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A Feast For All

1st of October 2011

The ever expanding rabbit population in the garden has caused real problems this summer. The dianthus plants that should form an edge to the gravel garden were eaten to the bone by July. The yellow daisy flowers of the anathemas failed to appear; the plants looked as if someone had taken shears to them! I declared war on the rabbits and we had a couple of very nice pies, but the rabbits always seemed to sit in front of the greenhouse, or beside a pond where no shot was possible. The cat caught a few baby ones but there always seemed to be more!

Then, at the beginning of August Ted, my dog, caught one. He was delighted and raced to Mum’s patio window to show it off. It was then that I realised why he had caught it…. myxomatosis. The poor thing’s eyes were all puffed up and I don’t suppose it could see him coming. In the last few weeks he has caught half a dozen or so and the cat has not missed out either. Foxes patrol the ride looking into the shrubbery, not wanting to miss out on an easy meal, and now a stoat is a regular visitor. Mum has seen it three times, and me twice. I have never seen a stoat so close to the bungalow before; this feast of half blind rabbits is just too good to miss.

Stoats are very graceful creatures with long bodies close to the ground. They are bigger than weasels with longer tails which have a black tip. Both have reddish-brown backs and white under parts. Weasels mostly hunt mice and voles but stoats love rabbits.

It was the white throat that caught my eye. Its head was held high before it pounced into a bush. I felt so lucky to have seen it, even for just a few seconds, but the next morning, as I was eating my breakfast, there it was again. A real breakfast treat!
I am sorry to see the rabbits suffering and without so many predators they would have a nasty slow death, but my plants are looking much better and watching a stoat whilst I ate my breakfast was a big improvement on reading the paper!
Wendy Bathurst

 
This page is edited by Tony

1 CommentRSS

Anonymous

Just wondering what kind of plant is an “anathema”?
We were joking, I presume!

October 7, 2011

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