A little collection of feathers. Most likely they belonged to a hawk, a goldfinch, and a cardinal.
Today we finished up two of these screens. In the past, I used old screen doors, and when the screens caved in, I stapled on chicken wire. When the wood fell apart, I just bought some orchard netting. But, it wasn't enough.
I didn't even use chicken wire this time, but went all the way with hardware cloth.
The hawk that came down was a big red tail. I'd say he was a good two feet tall. I'd seen him before, overhead, a mammoth white breast high in the trees. They say that his eyesight is good enough to read a newspaper from way up there. If he could read.
Hawks amaze me.
Once I had three in a tree above my head.
A family probably. And I knew what they were waiting for. But, I was onto them, and they knew it, and they left.
That was several summers ago.
This time, the two-foot mammoth came down and killed my dear little bunny we called Marshmellow, a puff ball of a girl with a sooty little toasted nose. Mr. Hawk burst right through the netting, turned over the thatch hut hideaway and sent the others scrambling. Marshmellow always was awkward and slow. The clumsy step-sister we called her. The one who liked to cuddle and purr. The foolish one who, when sensing danger, tried to flatten herself against the ground and disappear, which would work in the arctic or Siberia.
In the end, there was too much net and too much me, screaming and flapping, and Mr. Hawk took flight without so much as a bite of his prize whose little soul had flown up beyond the branch he perched on, waiting, half heartedly I'm sure, as I secured the others back in the hutch.
We buried her near Pie, a young little rabbit who died unexpectedly in night the way a rabbit sometimes will.
What is it about rabbits? Harmless, pea-brained little beasts. Fragile little bottom-of-the-food-chain dears. So appealing though. Irresistible, even.
It isn't fair to keep rabbits cooped up in a hutch (even a big hutch). They need to run about. So, we built some screens and move ahead.
Binky free, little one!