Monday, 30 April 2012

Here Comes The... Oh. More Rain.

A Wee Bit of Ginger

Have you ever heard the expression "low-resolution fox"? It describes a person who appears to be very attractive from a distance. I guess ultimately it's an insult to the subject, so it's not an expression I would use, yet it did make me laugh when I first heard it (I think it's because, like me, it has a hint of geek).

What is interesting about it is that it highlights how our brains perceive things we see from a distance and fill in some of the detail, sometimes erroneously.

We had a new arrival last week, admitted by Caroline, an un-neutered buck who had been living with his sibling. When I saw him from a distance I thought "Wow, that's unusual colouring and markings! What unique fur you have!". And then I got closer. Oh dear.

But don't worry little man, I am sure you'll be handsome again once we've patched up your wounds and gotten all your brothers urine out of your coat. And though your life has been a stressful one, you have at least helped to educate people about what it means when two little white rabbits start fighting and turning ginger.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

All Buns, All Wet, All Day

I was at the Rescue for our visitor day yesterday, though we were hoping we wouldn't have many people coming. My main tasks for the day were moving (soggy) bunnies around, feeding (soggy) bunnies and cleaning out (soggy bedding). It pretty much rained all day, no-one and no-bun was very impressed with the situation. Everything seemed more difficult and took longer to do.

Feeding bunnies includes making sure you see all of them eating, since a lack of enthusiasm for tasty snacks is often the first sign of illness. Usually this works fine since most will be watching you approach and given the chance will dive headfirst into the food bucket when you arrive. Not so quick and easy a task though when they are all hiding away from the weather in their hutches/sheds and insist on you bringing the food to them!

But I think the most miserable of the day were the poor bunnies who had to be turfed out of their cosy houses so they could be cleaned out. Oh my, for I have seldom experienced such intense disapproval.

"Don't just stand there! Fetch me a towel! And for
heavens sake will someone call my stylist - I'm
having a fur-emergency here people!"

Saturday, 28 April 2012

REALLY Tiny Tale

What's odd about this bunny? No, it's not that Sushi is on the furniture (though technically that's Jemima and Elvis' sofa he's mountaineering up). Spotted it yet?

Clue: what's the really cute fluffy thing that always follows a rabbit wherever he goes?

Yes, you got it - Sushi has no tail! (Well, he does, but it's unusually tiny.) Just one more thing that makes him so unique and special. We love you Sushi Bunny! :-)

Friday, 27 April 2012

Design Floor

We learned from my request for captions that you, the visitors to this blog, are all pretty clever - so here's another request for ideas!

In the last year we have replaced much of our accommodation. Where some of the bunnies were stuck in a hutch at night and free-roaming (supervised) in fenced areas during the day, we now have aviaries. A little less space to run around, but 24 hour access. It is working out pretty well and the bunnies seem happy but we have a few issues:

  • Rain - they are pretty open to the elements so when the weather is bad (like now!), bunnies get wet or are stuck in their hutches peering out at the downpour. How do we keep these areas dry? The high roof of the aviary and the open field behind makes it difficult to cover in any useful way (it can get pretty windy).
  • How to make the aviaries dig-proof without giving bunnies sore feet and/or completely removing the grass. Bear in mind the aviaries are in place and connected in a row, on a slope, so the groundwork is already quite tricky!

We've come up with a few thoughts, but I'm sure you can come up with some better ones! Be creative! Simple ideas or elaborate designs. Submit your ideas in the comments below or via our Facebook page or website.

And of course if you fancy coming down to the Rescue (just south of Cambridge, UK) to help make them a reality, your DIY skills will be very welcome! (Tea, biscuits and bunny cuddles provided!)

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Multiplying Shed

Is it just my little family or do all bunnies in coat-changing season shed enough floof every couple of days to cover a whole other bunny?

None of mine are very keen on the whole brushing/grooming process, though some tolerate it more than others. Afterwards, Whisky will usually retreat to the other side of the room and just glare. I am sure he considers it as though I have mugged him for his precious fur.

At the Rescue we are keen on recycling, which sounds like a complete deviation but bear with me. Since it is outside, quite often you will groom one of the fluffiest of fluffsters, leaving a large cushiony discarded mound of floof behind, you take the de-floofed one back to their little house and when you return a few minutes later some crazy birds will be making off with it to pad their nests with. It kind of makes me want to leave my windows open at home on the off chance a passing robin will save me the job of having to brush bits of Whisky out of the carpet.

"Measure the steps. Come no closer until that comb
is on the floor and some treats are in your hand."

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Cashmere Caption

Another picture of the teeny Cashmere lop bunnies that came in on Sunday and this one is just dying for a caption. Submit your ideas in the comments below! Here's my best effort:

"I've had it with those punk hedgehogs coming onto our turf and messing up our stuff. I'm going to infiltrate their gang and bring them down from the inside. Now give me the rest of that hair gel..."

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Rob McKenna Takes a Break

I think this month will go down in British history as "that time it rained a lot". After a dry year, which everyone has complained about, it is now very wet, which everyone is complaining about.

My outdoor bunnies aren't best pleased because although they have a covered run there has been so much rain the whole garden is waterlogged, with the overflow running into their space and ruining their digging projects. But at least they can get outside in the fresh air if they want to (if they can put up with the muddy feets) - it's the poor house buns staring longingly out of the window I feel sorry for.

Thankfully we had a break in the constant downpour this afternoon and I was able to get them all outside (in shifts). Whisky, as usual, took full advantage of his turn in the garden.

Apparently we are due another dry afternoon sometime in May...

Monday, 23 April 2012

Bunnies Unboxed

There's something exciting about unboxing new stuff. The eager anticipation of a new toy to play with or some new-fangled thingumybob that is going to enhance your life in some way.

Which is actually nothing like what we felt when this box arrived at the Rescue yesterday. It was found dumped in a field and contained 6 little Cashmere lops, estimated 12-14 weeks old. I'm sure you can guess how we feel about that.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Introducing Pippy

Zac's Prayer

"Oh Bunny-on-High
Who did create all bunnies in his/her image
I offer this prayer to you
In hope of the life I deserve.

Please bring me a hutch
Tall enough for me to stand on my tippy toes
And deep enough to stretch out in
That is warm in winter
And cool in summer
With a run attached for me to play in
With a roof to protect me
A run so long I can sprint full speed
And so high I can leap in the air
With lots of interesting things to do
And places to hide.

But most of all
I would like a family who will love me
Through the good times and bad
Who notice when I feel poorly
And will do anything for me. wait.
And carrots. Lots and lots of carrots.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Mornin' Yawnin'

Bunnies are creatures of habit. Thus, you would think, the task of capturing a picture of Jemima's daily post-breakfast mega-stretch-and-yawn should be a trivial task. Not so. For, like electrons, bunnies are slaves to something called the Observer Effect. Simply put, this means that the simple act of observing a bunny is enough to alter it's course or behaviour. To see where a bunny is going you must look, but to look is to cause the bunny to go somewhere else. You get the idea.

In this case, point a camera at something that bunnies do every day and today it won't happen.

So, after many years of trying, I finally get the camera in the right place at the right time and out of sight, only to mess up the focusing and timing. D'oh. Next time...

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Stair Shift

"Oh, by the way - this whole house is now mine. End of discussion."

We had a routine in my house. I would go downstairs to make breakfast and when I returned Whisky would be waiting for me. He would then race round and round my feet from the top of the stairs until the food was on the floor of his room. But no more. On Monday I was half way through washing, peeling and finely chopping his breakfast fare when I turned around to see him watching me with great interest from the hallway.

Yes, this week, after a mere 15 months living in my house, Whisky has finally realised that he really can climb down the stairs.

I was really proud of him, right up to the point where the implications of a having fully free-roaming bunny in the house hit me. I cant say exactly when that was, but it was probably not too long after I looked up from my breakfast to see Whisky stood upright on his back legs in the middle of the lounge. It turns out to be surprising difficult to eat a bowl of cereal with a bunny staring at you the whole time.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Parsley Mouth

Bunny + parsley = goofy-face. Fact.

Goofy-Faced Rocket

Goofy-Faced Giggles

Goofy-Faced Cora

Goofy-Faced Flin and Goofy-Faced Goldilocks

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Don't Judge Me, I'm Crepuscular

The Rescue is open to visitors, by appointment, on Saturday afternoons. In the hot summer months particularly this can pose a unique challenge.

We want our visitors to meet our residents and get to know their personalities - you don't want to choose new additions to your family based solely on looks. (Unless you are the strange visitor from yesterday who I can only presume was just looking for rabbits that went well with her curtains.) You want to see if they react well to your children, that you can cope with their level of energy and inquisitiveness, that they are the right rabbits for the accommodation you have planned for them etc etc. Where this all falls apart is that mid-afternoon, for the majority of bunnies, means one thing - naptime.

"And in this warren we have Hettie and Errol, who as you can see love to run around causing chaos and...oh."


Shutter Bun

After 18 months of owning my current camera, I thought it was about time I tried to figure out how to use it. So this week in the garden I've been playing around with adjusting, amount other things, the shutter speed. By putting the camera down on a stable surface and setting a slow shutter speed, it is possible to achieve a sense of motion as moving objects become blurred while stationary ones are in focus.

At some point I might one day become good enough to consider my photographs 'art' and give them fancy titles. For example, this one might be called "Jemima is a fat bunny because..."