Friday, April 28, 2017

Hhmm, What's That?

Today Shaun had a pretty good offering regarding the natural world and homo sapiens' place therein. At any rate, that was my take away. (To use a phrase from corporate speak, which I will use from time to time just to show the suits that I'm wise to their antics).

Now today was a long, tiresome day. I got more done job-wise than I expected. Some days, regardless of how tired you are, things just flow. But I was glad to "down tools" and head out the front door at quitting time.

Had to go foraging for my supper on the way back to the cave house. No, I wasn't out in the fields clad in loin cloth toting flint tipped spear (I have entered the bronze age). I was in my Element (Honda that is) and off to the grocery emporium. Where I acquired the fixings for my evening repast.

Yesterday being Thursday, I half expected that the lawn crew might show up. Then again, the morning had been rather wet, so maybe not. The day had turned fine and things looked dried up enough for grass cutting activities but, the crew usually comes Thursday evening, sometimes Friday. Anything could happen. And usually does.

Returning from Stop & Shop (quaint name innit?), I hit my turn indicator to begin to make the turn onto the street leading to my street. (Yes, many Little Rhodians stared in wonder at the flashing light on my vehicle, wondering what manner of sorcery was afoot. No, many folks in these parts don't normally use their turn signals. I'm not sure they know that those things come as standard equipment.) Anyhoo...

As I slowed to make the turn, their was a rather ancient looking pickup truck wishing to enter the main thoroughfare from the street I was turning on to. Now my first thought was, "I say you nasty bugger, ye dinna have the right of way here. It's my turn, not yours." My second thought was, "Oh, that's my lawn crew. What the heck..." Checking traffic behind me and to my front I realized that giving them the "go ahead" sign would not cause any accidents, and as he was blocking me from making my turn, I really didn't have much choice in the matter. Just submit with grace and drive on I suppose. So I did.

After making the turn, I realized, "Damn, I just missed the lawn boys, now they'll have to wait until next week to get paid." But as past history has shown, they're okay with that, they know I'm good for it.

Rolling up the street...

What? What's that? No, I don't mow my own grass anymore. I'm somewhat well-off in comparison to some of the other members of my species and if I can spend a bit o' money to free up my Saturday and perhaps put food on another man's table, well, I'm good with that. There comes a point in life when you want to take it easy. I have nothing to prove.

Now where was I? Oh yes...

Rolling up the street I saw that my grass had indeed been cut and the lawn looked mighty fine. As I brought the trash cans up from the street (Thursday being trash day in my neighborhood) I noticed something amiss on the front steps of Chez Sarge.

Hhmm, what's that? I mumbled sotto voce then took the groceries from the car to the kitchen. First things first, dontcha know?

Returning to the front of the manse I saw something odd right up next to the house. Right where the railing ends in the leading photo. At first I thought it might be a dead bird, perhaps one of the avian race had mistaken one of my windows for a tunnel to the back side of my house, it happens from time to time. "Damn, I hope it's not a dead thing."

While I know that death comes to all things, I still don't like it. I particularly hate seeing something which once flew and sang songs outside my window in the morn lying dead upon the turf. Or the front steps as the case may be.

But no, it wasn't a bird, it was something small. And furry.

Dear me, I thought, it's a baby rabbit. How the heck did the wee creature get up there? The steps seem rather high for such a young'un to make its way up them. Ah, maybe the lawn guys saw the little guy cowering in the grass and just put him up there, out of harm's way.

Then a couple of odd, disconnected facts suddenly connected. See that tuft of grass in front of the pot, on the next step down in the first picture? Looks rather nest-like doesn't it? I had noticed that last weekend and thought it an odd place for a bird to make a nest. But it obviously wasn't a bird's nest, especially when I checked after dinner and noticed that in the pot were more baby rabbits. At least two that I could see.

Hhmm. I guess the rabbit on the steps had maybe fallen out. Obviously he couldn't climb (or jump) back up, he's way too tiny.

So modern man starts thinking. If I leave the rabbit on the steps, he'll most likely die. No one to take care of him, easy to spot for a predator, and there are lots of crows and hawks in the area. Not to mention the occasional feral cat wandering through.

Part of me doesn't want to interfere with Nature, another part of me thinks that it's not really interfering if I just reunite him with his siblings (who number three at this point, plus the rabbit on the step makes four. So I decide to intervene. I felt like Marlin Perkins on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, or Jim, the guy who always did the dangerous stuff...

Okay, so there was no frigid air, no deep snow, nor helicopters involved. There was a dust pan and a very soft dust broom though. I didn't want to handle the animal, for various reasons, so I figured that if I could coax him into the dust pan, I could then transport him back to the nest. Without getting hyoo-mon scent all over him.

At first the little guy looked like he might have a seizure. Normally baby rabbits won't move if they feel threatened. Well, he didn't move at first, then he looked a little panicked, then he got sort of a "WTF" look on his little rabbit face as I brushed his butt with the broom and tried to coax him onto the dust pan.

Oddly enough, it worked. After a couple of gentle pokes, Jim fell onto the deer, I mean the rabbit kind of hopped onto the dust pan. As I lifted it up, the little guy kept his eye on me, wondering just what sort of deviltry I had in mind. When we got to the LZ, I kind of tipped the pan a bit and the wee bunny just hopped into the nest with his mates. Who were all frozen in place wondering just what the Hell was going on as their sibling dropped in from the sky.

All seemed well as I left the cottontails to their reveries and ponderings of rabbits from the clouds.

The bunny top left is the one I airlifted in, you can see his (her) siblings huddled together in the bottom center of the photo. If you look close you can see that the ones in the huddle number three, not four, two is right out, the number is three in the huddle. Cute little buggers aren't they? All have a tiny white flash on top of their little noggins.

I wonder what the future holds for them. I prefer not to think about it as there are, as I said, any number of predators about who would love rabbit for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For now I'll just marvel at the beauty of the little ones and wonder what possessed their mother to give birth in one of The Missus Herself's flower pots.

And that lady is not all that pleased with the rabbit clan this year, they ate most of her tulips. Good thing for them that she's in California.

Nature. It's everywhere.


  1. During the evolution were you doing a running commentary in your head and including radio call signs?

    The last few years we have seen an increase in hawks, and a decrease in the rabbit population.

    You provided a helping hand and now it is up to Mother Nature.

    I was momentary confused in your earlier post. I quickly realized that flint knapping has nothing to do with a siesta in the Michigan city with the water quality problems.

    1. I always have that running commentary going on. I'm probably one of the few guys where I work who checks the treeline before crossing the parking lot.

      Heh, siestas in Flint.

  2. You didn't interfere with nature, we are all part of nature and it is our nature to step on spiders and save cute creatures.

    1. Got a good chuckle out of this one. Well done.

    2. I even try to release spiders into the wild. Well, that's a lie...

    3. And yes, we are part of nature. At least that's how I see it.

  3. No, No, said the bunny, don't throw me in the briar patch! And Killer Chris, relying on decades of Air Force training, dropped Mr. Bunny right on target.

  4. You're a good man Charlie Brown, I mean- Sarge. We either have coyotes in our canyon, ki-yi-ing in the night sometimes, or bunnies. I think they are inversely proportional. I think it's also related to the number of lost cat signs put up in the neighborhood. Sad outcomes for all involved there.

    1. Coyotes are now everywhere. I remember when they were rare this side of the Mississippi.

  5. Bunnies!

    It's fun to wonder why we human predators find little furry creatures so endearing. The next time your charming Missus becomes piqued at the depredations of your local sylvilagus tribe, just show her those images. Well, maybe not.

    It's impossible to know the best thing to do in such situations. There's no guaranteed perfect solution. You just do what you think best in the circumstances, and there's no one right answer. Just like those people with the baby bison in Colorado last year. They weren't wrong, and the park rangers weren't wrong, and the bison herd wasn't wrong. You do the best you can for the best reasons you can figure out. Because you're part of nature.

    If you we're hungry and had no other available source of nutrition, you would have gobbled them up and praised the Almighty for providing.

    1. I think it's because we're all mammals. We're sort of hard-wired to like babies, even of other mammalian species.

  6. Sarge, I think you're a little unclear on the concept of rabbits in the pot...or what a rabbit urns, or something!

    1. I took a picture of the planter/pot/urn last night with my phone and emailed it to myself.

      Subject line states: Pot

      Should make interesting reading over at the NSA.

      (And yes, I sprayed the monitor reading your comment.)

  7. Good on ya Chris; I would have done much the same thing. To follow up on the previous comment, what does a bunny earn? I had several lol moments reading this post. Thanks for making my day brighter.

    Paul L. Quandt


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