Monday, February 2, 2009

Rabbit Report

I spent the warmest weekend in months huddled under blankets, aching, coughing, shaking, shivering, sleeping. When awake, I amused myself watching a couple squirrels eating the sunflower seeds I'd tossed out for them.

Hadn't seen any sign of my rabbit neighbor in a few weeks and wasn't sure if this was only because of a lack of fresh snow and a crusty surface, or if this one had also met his fate like the lovely coated predecessor I found dead on a sidewalk a couple blocks away. Wild rabbits have a short lifespan, averaging only a year or so because of a large number of predators, including people and their automobiles in this neighborhood.

I climbed the short hill, sinking deep in the snow, and took a look at the entrance way this morning. The lovely mine entrance I wrote about in December has been covered by snow since then, and now there's a proverbial rabbit hole going straight down through the snow. I didn't stand completely above it for fear of collapsing the entire snow cover but I could see one footprint near the hole although it seemed fairly old and frozen. So I'm still not sure if my neighbor's around.

Presumably the chipmunk I saw also going into a hole there after gathering chokecherries in the trees last fall is still enjoying semi-hibernation. One wonders what kind of neighbors they make.

A friend of mine made a video about rabbits in another part of Duluth which you can watch here.

1 comment:

Northland said...

When I watched the video, it reminded me of John B., in Eagle, on the upper Yukon. John had some multi-colored domesticated rabbits which he let run on his little homestead. They were unfit to live on their own in the wild, just like the rabbits of Park Point. Only through the beneficence of humans do they have life.Raptors would pick them off if they strayed from the berry bushes around his house and out buildings. One day there was a goshawk that flew a distressed flight through the woods near our cabin, down to ground. I went over to it and saw that she was injured. I left her there, feeling akin to Robinson Jeffers when he wrote "Hurt Hawks." She didn't live to fly again, brought down by John's bullet. The rabbits still thrive at John's place, like the Park Point domestic bunnies; a tribute to man's anthropocentric playing stupid god of an unnatural order.