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May 28, 2015 / Rae Spencer

Rabbit Watching

The milkweed was meant to be the yard’s monarch nursery, but in April it became a rabbit nursery.

Rabbits April 28

Rabbits are the yard’s charismatic megafauna, and watching rabbit nests is one of my favorite obsessions.

May 4

Rabbits May 4

For the first week or so the babies never leave the nest. During that time I mostly watch their mothers.

Rabbits May 9

Rabbits May 9

Because this nest was in a tall planter, the babies could not return once they began exploring.

Rabbits May 9

May 10

Rabbits May 10

For the first few days, they crossed every open area at a run, dashing from shelter to shelter.

Rabbits May 11

When you are running faster than you think you are, and you can’t jump as high or far as you think you can, you end up tangled in the hose…

Rabbits May 11

And then your brothers and sisters laugh at you.

Rabbits May 11

The babies were on their own most of the time, but their mother visited twice a day to let them nurse. I had fun imagining the stories they told her each evening.

May 11

May 12

(After they finished nursing, of course.)

Rabbits May 12

Each day the babies explored a bit further, memorizing the best hiding places and learning how to graze.

Rabbits May 12

Rabbits May 12

Rabbits May 12

But they still gathered each night near the milkweed, waiting for their mother.

Rabbits May 12

(Squirrels do not appreciate being approached by hungry baby rabbits. The next night they were much more cautious.)

Rabbits May 13

Over the last week they have become completely independent, grazing on grass, clover, and dandelions, venturing further and further from shelter as they grow more confident.

Rabbits May 26

They are beginning to look more like rabbits than bunnies.

Rabbits May 26

Rabbits May 26

But as they become rabbits, more bunnies have arrived. There’s a new nest in the front iris bed, and I’m feeling a strong urge to read Watership Down again.

To be continued…

6 Comments

  1. Jools / May 29 2015 12:25 AM

    So enchanting! I love your photo-stories

  2. Book Nanny / May 30 2015 6:06 AM

    I love this post, Rae! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  3. Sharon Poch / May 30 2015 11:03 AM

    Love mother bunny’s postpartum cat/cow stretches . . .

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