Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Heat in the Bushes

Sunday was blistering hot. Blistering as in what happens to the skin where the sunscreen doesn't reach. It was well into the 90s. We're starting to expect it of this summer once it has established its position as a latecomer.

That evening I happened to look out the window. A rabbit lay for all the world dead on the ground some distance from the house.

It was stretched out looking horribly lifeless. Its long skinny legs were stiffly pointed this way. It was facing the bushes as if hightailing it to shelter before it went down. "Heat," I fumed. "I bet the temperatures did it in. Poor thing."

"Or wait! Another idea occurred. "Could some neighborhood dog have chased it and wounded it and the bunny ran with its fatal injury to this very spot to expire? How very sad."

The furry body would have to be disposed of. It was too uncomfortably warm to think about doing the responsible thing immediately. The bunny had possibly been there awhile. It wasn't going to be going anywhere. In the cool of dusk, that barely imperceptible lightening of the heavy air by a degree or two, then possibly I was up to taking action. Not now.

I went on to other things but shortly chanced to revisit, with my eyes, the same spot. And then, oh my goodness.

The rabbit was all turned around. The head, unseen before, was switched to my side. This was clearly one breathing bunny I was seeing. You could practically see the nose twitch.

The bunny must have been been lying down as if in a deep rest or swoon. When it got up and moved I was able to take note of something not detected before. The spot it occupied was a bare patch (in our not quite perfect lawn). The warm soil, by now in shade, must have felt good to the bunny. It picked that spot because it was a soothing place to be.

Thinking it might be thirsty I brought out a bowl of water. The bunny bounded away at my approach. Later it returned to the shaded area. It nibbled at grass blades. It didn't seem to be aware of the nearby bowl or interested in the water it held.

Rabbits probably don't have the same water intake requirements as humans. On a scorcher of a day as this was, and out in the elements, I'd be plenty thankful for a free bowl of water. I could only offer what would have been appreciated for myself. That the bunny didn't need the water was a bonus. It was doing fine on its own.

I'm very happy the rabbit proved to be exceedingly alive. Pretty clearly it was creating its version of a siesta as it lay long and flat on the ground. I like to think it favors the bald spot in our lawn. It's a good place for the bunny to hang out. Quietly it communes with nature, of which it is a part.

Ro Giencke - July 13, 2011

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