The Rabbit’s Tunnel

Phoebe is the only one this morning who was happy to see a dusting of new snow on the ground. But, even with this icy precipitation coming down, even Phoebe has to accept that this winter is almost over.

For awhile she was Queen of the Mountain.

Queen of the hill



With persistence and hard work, Phoebe dug out a tunnel.

long tunnel



Last week the snow pile melted and the roof to the tunnel disappeared.

fence view


It was still a good place to gaze at the world. Her place.

gazing out



But, the rain of the last few days has washed away most of the snow.. Now it’s just a muddy path that the goats can see.

no tunnel


Phoebe would rather stay in her dry and cozy den inside under the nesting boxes, where I’m sure she’s plotting what to do when the ground warms and dries out. Dirt tunnel season.

A Reading Rabbit

There’s something about old wind-up toys – the complex animal ones, with the quirky details – that make me smile and feel that silly happy feeling. Here’s one for Easter:

easter bunny


It’s a bookish rabbit, and look, this dapper fellow is reading about a hen!

bunny reading


He’s for sale at a store that also makes me happy, Nesting. Thank goodness for indie retail shops that reflect the tastes and quirks of their owners. Nesting has a mix of old and new, but it’s all curated with an eye to the beautiful and/or whimsical. Do you have a favorite shop that deserves a shout-out?

Happy Easter everyone! (My springtime celebration entails a seder for friends later in the week.)



Lily is Twelve

On Monday it was Lily’s twelfth birthday. The sun was out. She got to spend the morning in a favorite place, the porch outside of my office. There she has a panoramic view of the road and the woods. It’s the perfect place for an alert dog to keep an eye on things, but to still have me in sight.

S and L


Scooter stayed indoors in a patch of warm sun. It was a good day for both of them.



The Big Apple Circus

The Big Apple Circus is my happy place. Every April, it sets up it’s big top in Boston. The clown is gentle and funny, the acts are astounding, there’s a live band, and there are performing animals – done right. The species used – rabbits, dogs, goats – can be properly cared for in the traveling circus environment. In fact, they seem to thrive on the close contact and relationship with their people.

These were the most relaxed and content camels I’ve ever seen. Granted, I’m not a camel expert, but I’ve seen surly camels. These two plodded along, their lips relaxed. They didn’t have to do any spectacular tricks to impress the audience. Padding along on their big soft feet was enough.




The goats, though, did have a few tricks to do.

Goat trick



Perhaps Pip and Caper need a couple of mini horses to ride on?

goats on ponies



(Note Jenny Vidbel’s costume. Very clever. Multiple pockets were hidden in the folds, each filled with appropriated treats for each species.)

This circus is a rarity. I don’t like seeing big cat acts, or side-shows with rare and “dangerous” animals. But, how nice that the children (and we adults) in the audience could get a whiff of camel, hear the snort of a horse, and see a couple of silly goats.

Not A Good Sign Of Spring

There is still two feet of snow on the ground, and more in piles shoved by plows and blown by wind. But, we’re also seeing patches of bare ground. Dead leaves are visible under the wood pile. Grass is visible circling tree trunks. These hints of springtime are welcome. But, the warmth awakens things that have rested protected under the snow cover.

On Sunday night, Lily’s face swelled up. Her lips thickened to three times their normal size. Her eyelids drooped. Her chin sagged. This came on suddenly. She did what she always does when she doesn’t feel well – she hid under my desk and blamed me. Pointing a camera at her stresses her out, and so I took this quick one, which doesn’t clearly show the extent of the swelling, but you can see how she feels about it!




Lily could still breathe and eat. There was no sign of injury. Her teeth looked fine. It was 11 pm. I gave her a Benadryl and we went to bed. In the morning her muzzle was turning black. We went to the vet.

discolored muzzle


Dr. Sarah is the rare medical practitioner who is both practical and intuitive. She looked Lily over. Lily’s temperature and breathing were fine. This wasn’t an old dog illness as I had feared. The issue was localized to the muzzle. Dr. Sarah knows Lily, she knows that my dog is a hunter and a protector. The best guess was that Lily surprised an emerging spider. A shot of steroids and another of Benadryl were administered. No invasive and expensive testing was done. If Lily didn’t recover by that evening, then Dr. Sarah would investigate further. But we didn’t have to return to the vet’s office. By Tuesday morning, Lily was back on the job.



Lily will be twelve years old on April 1. Such a good farm dog, even if she does sometimes stir up trouble.