Sunday, May 1, 2011

Down the rabbit hole

Bunny rabbits are cute. In the spring, they (improbably) lay chocolate eggs and children expect the Easter Bunny to deliver overnight candy in time for Easter morning. Springtime is often when naive parents think that a pet rabbit is a good idea. My earliest memory of rabbits is the one many of us grew up with -- Bugs Bunny relentlessly teasing Daffy Duck, getting the best of Porky Pig and always getting away from Elmer Fudd.

It's this last character, however, that I most identify with today. Perhaps it's because I went to see the Madison Opera's awesome La Traviata. Or maybe because I listened to classical music while gardening this weekend. But most likely it's because I identify with Elmer singing "Kill the wabbit" in the Loony Tunes condensed version of Wagner's Ring of Niebelungen.

Over the last few weeks, while you've been admiring the daffodils, tulips and early tree buds, the local rabbit population bought the all you can eat pass to the salad bar known as my hosta beds. Nibble here and nibble there has left green stumps where, in other people's yards, there would be torpedo shaped stalks or even the early unfurling of bright spring green leaves.

No, I'm not taking this personally and surely the rabbits are also eating through my neighbor's yards, but seriously, the grass is green, go eat some of that. And so, the country boy started to figure out what to do about the four-legged, floppy eared and voracious problem known as city rabbits.

Solutions abound, I'll share some of my favorites, succeses and failures (both happened at the same time a few years ago) and the state of the hosta beds in the next entry.

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