Free ranging rabbits give me joy!
This year my garden was dismal in its production of food. I think we got less than 20 tomatoes and 6-8 zucchini's. It was so frustrating fighting the drought, heat and insects. Combined with daily visits to my poor rabbits confined in as large of cages as I could arrange for them. I began to see an inequity that I could fix. With our triple digit temps, I couldn't act quickly as the rabbits required cooling devices we had in place to protect them during the brutal heat waves. This gave me some valuable planning time. I also met many green horned tomato worms. They were so beautiful that I did some research and discovered that they were endangered. They turn into these amazing moon shaped moths. Well that clinched the deal.
I sacrificed my non-producing tomatoes to the green horned worms and began to convert my garden for the rabbits. We reinforced the fencing to keep them in, and the dogs/cats out and also put up a 2ft exterior barrier on top of the soil to prevent rabbits from digging out. I finally transferred my 8 females and a couple young males to freedom. I can barely get any work done since it's so much fun to watch them playing and chasing each other among the raised beds. And the best news is that I can still garden in some of the raised beds that are too high for them to invade. I'll probably just plant carrots for the buns ;) We are still figuring out how to deal with storms, but they won't come until January/February. We'll figure it out as we move forward. In the meantime, my buns have a joyful life and freedom.
How amazing to see the baby bunnies as they grow and mature from tiny peanuts to lil scampering friends. It's really amazing. Mother nature at work!
Finally, much needed precipitation in our mountain community. It's so beautiful... and we need every bit of moisture. Thank you Mother Nature!
Sometimes my own experience on a tour is so positive and it encourages me to keep hosting. Most of my guests are friendly and super interested but this family was so invested in the animals - it was heartening to watch the very intelligent kids engaging with the animals, asking great questions and enjoying their tour. These kids make hosting so worthwhile and give me hope for the future. Thank you.
During a recent tour I was presented this charming portrait of 2 of my dogs, Tea and Toast. Kya, age 14, captured their smiles and energy. It was a fun morning and I enjoyed watching the kids come alive as they engaged with the animals. Thank you Kya for the special drawing. I love it.
A recent visit with Eleanor and her family was a remarkable one. This young lady gently tamed the timid alpacas, who were literally 'eating out of her hand' in a few patient moments. she quietly earned their trust and well.... her smile says it all. This makes hosting so worthwhile. I love seeing the silent communication with the animals as they intuitively know when it's safe. Ellie and her brother, Owen became trusted caregivers in no time. Thank you Ellie and Owen and come again soon.
One of my favorite goats, Bert, was rescued when he was just a tiny baby. He still had the umbilical cord and was the size of my cats. He spent the first 8 weeks of his life in my house, joining us on the sofa for movies by the fire I'm sure he thought he was a dog. Always curious, playful and of course, wanting to be the center of attention, Bert is everyone's favorite. Here he is investigating our load of wood we are bringing in for winter. He is so social and loves to get scratches and pets. I really love him.
During a recent tour, I was so struck by this small boy's fascination with the alpacas and their fascination with him too. The silent language of animals is alive and present. I love to watch this kind of interaction.
It's never a dull day at the Kitty Hotel. Springtime means new arrivals & births, eggs hatching, coats shedding and seasonal preparation for summer or winter. Fall brings harvest, canning and winter prepration. We are always entertained by our many animal friends.