Thursday, June 13, 2013

So many babies! Trying to catch up with the cute quota as well as garden progress.

Cute baby bunny pictures were promised, and here we are today, quick delivery! This won't be just about the babies or even just about the rabbits, but we're going to start off with a good dose of cute with some good news. Our concern about tomato blight wasn't necessary yet. From the opinion of a couple experts in the form of Michelle Chandler and Kathy  Harrison who's blogs you can see on the right it's not blight, just mineral deficiency which is much better.

Halley and Comet have been doing well as co moms as you can see Above in the first photo. While all of the babies that were born alive were Comets, Halley has been taking care of them as well. They both tend to try to overcome their nerves to come make sure I'm not harming the babies when I check on them. The babies themselves are fairly adventurous, but they still have some of the temperament problems that their mom has which is unfortunate. They're a bit harder to take photos of than say Dawn's litter or Twilight's litter. I got a few cute ones of them out, but there's a reason the other Bottom Left is of almost all of them huddling in their nest which will be cleaned out soon. None of them have quite the fear problem of the one screamer we had a while back yet, but temperament is definitely a very noticeable thing. I do wonder how much calmer they'd be if we hadn't lost the scale which gave a routine to their day with us handling them. Since then it's just been me going in and trying to handle them all evenly, but without the structure of the scale I'm sure it's not quite even.

As for Dawn and her kits, she's been very protective of this litter. We try not to anthropomorphize, but I do wonder if it's because of losing the last litter and having this one have trouble early on. The remaining three babies are doing great, and growing well. She has been watching over them carefully, though not with the violent concern that Twilight has. In the past few days we've been seeing her babies out and about a lot, and they've been curious about us which is a good sign. They come up, sniff, and are ok with being picked up and handled which is the important part. They were a little startled by the sound of the camera today, but I think part of that was that something was moving around in the woods and making everyone including the dog nervous, so it's not unreasonable of them. We're going to be re-breeding everyone soon since all of the babies are out and about.

Twilight's babies in particular have been very difficult to get photos of and handle sufficiently. The photos because of the dark colors and the fact it's been raining near constantly, and the handling because of aggression on Twilight's part. She hasn't been as aggressive as the first time, but the aggression has carried on longer. She still growls at me from time to time when I'm checking on the babies, but I haven't gotten the full on assaults that we got in her first litter. Either way, she has been calming down lately which has been making it a little easier, and we can forgive a concerned mother when her babies grow as fast as they have been. Without the weight chart to say exactly it's hard to say, but I feel like the babies are at least 30% larger than anyone else's babies. The five of them have been bouncing around, and having fun much to Twilight's annoyance. We actually saw her letting her babies use her as a step stool to get to food which was a real surprise given how she used to react to babies coming near her food! As you can see though, despite her care at keeping us away from her babies, they aren't scared of us, and find us an object of interest.

They even leave food for a moment to watch what I'm doing with the camera. I was the photographer today, so the quality of these is a bit lower than usual, but you can see that Twilight's babies are big enough to eat from the feeder without nearly as much trouble as Comet's babies were having in the first photos far up near the top of the post.

Her current babies aren't the only babies of Twilight's still on the ground as her first litter are still with us at the moment. Left most of them are staring at me hoping I'll bring something more interesting than grass for them today. They've all gotten gigantic, and are an enthusiastic crowd greeting me every morning. Two of the black kits are male, and will be set aside for a gentleman who wants black American Blues for darkening up his lines. We're hoping there will be at least one more male in the young black kits so we can send him back to Florida with the three kits he wants.

 So, garden wise, we have a lot going on as well, and I'm going to just do a quick run through of that. Above are the left and right sides of the walk leading up to the house. The Left is full of tomatoes and is still in progress, though no more tomatoes will be going in. The right side has the lettuce patches and scads of garlic that are nearly three feet tall at this point. Right are the two elderberry bushes that we were given that seem to be recovering which is really nice to see.  We're happy to see everything growing well, and for the past week every time we've had time to eat at home we've been eating at least something from the garden. Kale, radish green, radish salad is quite good for the record Our radish greens are fairly spicy since they came up slowly because we planted them a bit early.
Below is a real disappointment though in the form of the eaten off remains of a Sweet Habenero plant. We were really enthusiastic about those, and thought we'd been doing well. Apparently something found them delicious  because what you see is the largest piece of remains we could find of the four.

We will just have to get new peppers and will be putting them in the ground there again, and hoping it isn't some critter with a taste for pepper plants. So that's our bad news for the garden, in the good news section Below are the squash plants. They've been shooting up in this very rainy weather. We may have to amend them to get them some magnesium as well, but that happens.

We also have our walking onions beginning to walk. Below Right is the front bed where we planted our various onion plants and perennial scallions. The scallions are ok, but the walking onions are doing amazingly well. On the left of the photo you can see that one of the walking onions has keeled over putting its top set down on the ground to grow. We will probably be moving its landing zone because right now it's in the decorative part of that front bed I haven't had a chance to dig up and eradicate yet.
Below is another thing we're happy about, potato buckets. Some of them have been doing better than others, but over all, we will likely have quite a lot of potatoes. As you can see the top one has been doing best, and the ones left and right doing worst. When we find the starting photos the Lady of the House took we will do a picture tutorial on how to do these because they can be done just about anywhere.

 And to end the day we have a question for our audience. Below is a plant, we thought it was basil. We in fact saved the seeds from a basil plant. It's definitely not basil. The saw toothed leaves for one thing give away that it can't be, as does its taste. Anyone have any ideas pitch them in!


  1. Looks like it could be peppermint?,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.47883778,d.dmg&biw=1366&bih=667&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=5fq5Uc3gH6b10gGE44CYAw

  2. The mystery plant is definitely from the Mint family. Beyond that, all I can add is that it's not Spearmint, as that plant has rounded as opposed to saw-toothed leaves (just picked some yesterday from my side yard).
    --Karen V.

  3. That mystery plant sure looks a lot like lemon balm! How does it smell and taste?

    So glad the elderberries are doing ok!

  4. It looks like catnip to me.

  5. I think it IS catnip! I tried planting some in Novemeber (I know, I know, out of season) and mysteriously it didn't sprout. I gave up and we reused the soil. It looks just ike basil when coming up but it smells and tastes like plant. Seeing the photos, my money is on nip. Well, my cats will be happy, but now I need to purchase some basil!