Sunday, August 30, 2009

Today in the Backyard

Due to all of the tutoring and other summer activities, I haven't taken care of my lawn in a proper suburban manner. It wasn't so lovely before. Now it's embarrassing. But I was out today, cleaning the poop in the yard and cutting the grass.

The poop is provided by our two dogs. One is a chow mix. We don't know what she's mixed with, but she is a beautiful dog. She's also a hunter. She's caught and killed a few animals in the yard, but her favorite prey are wabbits - or for the non Loony Toons amongst you - rabbits. She once went after a rabbit statue while we were out on a walk. Since she's been raised by humans, until recently she's never known what to do with the critters that she catches. She would carry around the dead animal for a long time and run away from us when we would try to approach her to take it away. One day we found a long-dead oppossum in the grass. She must have carried it around until she got bored with it. Had we left it a few more days, I would have had a nice clean skeleton to bring to school, curtesy of nature. Somehow, she did figure out what to do with the animals she bagged. The last rabbit she caught ended up in bite-sized parts which she shared with our other mutt, the dumb one. Maybe she was hungry. They've both been on diets.

As I was going out to cut the grass, the dumb one came with me. She spotted something in the far corner of the yard and took off after it. She's always chased things, mostly squirrels and chipmunks, but she's learned a bit of hunting from watching the other dog. The first time our hunter tried to stalk something in the yard, the dumb one ran out barking and scared away what ever was being stalked. Boy, did she get a look for that one.

Now I think it's just funny when the dumb one tries to hunt because she barks. It's hard to stalk prey when you're as loud as our dumb one. I started laughing, when she shoved her face into the corner of the yard, but then I heard the rabbit squeal - and squeal again - and then continue squealing.

I ran back and discovered that the dumb one had not learned all there is to learn about hunting. The unfortunate rabbit was stuck, as it had tried to squeeze through one of the holes of our chain link fence. It had almost gotten through, minus some fur and a bit of skin, except for its hindquarters. And the dumb one was there biting at the hind legs, but not really doing any damage except for forcing the rabbit to try and squeeze the rest of its body through the fence. She had no idea that she was supposed to kill it and eat this poor rabbit. The hunter was in the house unaware of the potential meal that was being wasted outside. I told her about it later.

I brought the dumb one into the house. I thought that I could pull the rabbit back out of the fence and then send it on its way, a bit wiser in that (I hope) it would avoid our yard in the future. I grabbed a pair of gloves out of the closet and I ran back out, but the rabbit had already freed itself. It was sitting watching me. I didn't walk straight toward it because I didn't want to scare it away. I was hoping to get close enough to see how badly it had skinned itself. It was healthy enough to hop off when I got too close, and it disappeared out of the yard. I think it's going to hurt for a while.

Later, as I was starting the lawn mower, I noticed a woodpecker, pecking away on our yucca plant. I find any bird that isn't a sparrow, dove, pigeon, or crow fascinating. So I moved in closer to watch. And it let me. Then my daughter came out to ask me a question. She watched the woodpecker for a while, then went back in to get her camera. She was able to get within 10 feet or so. We're not sure if she got any good photos, as the bird wouldn't stop moving. And it moved quickly. Birds are not very cooperative.

Finally I did get the grass cut. The woodpecker returned as I was cutting, but I freaked it out when I passed too close with the lawnmower. It surprised me too. I didn't think it would return. We get woodpeckers in the yard a lot, but they usually stick to the trees, and they have to be viewed from a distance. Now I know that they like the yucca plant too. The yard still looks like crap.



At 9:58 PM, Blogger Mrs. C said...

Aw, poor bunny! I think they enjoy tall grasses and clover. :]

At 11:04 PM, Blogger MightyMom said...

well at least it's a crapless crappy looking yard now....

check on your yucca plant...woodpeckers don't eat wood they eat BUGS. your plant may have a might your tree if you're attracting woodpeckers.

yikes on the bunny.... better to shoot the poor thing

At 7:30 AM, Blogger KPOni said...

wow, if abby had been outside there would have been no chance for you to save that rabbit. It should think itself lucky it got the stupid one.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Jungle Mom said...

You have a wonderful yard! So much better to watch all that nature than to have it perfectly manicured.
A fun read.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Harry said...

Mrs. C,
That bunny was moving at a pretty good clip once it freed itself. It should be OK, but uncomfortable for a while.

Mighty Mom,
The stalks have flowered and died. I just haven't cut them down yet. So if they become a buffet for a woodpecker, that's fine by me.

Yeah, I told Abbey about it after the rabbit had split, but she only looked at me.

Jungle Mom,
That is a better way to think of my yard. I think I'll go with it.


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