Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rabbits and Snow

These days, we have an explosion of cuteness in our garage.

Duchess' babies are three weeks old, and we can't quite get over them (clearly, we'll have to some day, but they'll be less cute then).

 They sleep in a big pile, and go hopping and frolicking around like crazy when they're awake.

 This was taken last week. They can't be held in one hand now- too big and hoppy!

 I didn't manage to get a photo of it, but right after I took this picture, several bunnies crawled on top of their mama and fell asleep on her back. Priceless.

Eight out of Duchess' original nine are still around (a couple weeks ago, one crawled away from the nest on a cold night and died of exposure), and all are healthy and hopping and starting to eat timothy hay and drink from the waterer. We're kind of amazed at the variety of colors, because mom is gray and dad is white. There are four black, two gray, one brown/gray, and one brown/white. We're going to start tracking the colors in each litter to see if we can determine where particular genes are coming from.

Princess is not proving such an adept mother. Long story short, she's down to two of the seven babies she gave birth to last weekend. All of her babies were either gray or white, so maybe no recessive genes there. We'll probably give her one more shot at raising a litter, and if she doesn't manage it, we might raise up one of Duchess' daughters to be breeding stock instead.

There are more and more signs of spring around, with the cherry trees blooming all down our street (so lovely), and this persistent tulip pushing its way up, in spite of the fact that it keeps doing this:

It has snowed twice so far this week, which is highly irritating (I can't plant things as early as usual) and really unusual for Portland. We usually get a couple snowstorms per winter, but this year we've had about five, and four of them have been in March. I wonder how much of that is just regular variation in weather patterns, and how much of that is the effect of climate change. As my environmental science professor pointed out, climate change actually means climate variability- more extreme heat, and more extreme cold. Whatever the case, March is, so far, much colder than usual, and predicted to remain so for most of the rest of the month. 

At least Maggie is still enjoying herself when the sun comes out:

I am now down to three days left before spring break. I just have to weather a lot of studying, one presentation and one final exam, and I'll be free for a week and a half. During which time I'll be starting a new job! More on that later, but it is such a relief, after a year and a half of temporary, tenuous, or complete lack of employment, to have found permanent, part-time, benefited work that I will enjoy and can manage with school.

Have a great week, everyone!

1 comment:

Heather said...

Such cute little rabbits!