have thought I was in a Disney movie.


 I began to think however that we had moved to the Outback when I came home one day to find 2 drowsy black snakes sunning themselves on the window sill by our garage. Then I began to hear horror stories about a wolf on the prowl, a family of  raccoons in our neighbors' attic and I kid you not, a teenage bear in my friend's back garden. How did you know it was a teenager I asked her? Was it rolling its eyes and wearing pants (trousers) that were obviously too short? (It seems you can tell by the size of it, but I don't think I would have stayed around to look.)


So, my appreciation for the local wildlife is beginning to wear thin. I already wrote about how I stopped planting bulbs in Among the weeds due to my suspicions about thievery among the underground  cuddly creatures.  I know the deforestation is taking away their homes and moving them closer to ours and I am genuinely sorry about that, but there was no clause in our housing contract about feeding the resident rabbits.


I thought I'd solved the problem. I bought deer/bunny resistant plants like Speedwell and Lantana. I sprayed everything not animal resistant in sight with  the most foul smelling concoction called Shot-Gun Repels -All Animal Repellant. It says on the label that  it "triggers the natural instinct to escape..." It has successfully warded off all humans but the 4 legged creatures are immune or just too hungry to care.


Last week Aron's physics tutor told me her biologist husband is going on a conference about deer and their furry friends. Yes the problem is so bad there are days' long conferences. When I expressed my despair at ever protecting my pansies, she shook her head and said "If these animals are hungry nothing seems to stop them. Your only option left is ....a shotgun." (I think she said this in jest and she's an ethical vegetarian!)


So now it's between me and the bunny. One grey haired agile animal with a very cute fluffy tail and one five foot blonde slightly agitated human have locked eyes and the war is on.....


Rabbit Patch
.......Or is it. Last Thursday I realized I had lost the energy to keep trying to save my pansies- their heads have been chewed off, so many times and they are looking bedraggled.. I pulled them out the ground and actually offered them to the rabbit.  I went back to the garden center and bought furry, strong smelling  flowers called Ageratum  which supposedly rabbits don't like. But my guess is, if this rabbit is hungry and bored of clover salad even these flowers are up for grabs.


Final score: Rabbit 1 (won)  Gilly 0


 Any suggestions for keeping rioting rabbits at bay would be greatly appreciated.


With love from a plant lover (who's not so keen on rabbits)


Gilly



* The Rabbit could be male. I have no idea so I just picked a gender -no insults or compliments intended either way.


Please email me at gilly@bringingbooksofcomfort.org or leave a comment on this post below. I'd love to have your feedback.
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8 comments:

  1. Get the black snakes back ;-)

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    1. Only if they're prepared to deal with the rabbit!
      Gilly

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  2. Natalie BillingtonMay 28, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Rabbits are nothing, Amelia had a tick on her, it was the grimmest thing ever. what with big flying bugs, biting spiders, ticks and poison ivy.......I could almost move back to the UK where we only have to deal with yobs drunk at 11 pm!

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    1. Ticks, mosquitoes, biting spiders and dangerous plants need their own post. The worst we had in London were stinging nettles....Gilly

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  3. I totally understand. I had a rabbit eat too of my cucumber plants. The doorway to my fences has an opening at the bottom and I usually keep bricks there to keep out the rabbits. Forgot to put them up this year and had a scare the rabbit out of my garden. The bricks solved the backyard issue but something is killing eating the flowers in my front. Sadly not much I can do about that.

    I remember the bear last year, very rare for around here. But I haven't heard about this wolf? Where/when?

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    1. Corey-The wolf was a few years ago I think(hope). Now that my children have had an education in local wildlife I think I'd better move on to reminding them that milk does not come from a carton and brussel sprouts don't grow in a bag!
      Gilly

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  4. I live in a third floor apartment with no lift. Until today I could not think of one advantage in this arrangement. Thanks Gilly :)

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    1. Glad to be of service Rachel! You can also enjoy the fact that you do not need to dig out your driveway in the snow. Have the power go out from ice storms or hurricanes or have to shovel mountains of leaves in the Autumn....does that help?? Gillyx

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