A Fig’s Progress

The single most important and shocking thing about this Chicago Hardy fig tree is that it got through what passed for winter in this USDA zone 6a garden completely untrimmed and unprotected.

That’s not strictly true. It was unprotected, but it got trimmed by the resident rabbits. They left evidence.

The rabbits nibbled the stems and ate their terminal ends, and then left compostables that are known not to burn plants. Photographed on December 30, 2023.

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Irrepressible Growth and Persistence

“Irrepressible” certainly applies to rabbits—chipmunks too, come to think of it—but late April into May seems to belong to the rabbits. These two did not budge when I came out with safflower seeds for the finches. 

Two adult rabbits sit watchfully as I refill the bird feeder. These are eastern cottontails. Photographed on April 24, 2024.

More recently, I have seen a small bunny, offspring I am sure, darting between hostas. It would be lovely if these rabbits would develop a taste for lawns. The height they mow the blue fescue to would be OK with me.

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Aprilish Snow Precedes Cold Snap

A couple of people I chatted with on Friday used the “s” word when mentioning this weekend’s weather. My response was “Bite your tongue!” After all, our April snowstorm isn’t due for another week or two.

I was wrong. It snowed yesterday, looking very much like an April snow. It stopped before 10 a.m. It was the sort of snow shower that causes weather people to say “It will stick to the lawns, but not to the sidewalks.” (They do still warn you to be careful driving across bridges and overpasses.)

Snow-capped witch hazel flowers. Photographed on March 26, 2022.

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Signs of Spring and Hungry Rabbits

Looking over the photos on my phone, I begin to understand why I haven’t written much this winter. I have a lot of photographs of my icy sidewalk as I struggled to keep up with it. Several years ago the city required us to replace our sidewalk, and the inspector who came out insisted we lower it. We did. There has been runoff onto our sidewalk after heavy rain ever since, but it was not a problem until last month’s weird storm. The sidewalk was still extremely warm when it hit; I took the last set of icy-sidewalk photographs on February 21, and by the following day it was melted. Finally. All that fretting scraping and chipping gave me a chance to keep an eye on the witch hazel. Continue reading “Signs of Spring and Hungry Rabbits”

More Wildlife in the Yard

One morning recently, I opened the back door to go sit outside with my coffee, and found chipmunks racing back and forth, a young bunny who pelted for a hedge, a baby robin who had become far more respectable looking in the past week—his feathers have all come in—and a red squirrel jumping up and down on the neighbor’s fence because of a black squirrel who was fussing at a fox squirrel about something else—probably the neighbor’s cat, who was sitting in his kitchen window watching the proceedings with great interest. Continue reading “More Wildlife in the Yard”