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Friday, June 22, 2007

COTTONTAILS & BLESSINGS
This morning I stood at my kitchen sink washing dishes and enjoying the flowery view from my kitchen window which overlooks the upper lawn and fish pond. A huge Siberian Laurel, started from a tiny twig from my son's wedding flowers, stands proudly at the edge of my property, glossy leaves sparkling in the sun, white lilac and tiny pink roses nearby.
Many flowers are blooming. The Esther Reeds are making a lovely show this year, and the field daisies growing beside them remind me that I'm not the only one who plants flowers around here. Oh, our Lord does a magnificent job! I just love His surprises. He tells the Sparrow to go plant a seed in Beverly's yard, and the little bird does it, all ready fertilized even!
The pale pink peony is still gorgeous and the bright cerise Rhody still has some color. Several patches of blue Nigella look straight up into the heavens as some sort of yellow creeper embrace their narrow stems.
The Rose Campion with surprisingly bright blossoms are the tallest of all my flowers, with leaves a frosted green color they are a strikingly beautiful addition to any garden. The old sage which has grown to monument proportions is blooming purple all over with hundreds of bees just loving it. (there's a snake living under it too)
My dear old Gravenstein Apple tree holds it's branches over the young weeping willow as if protecting it from the harsh wind and rains, as families of robins grace her branches with their sweet music. The yellow Honeysuckle draws the Hummingbirds, who drink their fill of sweet nectar.
Surrounding all this are many trees and vines for I live in a wooded area.
Getting back to the dish washing....I noticed movement closer to the house, and realized there were three full grown Cottontails playing in a flower garden. Well....I thought they were playing.
I did a little Google search and this is what I learned.
They were actually doing a mating dance. Yep, it's the truth. "The Cottontail Rabbit has an unusual courting display. The male and female will sit facing each other. The male then moves toward the female and leaps straight up into the air making a 180 degree turn. In the meantime. the female has run under the male and will sit facing him when he lands.
They will keep this up for a period of time (about 20 minutes from what I saw) with both sexes making the leap and spin into the air. Mating immediately follows this 'dance.' (I did not see that part)
Rabbits are polygamous and the males play no part in rearing the young." (I know some men like that. Actually some are a lot like rabbits when you think about it. they just run around making babies then are gone) Shame.
I borrowed this picture from the Internet, but this is a Cottontail. See his little white powder puff?
This is the result of the strange dance I watched.
Cottontails are entertaining, but also destructive to gardens. They live 12 to 18 months and can raise up to six litters of about five young during that time.
I'll continue to keep my veggie gardens inside a fence they cannot penetrate, and hope they don't care for the new pansies, Zinnias and other posies I planted on their dance floor.
I hope you are blessed to see something so entertaining today.

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