Boycott the Easter Bunny!

It’s almost Easter, and my love-hate relationship with bunnies is coming to a head. The rabbit has been seen for centuries as a symbol of fertility. It wangled its way into European Easter celebrations about 500 years ago as a delivery-rodent for another symbol of fertility, the egg. Many say the rabbit was a companion of Eostre, the Germanic goddess of spring/fertility. Fertility symbols illustrate in a down-to-earth way the Christian concept of New Life

As darling as bunnies are, there are too many of them lately! The babies are so tame and cute and curious. Last year, my son carefully fenced off a poorly-sited rabbit nest, so Tyrannosaurus Gus couldn’t get the “kittens”. But that was only one of several nests within 100 yards of the nursery. By the end of summer, I was ready to sic the dogs on the whole lot of them, call in trained falcons or reintroduce wolves to Paradise Valley! We should rename the nursery “Tadpole Haven Native Plant Smorgasbord”. Brian has a theory that there is a disease cycle that wipes the rabbits out every so often, and right now they are healthy and very fertile. I had noticed population fluctuations, but I always attributed it to coyotes coming through. I’m very proud of the high quality wildlife habitat on our property where the nursery is. But the rabbits are giving habitat a bad name! Rabbitat! We’ve got plenty of high quality coyote habitat — where are those guys when we need them?

EasterFrog

So, I know this is late in the game, but I’d like to stop honoring the ravaging rabbit. So I urge everyone to boycott the Easter Bunny. In its place we will install the Easter Frog. The Easter Frog is an oversized Pacific Chorus Frog. The Pacific Chorus Frog actually LAYS eggs, thus is more qualified than a rabbit for the Easter job. If these little tree frogs haven’t started calling yet in your neighborhood, they will any day. At Tadpole Haven, we have a new pool waiting for them! We put in a couple types of vegetation suitable for attaching egg clutches: Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) twigs and Marsh Cinquefoil (Comarum palustre) stems. I tossed in three Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia a.k.a. Broad-leaved Arrowhead) bulbs. I am hoping that those will grow up and shade the pool from the hottest summer sun. This pool is much deeper than a kiddie pool, which we have used in the past. Those kiddie pools successfully raised several years’ worth of froglets, but they have gotten too hot during the last few summers, and all of the tadpoles perished, sadly. We will be celebrating Easter until summer’s end, watching the fertile New Life metamorphose and transform these small earthly beings.

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