Last fall Leonard discovered a domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in our barn (near Lookout CA, Modoc County). With no nearby houses or knowledge of local people with rabbits, we had no idea how the rabbit ended up in our barn. With with tons of hay available and at least tolerance from out barn owls, the rabbit happily survived the winter. In the spring Dewey (by then we named the rabbit Dewey because of its huge dewlap) began to wander about the yard, coming to our back deck for a treat of apple cores, celery leaves and other fruit and vegetable trimmings. However, Dewey’s favorite snack is dandelion stems. It is so cute to watch her take a stem from my hand and nibble it as though sucking in a spaghetti strand – visions of Lady and her Tramp.
Each spring one or more mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) drop their fawns in a safe pasture next to our house. After a few days the doe and her offspring usually move away from the house. This year a doe and her twins are remaining around the house. Leonard and I love watching the spotted babies frolic and play.
Inevitably, since they both are around the yard, Dewey and the deer had to meet. Leonard and I watched as Dewey nibbled grass while about 10 feet away the doe and her fawns did their best to strip all the leaves off a crab apple tree. The fawns noticed Dewey and went over to investigate. When one fawn nuzzled her, Dewey hopped a few feet away then stopped, obviously not too alarmed by the fawn’s overture. The fawn followed Dewey and tried to nuzzle her again. This little dance went on for several minutes before Dewey tired of the game and disappeared beneath a lilac tree. Leonard and I laughed so hard.
Hopefully the mule deer mother, her fawns and our adopted domestic rabbit will continue to entertain us with their antics.