Sharing my Life with Rabbits

July 29, 2013,
Claire Montanaro

I believe still in sharing, but with some uncertainty now after the concept was taken to an unexpected extreme last Friday, a day when my respect for the intelligence of rabbits grew considerably. I am fortunate to have quite a large garden which is surrounded by woods and fields; one area has been a kitchen garden since 1930, and I have tried to grow fruit and vegetables there in different ways for the past ten years that we have lived here. Because of stony ground and wet summers it has not been very successful, until this year when a new deep raised-bed system and plenty of sunshine has enabled great success with my vegetables which are growing happily protected in their own walled garden. The first warning came when, as I was deadheading roses near the beds on Thursday evening, I heard a thump and saw a rabbit leap over the boards around them and disappear into the undergrowth at speed; rabbits are rare and welcome guests here because their ancestors were killed off by myxamatosis from which the population has never recovered, and since it was the first time I had seen one in the garden at all for some time, I was more pleased than dismayed. The next day, however, there was a significant development when I saw, from the house, a rabbit (possibly two working in tandem) jumping into the vegetables, disappearing for a few moments, jumping out, filling its mouth with the dried grass I had put around the roses as a mulch, jumping back into the raised bed, and then emerging empty-mouthed. This happened several times, and my suspicions that it was lining a burrow were confirmed when the sequence changed: the rabbit ran into the undergrowth, eating some of my raspberries on the way, and shortly returned to its new home carrying a baby each time. The rabbit family was moving house. Later, I saw the burrow entrance at one end of the kitchen garden, and a line of new mounded earth between the beetroot and the red spinach which is the run of the rabbit tunnel: if they go further, they will be under the roses. The rabbits have picked a perfect place to live, protected by high boards and tall vegetation and with food immediately to hand, their own secure gated estate. My husband has predicted we will have fifty rabbits by next year, and he may be right. Meanwhile, blackbirds are building a nest under the kale, and I realise my luxuriant vegetable plot is not, really, for humans at all: sharing has taken on a new meaning altogether – and how Kevin will laugh.   [byline]]]>

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I am a spiritual teacher, channel and writer with a special interest in esoteric philosophy and the world in transition, who loves nature and wildlife.  My aim is to help your human and soul journey through spiritual wisdom, spiritual connection and the raising of consciousness.

6 comments on “Sharing my Life with Rabbits”

  1. G'day, Claire! 🙂
    Congratulations on your new rabbit family. As for the kangaroos, are they now coming round the bend for a visit as well? 🙂

    1. No, no kangaroos yet but they would be very welcome! We are very international here in Wales, you know!

  2. I love this story! Its very funny, but can I say something about the deer where I live? Deer were once rare in the US apparantly and were protected, and now their population is high again. And more people are living in wooded suburbs and more deer are moving into gardened suburbs, an environment deer do well in. And deer can annihilate the plants they like to eat in someone's garden overnight. I'd like to get a pollinator garden going for bees, but deer chomped down the plant species they like before they had a chance. Sharing with local wildlife can be a challenge. I'm looking forward to hearing how your rabbit repopulation goes. If you are happy to give up your vegetables I guess it is OK. I'm still trying to work out how to have a garden good for wildlife without members of the wildlife annihilating it....

    1. Thank you Anita. I hope I will not be losing all my vegetables to rabbits! They are being well behaved for now.
      Perhaps you can protect your pollinator beds from the deer in some way? We have too many deer in the UK now, as in the States, but it is one species which is not where I live, furtunately!

    2. there is an interesting article in the permaculture magazine here in the UK about how helpful it has been in some places to reintroduce wolves to control the deer population, with the long term hope that forest will grow would help to remember that we started the whole process of inbalance by getting rid of unwanted/scary animal, thus throwing a whole chain tha was working proparly into mayhem.

      1. Thank you, Mia. yes, the problem with nature getting out of balance comes from humans trying to control it, to choose what we want to have in it and what we don't. How interesting about the wolves....

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