bunny in my winter garden

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i saw these tracks on my driveway last week and have been thinking about the bunny in my winter garden.  i can’t imagine how this little furry bunny is surviving during these cold winter nights.  from the tracks, it doesn’t look like this is a very large bunny.

it must be living under one of my evergreen shrubs in my front yard, where they are completely snow packed under the 20 inches or more of snow near the front of my house.  make that 40 inches in some spots.  it has been a snowy season!

i always have bunnies in my yard every spring, and have found a couple of furry nests in the past six years while i have been building a garden here in Michigan.  usually when i am removing the leaves that i packed around my perennials after the first frost, i seem to find a sunken bowl of fur.  one time, a very little bunny jumped out and ran away, making me very sad that i had disturbed the nest.

as a registered nurse, i can’t help to think about the little baby animals living outside in these conditions. i worry about everything. i worked with mothers and babies for 29 years, and care about all living creatures. but, i also know how much damage these cute little bunnies can do to my garden.

my perennial garden is protected now with a wooden fence and chicken wire.  each year as i was planting bulbs and perennials, i watched them being eaten by these baby bunnies.  so, each year, i added another layer of defense.

at first i thought the wooden picket fence would protect my garden, but i quickly learned otherwise as my lilies were eaten alive. the next year, i added chicken wire to the inside of the fence.  and, still had some damage, with bunnies running under the gate.

so, now i use a wire barrier around certain plants, and this seemed to work very well last year.  as gardeners, we don’t give up.  i just chalk it up to another year of experience.

and, i must admit, i could never hurt a bunny.  i think they are very cute.  and, i like them jumping around in the yard.  i just don’t like them eating my favorite plants.

from the bunny tracks, i guess my local bunny will be around again this spring.

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