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deadly star of bethlehem

Last summer I found two young snowshoe hares dead on the lawn one morning.  They were curled up in the fetal position and showed no outward sign of trauma.  They were the cutest little creatures and it was so sad to have to bury them.  I had seen them hopping around the rosebushes just the day before.  I couldn’t understand why they had died so suddenly.  A fox would have carried them back to its den.  If a cat or dog had attacked them, they would surely have wounds.

young hareHares have made nests in my wild rosebushes for years.  They didn’t this year.  In years past, young bunnies have often hopped out of the bushes as I’ve mowed the grass nearby.  Adult hares still graze on the lawn in the open, usually dining on dandelions and plantains.  In the winter they reach up to eat the green needles on the lower branches of balsam fir trees.

Recently I learned that most plants in the lily family of flowers are poisonous.  Plants in this family all have bulbs, flowers with parts in 3s and parallel leaf veins. Many of these bulbs are often planted in the fall in North American gardens for spring blooming:  narcissus, tulips, irises, hyacinths, crocuses and daffodils.

Although I”ve never planted any of these in my garden, a couple of years ago, a friend gave me a clump of Star of Bethlehem blooms to transplant.  I put them right next to the rosebushes.  At the time, I didn’t realize that their bulbs would be deadly if ingested by pet cats, dogs, rabbits or wild hares.  Could these have caused the death of the young bunnies last summer?  I’ll never know for sure, but I will be removing this beautiful plant and its numerous bulbs from my yard before next spring.

snowshoe hares

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Every spring when birds return from their travels south, the first order of work is to build or re-build a nest.  I’ve come across a  few nests in the woods that still seem intact enough, though discriminating birds may not agree…

nest1Gently used nest for lease in quiet neighborhood.  Situated at least 6 feet off the ground so should meet the standards for returning robins.   Close to a naturally kept lawn with lots of  juicy worms.  No cats.

nest2

Charming fixer-upper available immediately.  May require re-mudding.  Ideal for a large family.  Secluded enough in dense wooded area to ensure privacy and protection from high winds.   No cats.  All offers considered.

nesthole

High rise living at its finest.  Historic property with original hardwood floors and panelling.  Enjoy beautiful sunsets from your private balcony.  No cats.  Going fast.

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