Friday, June 13, 2014

Of Bunnies and Burrows

I am not what you would call an "outdoor girl." That's my polite shorthand when declining requests to join activities of an outdoorsy nature (I'm hating myself for that pun so you don't have to), when what I really want to do is scream "NO, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL, IT BURNS!". Having the complexion of Casper and being forced outside far more than I've liked in my life, I can in fact attest that sunlight does burn. So there.

photo credit: corrine klug via photopin cc

Alas, I have a child now, who enjoys forcing me from the pleasant dark hole of my comfort zone, so nature and I have had to build a tentative tolerance of each other. It generally doesn't end well for one of us. That one of us is generally me.

From Madagascar, and so very accurate.

Yesterday, The Boy and I were traipsing through the backyard in blatant defiance of centuries of natural evolution--like people didn't evolve to build houses and move indoors for a reason--and came across a spot in the newly mowed grass that seemed to be writhing. I wondered what new fresh hell nature had in store for me (locusts? woman-eating grass? la chupacabra?), but stepped closer anyway. Why not go out flailing and screaming in terror? is my motto. That's when I saw this:

So...not exactly terrifying.
photo credit: Gretchen Stull

Without knowing it, The Husband had accidentally mowed over a rabbit burrow. Thankfully, none of the babies were hurt (there appear to be 4 or 5); the only damage done was to the burrow covering. I awwwed a bit, then ushered The Boy back into the house, to leave the babies in peace for their mother to return and rebuild their covering. Despite my general disdain for the natural world, I worried about those bunnies. All. Night. Long. Seriously, I must be going soft in my more advanced years. Then I woke up this morning to the sound of rain.

Want to guess what happened next?

If you've guessed that the self-professed indoor girl was outside in the rain braiding leaves together to form a natural canopy to keep the water off the babies until their mother can properly rebuild their covering, you are correct. Yep, definitely going soft. 

Really though, look at those ears. It's possible nature isn't ALL evil...

photo credit: Gretchen Stull

[For anyone worried about the bunnies, I've done my research. Rabbits do not abandon their young even if the scent of human is present--I did not handle the bunnies, but I did handle the leaves to make the covering--and mother rabbits tend to visit their babies twice a day, so it's likely she'd returned and just not yet rebuilt the cover. I will be keeping an eye on them to make sure she returns to care for them, and if she doesn't I'll contact the proper rescue and rehabilitation services.]


  1. Awwwwwww!!! You're braver than I. My first thought when seeing moving grass is SNAKE??? RETREAT!!! : P

    1. Ha! Actually, that was my first thought, too. We have a lot of holes in our yard that *may* be made my snakes, but I'm just not sure. I don't mind snakes (my fear of critters increases with the number of legs it has, so snakes I'm cool with, but centipedes turn me into a blubbering mess of person), but with a toddler I want to make sure the snakes in the yard--if there are any--are non-venomous. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of a garter snake and terrified it would be a nest of cicadas digging their way out of the earth. I'm quite happy it turned out to be baby bunnies!

      Oh, and their momma has returned and recreated a covering over their burrow, so in another couple of weeks we should have baby bunnies running around the yard! :-D