I’ve got an area in the back yard…
Well – it’s an area by definition, but it’s really a nook:
a little area boxed-in
by the back of the house,
the back of the shed,
the front of the woods,
and this temporary fence
my neighbor put up in an obvious bout with insanity.
We grow our hops and raspberries back there and I guess you could consider the bow tip of the canoe part of it as well, but not the whole canoe – because that’s in another well-defined, and fawned over, part of the yard – one which has its own window that looks out on to it.
The nook is partially shaded by a couple of Staghorn Sumac trees and one, large, Tulip tree – which drops the most enchanting seed pods you could imagine:
an inviting yellow cone,
filled with wild, seeded wonder –
ensconced in vibrant green, silky leaves.
I’m constantly pruning these trees back as they are invasive – but they do provide a perch for a wonderful array of birds that range from common to uncommon to unreal and surreal.
With spring having sprung at this point, life has really returned to the nook. The hops are growing at an impressive rate, and its bits and pieces are bigger and thicker than the year before.
I pulled up all of the garlic mustard in the area, which has really allowed for some great ground coverage to take over, and expanding the trim of rocks that I put against the base of the shed has seemingly closed out the possibility of the woodchuck family from last year returning.
(They’re fine animals, but they eat all the raspberries I planted for the girls.)
That said, I did leave an area – in that shed to ground gap – unblocked in case they want to return for the 2021 season and live under there. Afterall, I’m not cruel – I’m considerate – and having a furry family live under the shed bars a family of Copperheads from living there. So I guess you could say I’m clever as well!
This morning, getting out of the shower and drying off, I ended up daydreaming and gazing out into the nook from the ample window which allows me to do so, and it allowed to make a grand conclusion about something I observed the other day:
There’s a young rabbit who lives under the shed.
It’s not young enough to be a kitten,
but it could be a young mother or father –
it could even be out here on its own –
I honestly don’t know.
This rabbit hops into the nook and fills its belly twice a day – once around now, and once much later (right before sunset). It leaves the hops and raspberries alone and focuses on the Tulip tree seed pods – in all their vivacious glory.
This particular rabbit has a very distinctive face that I can’t rightly describe, so I want to get a picture, but it’s not like anything I’ve seen in my lifetime – and I’ve been around rabbits my whole life.
like this one,
I’ve actually only seen
the pet store variety
a dozen or so times.
Once this rabbit establishes its presence and is focused solely on eating, a squirrel emerges from the woods and dives in alongside.
He’s a fat little bastard and obviously planned ahead last fall so he could gorge himself throughout the long, but mild winter.
They both rummage through the grass and pick and chew bits and pieces. The rabbit, focusing on the seed pods, finishes off the meal with clover – and the squirrel snatches up things I can’t really see, but seem tasty enough for him to push his nose through the dirt until he come up with a mouthful of something satiating.
It’s all a wonder – how this happens ever day. How these two creatures communicate without communicating, as far as I can tell. It’s nature looking out for nature with little to fear; not even me – who they can clearly see and decide to ignore.
Fantastic little beasts.