So, what with the beautiful weather and all, I decided to go out back and check on our Battleford apple tree, to see how it was doing. It had spent the winter buried in snow, so I figured it was alright, but I was rather surprised and dismayed to find this:
In the areas I’ve circled, you can see the damage the little bunny bastards have caused. I’d learned last year that the local rabbits like to chew the soft, tasty bits off of our trees, and so both trees had been fenced off. However, the fence in the back collapsed due to a combination of heavy snow and, shall we say, haphazard construction. The result is that, while the tree in the front yard escaped the carnage, the tree out back didn’t fare so well.
But it gets better! Lenore and I decided to take a trip to the local corner store (her on her bike, me on my feet, since some a**hole stole my bike from our front veranda), and look what we found:
Yeah, they basically massacred that tree. And they did the same to most of the other trees that populate the area behind our house. The sad thing is, I’m pretty sure those trees will die this year, as the Phloem, which is responsible for transporting nutrients from the leaves to the roots, is limited to the bark of the tree. And, unfortunately, such damage by rabbits is a common problem.
As if having the in-laws over on the weekend didn’t make things hectic enough, it was also Mother’s Day on Sunday (which is, in part, why the in-laws were here), and to top it off, I was actually feeling motivated and decided to get a bunch of TODO items off my list.
So, in between hanging out with the mother- and brother-in-law and joining my sister and mom for a nice brunch at The Manor Café (which is, BTW, an excellent restaurant… the brunch was really fantastic), I also:
- Got the push mower assembled and the front yard lawn cut.
- Rented a lawn roller and compressed the soil in the backyard and parging, after which I started staking out the garden area (though Lenore and I still need to discuss general positioning, etc ;).
And, as if that wasn’t enough, I also did a little bunny-cage-refactoring. You see, we have this giant, home-made bunny cage, depicted below (note, this is an old picture… the cage went through some other minor refactoring since this photo was taken):
Now, the first thing you might ask yourself is, why so big? Well, the plan was to have our two bunnies co-habitate eventually, but alas, that is not to be. So, until yesterday, Herbie, our smaller rabbit, was in the giant cage, and Chloe was in a rather small floor cage (since her Abscesses made it necessary to keep her cage really clean, a task more easily achieved in a smaller cage). This was doubly silly since Herbie never really used the upper floors, anyway.
But all that has changed! I decided this situation was downright silly (not to mention space inefficient) and modded the mansion, dividing it in half, thus creating two cages, one in the top half and one in the bottom, with Herbie remaining in the bottom, and Chloe now inhabiting the top. Photos to come once I get around to taking some.
Meanwhile, tonight the plan is to get the final garden position staked out, the compost started, and perhaps the unkillable Rhubarb in the ground. And if I still have time, maybe I’ll start planting the annuals that we bought on the weekend…
Here’s the image of the new cage layout. Images of the yardwork, still pending.
For those new to this place, my wife and I share our lives with two pet Rabbits, Herbie and Chloe. Well, the last year has been pretty hard on Chloe: so far she’s developed four Abscesses, three on her back feet and, now, one on her front. It’s been fun. Real fun.
Well, her most recent abscess has required me to come up with some method for protecting her foot. The problem is, it needs to be fairly tightly fit, reasonably durable, and most importantly cheap and easy to replace, since she will destroy them, even with the damned cone on.
So, I decided it was about time I actually used my knitting skills for something useful and came up with this:
Pretty basic, but it works surprisingly well. I can custom fit them, which is really nice, and I can bang one out in around 20 minutes, meaning if she does destroy it, I can just make another. I’ve also experimented with a couple other variations, like using decreases near the top to tighten it up, and I even created one using reinforced heel stitch, to see if would stand up to more of a beating. But, in the end, the basic Stockinette pattern seems to work the best. Maybe next time I’ll throw in a couple cables, etc. ;)
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