Photographed in his first summer; July 11, 2000
Photographed March 07, 2002
This is the Salt Feeder and Dust Bath I made for the local Creatures.
The Dust Bath is made from a plastic Garbage Can Lid,
and filled with soil that has been sifted through a 1/4" mesh.
The Salt is held in the pressure-treated enclosure by a steel stake that also adjusts its elevation. Note the tiny dimples near the bottom of the salt block and the long groove just to the left of the stake which were worn by hundreds of tiny tongue licks. There is also a depression in the ground where the brine drips, made by tiny Creatures.
Occasionally I will see Purple Finches enjoying this feeder
instead of their own which hangs in a nearby tree.
Salt Lick at work : )
"My BlueBerry Bunny"
We first met, not in a shop of crafts, but in my patch of berries. I was filling a plastic pail, and the Bunny was filling himself. He appeared to be about two weeks old, and small for his age. I could tell immediately that blueberries were high on his list of desserts. He was not overly cautious of my presence, but seemed to accept me for another creature that was fond of the berries he found beneath my bushes.
I tossed berries to him and he began to accept them by taking cautious little hops in my direction to claim them for his sweet tooth. He inhabited my tomato patch beneath the shadows of the fragrant mint leaves that provide my winter morning tea. When I would go there to pick berries from the bushes and brambles, he would slowly materialize and my offerings tossed in his direction seemed to assure him that I was friend. He relished each offering with a cute twitching of his nose.
Over the next several months he became even less cautious. As he grew, so did his territory. Soon he accepted sliced apples from my nearby orchard. But blueberries remained his favorite snack, and he would come within a foot of my hand to retrieve those tossed toward him.
For weeks at a time I would not see him. I thought he might have disappeared in the winter while I was enjoying the warmth of Florida sunshine. The occasional tufts of rabbit fur I found on the ground, along with sightings of Red-tailed Hawks, and rumors of neighborhood Coyotes caused concern for his well being. But to my delight, one morning he reappeared and accepted shelled corn with little hesitation. It seems that Shelled Corn has replaced Blueberries as his favorite treat.
Now it is springtime when a Bunny's fancy turns to love. And I wonder to myself if his offspring will retain his appreciation for blueberries and me. Or whether they will respond to other genes and fly as an arrow at the sight of me.
But maybe the friendly genes will dominate and dictate and some day I may touch one at will. Then on bent knees, I shall give thanks to the Creator of the Bunny, the Blueberries, and me. . . as I do even now.