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One of the first signs that winter is over is the loud chorus of the spring peepers. Listen at nighttime and you can probably hear them making a lot of noise. They can be heard up to a mile away and when there are many peepers the sound can be amazingly loud.
They are no larger than a nickel and can be brown, tan, gray or yellow green. Spring peepers have a dark X or cross on their backs. They can live 2 to 3 years and eat insects, worms, larvae, and spiders.
They hibernate during the winter. They live most of their lives away from water making their home under leaves, logs and other damp places.
During the spring they look for water to lay eggs in. After the eggs are laid it takes 3 to 5 days for the eggs to turn into tadpoles. The tadpoles grow fast and become frogs, tiny LOUD spring peeper frogs.
Help Nesting Birds:
You can help the birds in your area find good nesting material by putting some things from your house outside for them. Collect the lint from the clothes dryer and hang in a mesh bag; the kind onions or oranges come in. If you have a longhair dog or cat, brush your pet and put the hair outside for the birds to find. Find someone who knits and ask if you can have their left over pieces of yarn. Cut into short pieces and hang from a tree or fence. The birds will find these things and some of them will be used in the nests they build.
Rabbits and Bunnies:
Rabbits and bunnies are cute furry little animals but most gardeners don’t want them around because they eat the vegetables and flowers they are growing. Rabbits are herbivores; this means they eat plants not meat. They eat mostly at dawn and dusk, but they will feed at night. They feel safest in areas like fields, brush or woods and sneak out when they feel they won’t be seen.
The bunny you see hopping around your neighborhood is most likely a cottontail. There are 13 species of cottontails in North America.
Most wild rabbits only live about 1 year but during their short life a female rabbit may have 3 to 6 litters of 3 to 8 babies. If you multiply 6 x 8 how many do bunnies do you get*? Gestation, (the time a mother is pregnant), lasts for one month.
Rabbits can run up to 18 miles per hour and jump up to 15 feet. They are very good at getting away from something trying to catch them.
It is important to keep rabbits away from your vegetables and flowers, they will even eat those pretty tulips we all like so much in the spring. There are many ways to keep them from eating your plants.
There is fencing called ‘Rabbit Fence’ that protects plants very well. You can fence off a whole area or make small cages to put around individual plants. There are organic (non-toxic) products sold that help keep them away. The important thing to do is not to let them get that first taste of your goodies. Once they have had your yummy vegetables and flowers it is harder to control them.
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