All posts by laurahinnj

Hoot owls!

The great-horned owls were calling tonight so I ventured outside in the cold with my binoculars to see if I might find them….

In the dark, all I got was a silhouette (picture a big dark blob with ear tufts) about 3/4 of the way up the tallest locust tree in the yard. I could hear the female with her deeper voice nearby, but couldn’t spot her. I listened to their duet for ten minutes or so and then decided I’d had enough of the cold and was ready to go inside when the male owl flew from its perch. I followed him with my bins as he flew higher in the tree and attempted to mount the female who was perched on an outside branch of the same locust. As he mounted her, one of them screamed and he flew off to a closer locust tree which offered me a better view of him. Still a dark blob, but I was able to make out the suggestion of his creamy bib feathers. Very cool!

These owls have been calling for years in the neighborhood and it always thrills me to hear them. I guess they nest closeby, but can’t be sure as I’ve never found their nest. I don’t have much luck in finding nests anyway, other than the red-tails when they nested one year in a pine tree at Sickles Park just 50ft. or so from the road. I enjoyed watching them, but sadly that nest was destroyed in a late fall storm that same year.

My growing TBR pile…

I went to Barnes and Noble on my lunch hour today with the intention of buying a 2006 calendar for the kitchen. If I get my act together before the end of the year I’ll order one of the Men With Buns calendars for my desk at the office to help promote the idea of rabbits as house pets among my dog and cat-minded coworkers. This past year I had the Hot Buns calendar and everyone enjoyed the new bunny photo each month, especially the July 2005 photo of my beloved Mr. Bean (ATB). Wasn’t he a gorgeous rabbit!?! I’ll have to blog about him one day…

Anyway, back to my trip to B&N. The selection of calendars was lousy, probably because they were 50% off, so I decided to pick up a few of the books that were on my Xmas wishlist that Santa didn’t deliver. Mind you, I already have the pile you see above *to be read* so I really needn’t buy any more books until I get through these, but I just couldn’t resist. The plan is to limit the TBR pile to what will fit in that basket 😉

I’ve added a button on the right to view my *incomplete* library at Bibliophil. This is a great site for readers to keep track of the books they own and have read. It is a lot of work to enter the large number of books I’ve read though, so I do a little at a time. According to my statistics, I only read 16 books in 2005 – not very many, but it was a busy year.

Missy with a mouthful

It occured to me today that I hadn’t yet posted a photo of my first bunny, Miss Buns. Boy would that make her mad!

I’ve had Missy for just over 4 years now. She and Freckles came from the same pet store, before I understood that rabbits are better obtained from rescues and shelters.

Missy is a very bossy rabbit, like many girl bunnies. She has definite opinions and is not afraid to express them by thumping or nipping! She and Freckles lived together (both spayed, of course) for 4 years and Missy terrorized sweet Freckles for most of that time. They were generally loving with one another, but not bonded or in love like Boomer and Cricket. Missy would get in a mood and Freckles had to put up with being bossed and chased around their habitat. Ever since Missy got sick this summer and had to spend 2 weeks at the vet getting better the two have lived apart. Freckles aparently has decided she would rather live alone.

Missy is doing well, but has slowed down a lot. I wonder how much of that is due to the heart condition and chronic respiratory infection or if it is simply that she is lonely and bored. She eats very well, but spends most of her time napping. She continues to do binkies (although wobbly ones) in her pen sometimes in the morning when I bring her salad – especially if there is lots of dill – that is her absolute favorite!

Petbunny Xmas Card Swap

Another holiday season is coming to an end. We had my DH’s family for Christmas Eve and for dinner on Chrsitmas Day. That we were able to seat 15 in my tiny house is pretty amazing! The food and company were good and there were no fistfights – what more could you ask for?

Tomorrow we’re having my family for snacks and dessert in the late afternoon. We’ll also finally get around to exchanging gifts. Then we can put away all the Xmas clutter and get back to our routines.

Each year at Christmas and Easter I exchange greeting cards with other members of the Petbunny List. Most all of the cards have a bunny on them and some people even make their own cards and include photos. This year, because I never got around to making cards, I bought them from A Rabbitt in Paradise. Lots of great bunny-themed items at that site and beautiful artwork on the cards!

We usually receive about 35 cards from the PB Swap and I use them to decorate on the porch where the bunnies live. The bunnies receive more cards than my DH and I do! I wonder what the mailman thinks of all the cards addressed to Miss Buns, Freckles, Boomer and Cricket, and Dora the Explorer!

This is a photo of some of the cards displayed on Dora’s cage. Because they’re hung on the very top outside of her cage, she can’t nibble on them the way the other bunnies do. My favorite of the ones you can see here is the second from the left sent by Mary, G.T., Herman and Freckles. It was made by the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society and shows a bunny meeting its reflection in a Xmas ball. Very cute! Kathy B. made a beautiful handmade card that you can’t see because it’s hanging on the other side of the cage – I can only imagine the time she spends making these. Just gorgeous!

This next photo is of the cards in Boomer and Cricket’s pen. Please ignore the bunnies gorging themselves at the bottom of the pic – I had just giving them their pellets before I took the photo.

Many beautiful cards there! I try to give everybunny an equal number of cards to display (so nobunny gets jealous!) but Boomer and Cricket have the most, just because they are such big bunnies and their pen is the largest and has the most display space.

Lastly is a pic of Miss Buns and Freckles’ cards. These two love to nibble their cards and toss them around the pen so I have to be careful of the material the cards are made of – no photo cards or anything with glitter, etc. Missy loves to sit in her pooty box and chomp on her cards rather than the hay she should be nibbling on. She is such a little devil! Not sure that it is visible in these tiny pics, but a few cards on the right have been *decorated* by Miss Buns already.

Buddy gets festive

Buddy is just exhausted with all the holiday preparations – poor old boy! I took this photo a week or so ago while we were “camping out” in the living room for a few days while the DH was re-painting the bedroom. We’ve since re-painted the living room, dining room, and bathroom. DH is now working on the kitchen. This work has needed to be done for a long time, but he hates painting so has put it off till a week before Christmas when the whole family will be here for dinner. We haven’t even bought an Xmas tree yet, so I don’t know how we’ll ever finish in time!

Buddy had a day at the *spa* this past Saturday – we sent him for the first time to the vet for a medicated bath, ear cleaning, and nail trim. He came home with a shiny coat and at least 5 pounds less fur. I’m amazed (still after 10 years) with how much he sheds! The vet staff said that he behaved well which was a surprise considering how fearful he is at the vet.

Anyway, we have an assortment of Xmas hats, scarves, antlers, and bandanas that we torture him with around the holidays. He takes it all in stride – he’s such a good boy!

Local Wonders and this reader’s wish list for Xmas

This poem about a barn owl on the Birdchick Blog led me to explore our Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, and this collection of his essays. I just started reading it yesterday, as my school workload is finally easing up, and have really enjoyed what I’ve read thus far.

I will be sooo glad when the semester ends and I don’t have to *play teacher* for a month and will have time to read. Hopefully, I’ll get lots of books for Christmas and will be able to take full advantage of the extra time.

Here’s my wishlist:

The Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Bedside Book of Birds by Graeme Gibson
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The Ardent Birdwatcher: On the Craft of Birdwatching by Todd Newberry

The cheese house and other bunny toys

This photo of Freckles in her *cheese house* makes me smile anytime I come across it. The cheese house is not a very popular toy here (the inside is too slippery) so mostly it collects dust. The favorite bunny toy was the cardboard castle – the bunnies loved to play in it and climb to the top, but the Flemmies caused a fatal collapse – those things just are not made for big bunnies! Another favorite during the summer months is their sandbox – oh how they love to dig and *do donuts* in it. Dora loves to chew stuff and is currently demolishing a tent tunnel from Busy Bunny – I’ll need to order another before she starts taking apart my furniture!

Sunshine and Butterflies

I took this photo of a Black Swallowtail cat two summers ago as it was feeding on a bronze fennel plant in my veggie garden.

Two or three of these beauties appeared one day (or so it seemed; I just hadn’t been looking for them) and then disappeared again when they made their cocoons. I was disappointed to not have been able to find them as they underwent their metamorphosis. The same always happens with the Monarch cats I find on my Swamp Milkweed plants. They grow to be big and fat and then disappear. I wonder if some hungry bird comes along and picks them off just when they are ready to morph?

Today was a cold and wet wintry day that had me wishing (too soon) for sunshine and butterflies.

Dora smiles (almost)

Dora is the newest bunny to join the family. She is a Checkered Giant and was adopted from Kind Heart Rescue who took her out of a slaughterhouse here in Central NJ. My two Flemish Giants, Boomer and Cricket, were also rescued by Kind Heart from the same slaughterhouse.

Dora is a doll of a rabbit! She is quite particular in her habits and loves nothing more than for me to rub her forehead. She lives in my spare bedroom/office and naps beneath my chair while I work at the PC. She makes a great foot-warmer, although she occasionally tries to nip my toes!

She is adjusting to her new home well, after only one month here. She’s learned our routine and greats me and my offerings of food and treats with leaps and shakes of her pretty head. That’s just her way of being silly.