One never knows when it could happen. The day could start out innocent enough with a stroll about the gardens. A turn around the corner and then you see her. The stalker.
Carefully and slowly you try to back away. But you have been spotted.
Your gait becomes faster, but the stalker keeps pace.
The only thing left to do is run to the safety of your home and slam the door tight as the stalker looks on.
And now the back story. This rabbit was a frequent visitor to the garden and had disappeared for about 6 months. I assumed she had moved on to a new home or her final destination. Somehow she is back. Yes, I admit that I feed the rabbits then complain about them eating my flowers. This particular one is extremely friendly and comes up to me for food. Unfortunately, she thinks the food ejects from my feet, so closed toed shoes are a must. In the past, the rabbit would wait on the porch for me to feed her. It will be interesting to see if she remembers that trick.
For some reason I am seeing Copperhead Snakes everywhere. Usually, they are around mostly in the Spring, but there seems to be a new brood of snakelets this Fall. The first photo, taken on September 10th, is a medium sized one, probably a juvenile. I was cleaning out a bed when I spotted it.
While volunteering at our botanical garden on the 13th, I was pulling weeds around this baby Copperhead that was molting.
On September 19th, this big snake was exploring outside my kitchen window.
It caught my eye because the rabbit was also in the same bed and was acting strangely. The only predators for Copperheads are the occasional hawk and humans. But I swear I saw a rabbit kill a Copperhead once, the rabbit had blood on it and the snake was dead.
This was an interesting situation and I watched it play out while safely inside taking photos through the window. The rabbit took a non aggressive stance and kept an eye on the snake until it moved on. When all was clear, the rabbit went back to its favorite napping spot under the Camellias.
Two days later, I spotted a little head from the other side of a flower pot, but it turned out to be a rather large Five-lined Skink.
This morning Patch, the rabbit, came charging out of nowhere straight for my feet and scared the bejeebers out of me. I put down the seed and ran.
Yes, I do enjoy watching the rabbits and we usually think of them as helpless prey animals. Do any of you remember Jimmy Carter, the boat and rabbit story? I swear I once saw a rabbit kill a Copperhead snake. Well, from a distance. The rabbit was jumping oddly up and down, and when I checked it out I saw a dead snake and a bloody rabbit. I definitely respect wild rabbits.
Mr. Cardinal was not happy with the rabbit getting the seed intended for his breakfast, so I headed back to the garage to get him his share.
One of the rabbits, Baby Bunny, was eating in the flower bed. I went out to shoo him away, but he had other ideas. It was time for breakfast. Baby Bunny likes to have his meals on the patio.
The cat also had some ideas about breakfast on the patio.
And so cute after ridding the garden bed of plants.
And really cute after eating the beloved Dancing Lady Ginger.
Update: The cute baby bunny has finished off the the blooming ginger since it was first photographed.
Over the years there have been some intelligent, stand-out wild animals that have come through the garden. This is the case of the rabbit and cardinal in the photo. The male cardinal figured out that I was the source of his morning feeding. He would start hopping around on the back porch waiting for me to come out. Next he would wait on the porch roof and fly over my head to a tree near the feeder, waiting impatiently for his breakfast. As time went on the cardinal would fly beside me on the way to the feeder and the ultimate fearless feat was flying through the porch just a few feet from me, demanding that I hurry up.
It wasn’t long until the rabbit caught on. More than once he came charging across the yard when he saw me with the seed, stopping at an uncomfortable (for me) proximity to my feet.
The ultimate pressure came one morning when the cardinal was perched on a porch chair and the rabbit was waiting on the sidewalk to the porch. Who is training who?
Regret Number One: Inviting Rabbits Into the Garden
Scar on the left, named for a bare patch on his back and Ear-Bite, on the right, named for the missing part of his ear.
Bunny-Boo, the baby.
Scar relaxing outside the kitchen window after a long day of trimming the plants in the garden.
Yes, regrets. And they have names. Every gardener should know rabbits are bad news and should not be made into friends. But, who could say no to such cute little bunnies when they sit under the bird feeder every morning waiting for breakfast?