Of Loggers and Lapins

We live in the country, so we’re beset by garden-destroying wildlife. Our big fence keeps the deer out (mostly); but nothing stops rabbits. They usually stay away from the house, but every now and then I discover that my perennials have been ‘pruned’ by sharp bunny teeth.

It’s a love/hate relationship: They’re furry and cute; but they’re also destructive and damn prolific. From their standpoint, we’re the benevolent purveyors of gourmet plant material; but we also have a distressing tendency to run at them yelling and chucking pebbles. So we’ve maintained an uneasy détente, and the sighting of a rabbit in our yard is usually accompanied by (empty) threats involving rabbit stew.

But this spring, larger and more destructive critters arrived down the road: The local logging company decided to remove some timber from their property. We keep a set of binoculars by the window for bird-watching, but this time we used them to watch the big hungry machines growling through the woods.

They worked steadily for four days, but on the fifth day the racket was silenced. Instead, I could hear clunks, clanks, and the metallic chirping of a socket driver wrenching on some recalcitrant part. The machine started up, then shut down several times. At length, the truck departed and the defunct machine sat silent beside the road.

Several days later the loggers still hadn’t returned, but our resident rabbits put on an impromptu dance, leaping and chasing each other. We watched them through the binoculars, enjoying the show while muttering dark incantations designed to prevent them from getting too close to our garden.

The next day, I came into the living room to see Hubby standing at the window looking through the binoculars. I looked, but couldn’t see any rabbits.

“They’re probably screwing in the woods,” I growled.

Hubby burst out laughing. “Actually, I was checking to see whether the loggers were back. But I guess they could be screwing in the woods.”

So from now on I’m keeping the binoculars trained strictly inside our yard… just in case. The only full moon I want to see is the one up in the sky.

Have you spotted anything interesting in your neck of the woods lately?

Book 17 update: I’m on Chapter 43, and Spider and Linda’s baby is on her way into the world… at a time that’s convenient for her, and nobody else!

29 thoughts on “Of Loggers and Lapins

  1. We have rabbits in Regina across the street from us. No rabbits at home. We have/had foxes next door. Keep the rabbits and mice down. We have the usual garden pests, including mole crickets that grown 5 cm long. Sad that people compete with wildlife for resources and then yell at them but totally understandable.
    When you hear “Moon over Naples” what image comes to mind?


    • “Moon Over Naples”? You don’t even want to know.

      And I don’t feel guilty for chasing the rabbits out of my garden. If they were actually eating, it would be a different story; but they just snip off the ornamental shrubs a few inches above the ground and leave the untouched branches lying there. We keep an unmowed acre of natural grass and clover in the same yard that’s all theirs to eat. Their fat little bellies are full, but they wreck my garden anyway, apparently just for fun. (Grumble, grumble, rabbit stew…) 😉


  2. Had to laugh…..we now have a “neck of the woods”. Rabbits weren’t an issue in LA and I couldn’t believe how many I came across last week when we were “dog sitting” for one of our daughters and I took him on his morning rounds in their neighborhood. The number of rabbits having breakfast in everyones front yard was an eye opener. The dog loved it and I had to have a stern leash to keep him from getting loose. Cracked me up….they just looked up at him and when they figured out he couldn’t really chase them…they stayed put and kept munching on the spring flowers and plants.


    • I’m glad you got a laugh, and I can imagine the poor dog’s frustration! We just have little brown cottontails out here in the country, but in town they have rabbits of all sizes and colours. Apparently pet owners got tired of their pet rabbits and ‘set them free’. The rabbits did what rabbits do best; and now they’re everywhere. It got so bad at the University of Victoria that they had to start trapping and euthanizing them. (The rabbits, not the ex-owners.) We’re hoping there are enough natural predators around our place to keep them from multiplying the way they do in town.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve recently started to appreciate binoculars as well – for wildlife watching in Baja (mainly, whales). I’d rather not be confronted by full moons at the other end of binoculars, either. The ones I like to see don’t need enlarging.

    We once saw one of those logging machines in action in Florida. It’s amazing and disheartening how many trees they can handle and destroy in minutes…


    • Yes, even though I use and appreciate wood for lots of types of construction, I can’t help wishing there was a way that it could be harvested without causing such devastation to the surrounding area. It turns my stomach to see the shattered landscape they leave behind.

      I keep a small pair of binoculars in my car, too — every now and then I’m lucky enough to glimpse whales when I’m down at the beach. There are usually lots of shorebirds in the winter, too. But I haven’t spotted a full moon at the beach yet, and I’m hoping my luck holds. While some moons might be worth a look, the ones that are on display are usually not the ones I want to see. 😉


  4. Ha ha! What a punch line! Thanks for the smile 😀 I can’t plant anything in the ground because of the deer. Even stuff on the deck has to be away from the edges because they can reach. And we have cats and raccoons and squirrels that come up on the deck. I tell ya, Nature’s agin us growing our own grub 🙂


    • Ain’t that the truth! I was just doing some reading today, though, and I discovered that rabbits don’t like aromatic, thick, or furry leaves. And I just happen to have about a million cranesbill geraniums, which have all three qualities. (If you’ve got one, within a short time you’ll have millions.) The geraniums are all through our rhododendron garden, and by coincidence(?) the rabbits haven’t done any damage there. So maybe it’s time for a protective ring of geraniums around all our gardens. It’s worth a try…

      I’m glad you got a smile — Hubby and I laughed hard over my little misinterpretation! 🙂


      • Something pinged in the back of my mind when you mentioned rabbits and rhododendrons together so I looked it up, and it turns out rhodies are highly toxic to rabbits. Assuming the rabbits have some way of knowing that, maybe it’s not the geraniums that are protecting the rhodies … Maybe that’s assuming too much, though!


        • Oho! I knew there was a(nother) reason why I love rhododendrons! They’re pretty much the perfect plant: Tough, hardy, beautiful green leaves all year round, nice mounded shape, gorgeous flowers… AND rabbit-resistant! Woohoo!


          • But sadly not deer-resistant — here, at least. Do the deer leave yours alone? Maybe the geraniums keep the deer away. Here we are advised to plant highly scented, furry, or prickly plants around the plants we want to protect. Or go with plants that have a better track record of being unappealing to deer.


            • I don’t think that there’s much a deer won’t tackle if it’s hungry enough. We ended up putting an 8 foot tall page-wire fence around our yard. It’s not much of a fence – just T-posts pounded into the ground with the fencing attached using nylon zip ties; but the deer won’t tackle it. In places we even threaded the wire between living trees to hold it up instead of putting in fence posts. As long as it looks eight feet tall, it doesn’t have to be strong. The page-wire is unobtrusive, too, because the wires are spaced so widely. Might be an idea for your place…


              • Good to know. I’m making a note of this for future as I would like to try a ground-level garden at some point. I could even do this just for my rhododendron; it’s at the base of the deck stairs and that would provide the support for the fencing … Thanks for the details on what works for you!

                Liked by 1 person

  5. Of course the baby makes its appearance at a time that suits it (and no one else). I believe it is a rule.
    We have rabbits in my city. LOTS of rabbits. None in our garden. Yet. The birds wreak the most damage here. I have renamed our Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Sulphur Crested Vandals. How I wish they didn’t dig up my bulbs, take a cursory bite and move onto the next. I ‘think’ I would mind less if they ate what they destroy…
    Loggers? Shudder. You can always see where they have been and the destruction is indiscriminate.


    • It’s amazing how fast a forest can be levelled. The only part we can see is the road they’ve created to get into their lot, and even though I know the road is necessary, I still feel sad to see the trees fall.

      It’s lucky your Sulphur Crested Vandals are beautiful, because otherwise it might be tempting to put Cockatoo Soup on the menu. I feel the same as you: I don’t begrudge their meals; I just wish they’d take what they can eat and finish it. The rabbits don’t eat any of the plants; they just snip them off and leave the stems lying where they fell. GRRRR! Next up on the chore list: wrapping wire fence around each shrub…


  6. Hi Diane, I was out for a drive around the county yesterday. I was amazed at the extent of the recent clear-cuts. But these were in jackpine areas and a clear-cut is the right sort of management. The best think I have seen lately was yesterday a large hen turkey passed thru the yard here at my hunting camp. She was accompanied by about 20 tiny, tiny chicks. The worst thing I have seen are ticks, lots and lots of ticks! Hopefully, the chicks will eat the ticks! Haha! Stay safe,Uncle Dewey


  7. Here in the high desert I’ve noticed a general lack of loggers. Likely due to the general lack of trees. We do see some rabbits from time to time. We also have a number of coyotes that seem to be constantly looking for rabbits. We do live near a Air National Guard base and regularly see strange aircraft flying overhead.


    • The strange aircraft would be considerably more disturbing than our swallows! I wonder if your rabbits can survive out in the desert; or whether they’re “urban rabbits” who survive by eating people’s landscaping. We have so much greenery around us, I’m surprised they bother with our plantings; but I guess everybody likes to go out for a gourmet meal every now and then. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Timely post! Critters have been on my radar as I’ve gotten the yard in shape for the summer.

    Rabbits, yep, lots of them hopping around here. Not too bright, either–they nested next door in the backyard, and the neighbors have a dumb-as-rocks German shepherd that chases them on a destructive path through the yard. Destructive, as in tearing across the yard, chasing a rabbit, plowing through the patio furniture and knocking most of it over, and breaking a large clay pot to add insult to injury. But there are now miniature versions of said rabbits hopping in their yard now so the score is Rabbit 1, Dog 0. In the past, the rabbits usually got into the annuals I’d plant in the yard. (I’ve switched to containers, though, and they haven’t touched the flowers since.)

    Squirrels are fairly useless also. We already know they forget where they bury half their nuts. But why are they climbing up on the hanging baskets and digging holes, in a place they never could have buried nuts in?

    We’ve also had a stray cat in heat roaming our backyards over the past few days.

    Springtime also means I’m knocking down the starts of birds nests from various places around the house. It usually takes a few days before they get it and move on. The mourning doves are perhaps the dumbest, though. They spent half a week trying to balance straw on top of a porch light, only to have it fall off by the time they returned with the next piece.

    I also thought we had a skunk in the neighborhood, spraying someone or something every 90 minutes or so. But that turned out to be the kid down the street, who we’ve named Dime Bag.

    We’re leaving tomorrow on a long-weekend road trip, just a day prior to finally finishing up my blog posts about last month’s Lemons Rally. So I totally get the concept of trying to keep up with blogging while doing all of my paying work!


    • Hey, I didn’t know you were blogging about the Lemons Rally! (But I would, if someone *hint* were to drop a link in the comments *hint*.)

      Still laughing about Dime Bag — there’s nothing quite like that ‘skunk’ odour. And don’t get me started on birds! We have violet-green swallows nesting under our deck (thanks to idiot contractors who didn’t finish the underside properly; but that’s a whole ’nother story). We knocked down the barn swallows’ muddy nest attempts as soon as they started (and they moved on soon after), but the violet-green swallows don’t make a mess. So we enjoyed their daily aerobatics… until we realized they’re eating all the bees! We’ve noticed a drastic reduction in bee activity since the swallows arrived, so it’s time to evict the swallows.

      You’re right about the squirrels, too. I planted a bunch of tulips last fall, which they promptly dug up. Now I’m finding tulips in places that I never planted them; because the idiot squirrels dug up the bulbs I’d planted, buried them somewhere else, and then forgot about them. I don’t mind random tulips, but I’d much rather have them where I put them in the first place. Critters, sheesh!


      • I think anyone who said squirrels have brains the size of a walnut probably greatly overestimated that size, by several times.

        Our bird population has changed a bit in the past couple of years. We’d only see red-winged blackbirds out at the marsh in the Metropark, but now I hear them nearby in the neighborhood. I’ve also heard a few new birds that I haven’t yet identified visually. (I don’t know bird calls too well, but one may be a warbler.) Our area is primarily robins (our state bird), cardinals, grackles, starlings, too many sparrows, goldfinches, occasional blue jays (the birds, not the baseball players), and one or two hummingbirds who make an appearance each year.

        I’d have posted a Lemons Rally link but I think your commenting system has spam detection…


  9. What Spider and Linda have a baby on the way!!!!! You need to finish writing the book soon I’m getting withdrawal may need to start reading them again I miss my hellhound hehe


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