Cornell Cooperative Extension

January 20, 2014

Rabbits have to eat too

I think we have long memories for weather events if something especially meaningful to us happens during that time.

I will always remember deep, heavy snow in December of 1980 when we lived in Battleground, Wash. Do you think that if I hadn’t been nine months pregnant with our daughter, knowing we couldn’t get to a hospital if I went into labor, I would remember that? Not in a million years. 

I bet that 5 years from now many of you will remember that December 2013 was so icy that many churches canceled services the week before Christmas. Or maybe the holiday gathering you worked so hard to prepare for had to be called off or postponed.

My point is that we tend to remember an occurrence and link it to the weather that was the instigating factor.

I think the 2014 event I am going to remember is the loss of my burning bush. I haven’t lost it yet but I fully expect that it will not bud out in the spring. 

If that’s the case, then for many years to come when I see the place the bush used to be I will remember the winter of 2013-2014.

You might think that the ice that encased it may have done it in, or snow and ice falling from the roof onto it might be the cause of its demise. You would be wrong. I expect that the bush may be a goner because cottontail rabbits have stripped most of the bark from it.

Cottontails are crepuscular foragers; they eat mostly at dusk and dawn. During daylight hours cottontails are usually hidden in brush piles, hollow logs, or in dense stands of shrubs or trees to avoid predators. When they feel threatened or sense danger, they freeze in place or dart away at speeds up to 18 mph.

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