Tuesday, June 23, 2015

DID I PUT OUT THE WELCOME MAT?

Unknowingly I put out the welcome mat for rabbits to come into my garden. Silly me!


These are all residents of the sunken garden and so is the real thing. I spotted him yesterday and he was there again today. I think he has moved in for good because he happened on an all day buffet.  He's quite amenable to having his photograph taken in exchange for having done quite a bit of nibbling among the gomphrena. If I thought the flowers were high enough to be out of his way I had to think again. He managed to cut through the stem to topple the flowers and he's very untidy leaving the evidence all over the place. He is rather cute in his baby phase.


When he moved over towards the pool giving it quite an intense stare I have to admit I was egging him on to go for a swim. No such luck. He scurried deeper into the jungle at the back of the garden. There is no hope unless the snake takes a fancy to a rabbit dinner.


Suddenly wildlife surrounds the garden. This week we have had, all at the same time, a turkey, a rabbit 3 bucks and a doe on the septic field. Today a doe with two fawns.


Getting up close to these guys without spooking them is much more difficult. I took this over the wall. See the rabbit near to the turkey. I think this is a bigger one than the one in the garden. Or is there more than one?


There is plenty for them to eat this year so the deer are busy grazing the septic field. The mother with one fawn. The other was spooked and went charging off into the trees.


But there was another invader in the garden this week. I saw him crawling up the wall and knew immediately what he was. The first time I learnt about him was in Zoology class in High School and the last time I saw one of these was when we lived in Hong Kong. That's exactly where he belongs; Asia. He likes to eat earthworms and is not welcome around here. Let me introduce you to this land planarian with an arrow-shaped head,  Bipalium kewense.


If you find one in your garden and decide to dispose of him let me warn you of this one thing. He reproduces by fragmentation. Yes, leave a little part of him behind and you will immediately have another. He's a little bit like a tapeworm, another nasty parasitic flatworm.
And I have more nasties to talk about but that's for another day.

8 comments:

  1. Cool post. I like seeing your world. That planarium is nasty.

    I have one of the same rabbits you do, he guards one of my yellow passionvines.

    About the baby bunny, if you have one, there are more. Count on it. And if you see a big one, there will be more. And yes, they'll love your native garden. But not to worry about numbers. Hawks and owls will keep the population in check--or at least they did in my Florida yard, where I had both swamp rabbits and cottontails, but never more than five at a time, and few if any lived to adulthood.

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    1. I do hope that the balance of nature will work here, Kathleen. There is just too much foliage now to even try to drive him out. Sweet littl critter but I wish he was out there with the others.

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  2. You have now freaked me out with the photo and description of the land planarian. After doing some reading, it sounds like only the posterior end segments, and that they also will eat slugs and insect larvae, although they certainly eat earthworms. Would love to know definitively if this thing is a good or bad animal to have in the garden!

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  3. OK I found a planarian yesterday in an upended terra cotta pot that also hosted several slugs. I'm guessing the planarian was after the slugs - I dumped them all out in a far corner of our lot. It gave me the creeps and I'll be sure to get rid of any others I see if they are a significant threat to earthworms. That said, I rarely see slugs, loads of snails but not slugs, so maybe the planarians are eating them? Ugh.

    As an opposite kind of garden threat, that bunny is absolutely adorable. As a baby anyway. That is the one sort of creature I do not ever see here (not that I'm complaining) and if I did I'm not sure I'd have the heart to chase it off or even try. That bunny face! Just about irresistible!

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  4. Your garden is the in place to be! The bunny is so cute but then so are raccoons. If a bunny showed up here, I expect I'd be excited for 5 minutes (like I was when a peacock paid us a visit) but happier still to see it move along elsewhere. There are lots of rabbits just one mile away at the local park but, unlike the raccoons, the local coyotes keep them out of our neighborhood.

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  5. Wonderful pictures! Strange somehow how we have all the same wildlife - except for that gross Bipalium kewense - here despite being a rather different climate zone. Turkeys and rabbits love our neighborhood, but the deer generally stay a bit further out in the suburbs.

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  6. Sorry to see rabbits...seems your garden pests cross your deer and our rabbits in the desert. (except no jackrabbits there...yet) But that planarium...SE Asia, too?

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  7. I've been seeing rabbits on our street this year, which surprised me as I hadn't noticed any in years past. I wonder what they eat, and is it the same as the deer?

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