Since the temps were in the 40's this morning and a cold front is on the way, I spent some time in the yard, cleaning up the flower bed on the south side of the house and the hosta bed on the north side, while Betsy sniffed out the rabbits in the front bushes.
Speaking of rabbits, I have been trying to clear my backyard of them for a while. They girdled my serviceberry so badly it has never recovered - while alive and presumably healthy, it just won't grow. Ditto the chokeberry. All the shrubs are now protected by circles of chicken wire, and the chain link is lined with chicken wire and I have been catching the rabbits in a Havahart trap borrowed from a neighbor. But somehow they keep sneaking back in. I even dream about rabbits, sometimes that there are baby ones frolicking on the lawn. The other night, I dreamed that there were several rabbits in the backyard and a hawk kept swooping down at them, but the hawk eventually caught a ground hog and flew away.
This morning there was a rabbit in the trap, so I freed it in the front yard, then patrolled the backyard fence. The gates are the weak points. At one, it looked like rabbits had dug under the chicken wire. At the other, I found small snarls of chicken wire - do rabbits chew metal? I reinforced the gaps under each gate with cement pavers and bricks. While I was cleaning out the hosta bed, a rabbit (the same rabbit I caught?) ran toward the gate but could not get through.
When checking the fence, I found places in the meadow where rabbits had bedded down (and evidence that they had mowed down the Russian sage), but no sign of baby bunny nests. That doesn't mean there isn't one under the porch steps or the shed, but I'm just going to try to harden my heart and pretend that is not possible. La-la-la-la-la.
Feels like bad karma.