Sunday, January 26, 2014

Breeding Like...Well, Rabbits

My nieces and I have watched Wallace and Gromit, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit many, many, many times. We have several favorite lines from the movie, including this by Wallace, "Burrowing bounders! They must be breeding like... well, rabbits." (Actually our favorite line is: "This is worse than 1972, when there were slugs the size of pigs.")

I'm reminded of the breeding bunnies this weekend while visiting my parents at Winterberry Farm. A few inches of fresh powdery snow provides an excellent canvas for animal tracks--rabbit, coyote, meadow vole, fox.

The "Back Forty" is a mix of pastures, crop fields, thickets, woods, and wetlands. The field-wood edges are a mix of native shrubs. small trees, and multiflora rose (and a few other invasive plants). Rabbits find good cover in the thorny rose thickets. They also nibble on the rose stems and hop out into the crop fields where they find some greenery.
I've posted about these rabbits before, but on this visit they seem to be everywhere--breeding like....well, rabbits. Henna flushed several from their thickets, but bunnies are fast, too fast for the dogs and apparently the local coyotes as well. We saw fresh coyote tracks, although no sign that one caught up with a rabbit.

Cold, crisp winter air keeps us bundled up against the wind chill. Wild animals seem to fare fine, if the network of rabbit tracks are any indication.

No comments:

Post a Comment