As the snow gets deeper the woodland creatures have a harder time finding food, and one thing that these woodland creatures can turn to for food are bushes. I remember reading this about five years ago when we had an unprecedented amount of snow. The article I read happened to be about rabbits eating burning bushes. The rabbits will eat the bark around the lower branches of burning bushes, ringing the branches and thus killing off the entire branch. This happened to my grandma’s gigantic burning bushes from rabbits. She thought the snow killed them but when I went for a closer inspection you could see the rabbit damage just above the snow line. Her bushes were taller than me, reduced to a about two feet. Then her yard guy did them in the rest of the way. He ran them over with a lawn tractor.
Side note: This guy is seriously not a very good yard guy. Who drives a lawn tractor over a burning bush even if it is hacked back by rabbits.
Since this winter has given us ample amounts of snow, allowing rabbits to get at the tender branches of bushes I’ve been monitoring my burning bushes for any rabbit damage. My burning bush made it almost all winter….until yesterday. I woke up early on Saturday and saw a rabbit sitting outside of my picture window. Eh, a rabbit, no distraction on the bushes, so no worries…that was until yesterday (Wednesday), when I went to look out the window and multiple piles of rabbit turds were surrounding my burning bush.
Rabbit shit looks like cat food, by the way. Even after I went outside to get a better look I still had trouble figuring out if it was random cat food that some other rodent deposited by my bush when they might have been eating it or rabbit turds.
In the evening we saw a rabbit once again hanging out in front of the window, where we have the bird feeder…which is really more of a squirrel feeder. There is rabbit poop all over my yard. When Husband informed me of this rabbit hanging out in front of our house I started to curse. I inspected my burning bush, many of the new branches had all of the little twigs chewed off. Some of the larger branches were chewed right through leaving just the tops sticking up out of the snow. Husband made the comment that it was the screwiest rabbit he’s ever seen. I said “Well, it’s probably starving to death….and eating my bushes to try and stop from starving.” I then went on to say “What do we have to feed it,” because in my mind the best way to keep it from eating my bushes to find it some other source of food – even if I have to provide that food source until spring decides to show up.
I found a half a cabbage that was going bad. I pulled it out to grab a few leaves off of it and tell Husband to make corned beef and cabbage but instead said “Uh…no, we have no cabbage, it’s gone bad.” I also pulled out my parsley that although was still good would really start to wane by the time I could use it since I’m leaving for the weekend and Husband is surly not going to be doing any major cooking that would need fresh parsley. That also went into the lawn.
Once the half a cabbage and the parsley was in the lawn I sat on the couch to see if the rabbit would come back. It did not. I never saw it but I did see that my cabbage was moved and the two large cabbage leaves that fell off the cabbage had some major chew marks taken out of them. Yes, success rabbit is eating something that is NOT my bushes. However, the squirrels once again thwarted my efforts of feeding other wildlife when I caught it having a smorgasbord on the cabbage leaves. I never knew squirrels at cabbage, but when the snow is three feet deep I guess any time of food is better than nothing.
The 10 day forecast is showing temperatures in the high 30’s, with two days hitting 41 degrees as a high! I’m trying to not get too excited as it is the long range forecast and well…the forecast changes every 15 minutes here. I have honestly witnessed the weather cast change between a commercial break, and heard three different forecasts on the same radio station in a 45 minute drive. As long as it doesn’t change to being subzero again I’ll be happy.