Saturday, August 20, 2011

Surrounded by rabbits-they find me everywhere I go....(warning: some museum taxidermy involved).

Hello there,
Thanks for joining me whether you are new or have visited here before.Constantly, I comment to my husband that the rabbits are finding me and calling out to me. It is like a radar. I am finding in my travels and in going different places that rabbits seem to find me.  Okay, when I went to the Rabbit Hill Inn in Vermont, I knew they would find me and I would find them! I am not talking about those though. Those ones are intentionally there and they are reproductions of rabbits. They have never been alive-Rabbit Hill Inn has pictures and other ephemera.

Some have been live rabbits that have found me, others have been stuffed (taxidermy) such as in museums. I don't usually expect them. They just appear. I have caught many in digital images to show here.  You never know. On the taxidermy ones, I am not thrilled to necessarily see them in that form, but am glad they are being used to educate. I hope this doesn't offend anyone. The ones that are in museums have been there for at least 50 years.  One is actually from the first museum in the United States! I am open to hear your thoughts and what you think.

Click on photos to see them larger. 

Snows hoe HareAt the Fairbanks Museum in St.Johnsbury, Vermont.

Link to Fairbanks MuseumFairbanks Museum
Another rabbit display at Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.

Rabbit display at Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury, Vermont,  showing them in natural environment as prey animal

Rabbit Blending into Environment at Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury, Vermont

Jackalope (fictitious animal) display at Crawford Notch General Store in New Hampshire

Fictional Hunting License for Jackalope

Live Rabbit at Newport Jazz Festival 2011, Newport Rhode Island

Rabbit Display at Museum of Curiosities, Old State House, Hartford, CT (Oldest Museum in United States)
Museum of Curiousities
Cottontail Rabbit in Natural Environment at Yale University, Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven, CT

Yale Peabody Museum

Granted, I don't look for them, but they find me. I enjoy finding my favorite little long-earred friends.  For the record, I against killing or hurting rabbits. The displays in these pictures are over 50 years or more old .  I would not support anything that advocates hurting animals or rabbits especially. You are welcome to make comments below.

Hope this was interesting.
Mary Ellen

Rabbit Hop Shoppe

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some Things My Rabbits Have Taught Me....

Hello there again my friend,

I was thinking about all these different ways that I approach life since I've had rabbits in my life! They have educated me more than I think I have educated them!  Some things are humorous, some are serious, some just educational.  One thing I wish to say now though is that I don't ever want to be without them in my life!  They have brought so much love, joy, pain, depth and insight into my life; how could I not have them! They have been in my life over ten years (as of this writing). How could I not love them?

Okay, here are some of the things I have learned in no certain order! I have a feeling there will be more posts like this in the future, considering I will learn more and realize more as life goes on! Also, there is no way I will be able to think of everything in this one posting!

1) Rabbits are very knowledgeable instinctively about what is natural and what isn't!  They can smell my hands after applying scented lotion or other cosmetics and will turn away at something that isn't of natural origin. Even if something is supposed to be scented to smell like an apple or almond for example, they know the difference. I have had rabbits try to nibble my fingers off after smelling them with some scents.

They also can tell if fruits and vegetables have been treated with something quite often, but not always! In my more naive days, I was traveling in my car with a little bunny in her carrier. I didn't want to leave the bunny in a hot car to get something to eat, so I got a salad and apples at McDonald's as part of the meal.  There was no dressing or anything added to the salad at the time yet. I gave the little bunny some apple slices, carrots and other greens (no iceberg lettuce). The bunny would not eat any of it. This would be very unusual for this rabbit.  After an hour or two, the apples were not turning brown either. In fact, the leftover salad in the container was not one bit wilted! Very unusual! I was very curious and let the apples in the container sit in the car over night. Still the apples didn't turn brown! What does McDonald's put in their food? What do they do to it? Since then, I've seen many reports on how even after years hamburgers, french fries and the like don't degrade or deteriorate, but look almost new, when left to sit. You can find stuff on YouTube about it.

Those bunnies have made me look at food much differently and make me wonder what the stuff in that food could possibly do to me and my fellow human beings!

2)  Rabbits eat plants, grass, and other things that have grown from the soil.  Their "poo" or bunny berries (as a friend of mine refers to them) makes great fertilizer straight from the rabbit!  Other "manure" from many other creatures has to be seasoned and allowed to degrade. In some cases, it is because of too much nitrogen and it will "burn" your plants and lawn. In other cases, it is from creatures that eat meat or are fed it. These cases the manure would have e-coli bacteria among other potential outbreak hazards.

Bunny poo is also great for composting in a compost heap or through vermicomposting (composting with worms that break it down into nutrients more accessible to plants). Vermicomposting is also great because it will help create more worms and add them to your soil and garden. Worms are great for your soil and garden because they not only break down the compost, but because they help loosen hardened dry soil and aerate it. The compost also helps the soil hold moisture and can help make a big difference in so many ways that helps make the soil and earth healthier!

3)  Rabbits are quite social and loving creatures that have made me think about the suffering and pain that other animals go through in some situations. They have made me so much more conscientious about what I eat and take in. I would never want to see them in pain or have pain and suffering inflicted on them.

4)  They seem to have a sense of humor! I have seen them sneak up to me and snatch food from a dish and then binky as if they have gotten away with something. They express emotions in their eyes and movements once you get to know them by studying about their body language and getting to know your rabbits through time and interaction.

5)  It is quite a compliment to have the trust of a rabbit! Unlike cats and dogs, they are prey animals. They are dinner to other creatures in the food chain.  They are extremely cautious and will not be too willing to give you the time of day if they don't trust you.   It takes time for them to get to know you, but they are so social, loving, loyal and extremely worthwhile if you take the time!  I have had some other animals in my life, but will never feel as highly regarded and also respectful of the love of a rabbit.  Through them I've learned more about compassion, human nature and Mother Nature, love and forgiveness, respect, laughter and how fragile life can be.  You can learn more about them through the House Rabbit Society web site. There is great information there on getting to know them.

6)  Rabbits have just as many varied personalities, personal tastes, likes and dislikes as we humans do.  Some things may be based somewhat on "breed" and "size" a little bit, but they they really vary!  Some are shy and fearful and won't change much in that regard. Some are wiry, active and social. Some are cuddly and will cuddle in bed or in your arms. Some are aloof, but like to play. There are many unlimited possibilities. It is great to get to know rabbits. One thing I do find very important is to appreciate, love and respect a bunny for what they are in personality and don't expect or try to change them into something they are not.  This will make all the difference in the world. It also teaches us a lot about dealing with people and other animals too!  We can gain much more and see our bunnies and human friends, as well, at their best. We can see what makes them very special. It can bring out their very best. It can show us beauty in life in boundless, limitless ways . Acceptance for "who" they are. I am continuing to learn how special different people are and what special things I have missed and would have missed in this world. This is all due to learning this from the little long-earred companions that I have had in my life!

I have probably written enough for now. I definitely will share more at another time! Thank you for spending your time here with me! I would love to hear what you think or know how the bunnies in your life have taught you!
Thanks for stopping by!
In Friendship,
Mary Ellen


Monday, August 15, 2011

Flat Bonnie decides to live at the Rabbit Hill Inn in Vermont!

Hello there,
I thought that I would share about two special things together today!
First of all, I wanted to share about a wonderful stuffed little bunny named "Flat Bonnie".  Flat Bonnie is handmade and is sold by some special people from California, who create her to raise awareness about rescue rabbits, but to also raise funds for them, and also they donate her to Rabbit Rescue Shelters. A portion of Flat Bonnie proceeds go to Rabbit Rescues organizations such as the House Rabbit Society  link (where the funds are designated during the time of this writing.).

I received my Flat Bonnie in April and was surprised at her size and great quality. The rabbit's workmanship, cuteness, and quality greatly exceeded what I expected!  The cost is quite low and the product is quite fun and wonderful. There are several new styles and sizes of Flat Bonnies now compared to the original one I bought! The packaging and inserts were great also! Everything about Flat Bonnie is special.

One thing that people have been doing with their Flat Bonnies is taking photos of them at places they have traveled to with Bonnie. It is kind of like the photos of the Traveling Gnomes in front of the Grand Canyon and Eiffel Tower, ect.!  It is quite fun to see the photos. Flat Bonnie has been quite inspirational to the creativity of those that have "adopted" her.  You can see some of these on her web page and  Facebook page.

I, personally, have just returned from a trip to the Rabbit Hill Inn in Vermont for a second honeymoon, but with our little pal Flat Bonnie. The location is so incredibly special!  I can't rave enough about it! I will write more about there in future posts. Today I just wanted to share about how Flat Bonnie took to the place and made friends with many other stuffed bunnies there in the two rooms we had. We would return from an outing and often find Flat Bonnie playing with other bunnies in our room! I kid you not. We started looking forward to all the special ways we would find Flat Bonnie and her friends! I coined the term "bunny faeries" for those magical creatures who would help Flat Bonnie "play" with her new "friends".

Many of these other friends were "donated" out of inspiration to the Rabbit Hill Inn, and Flat Bonnie seemed to fit in so well there, that I decided for her happiness and for that of others (human and stuffed bunnies) who visit, that she would greatly enjoy living there with all her friends in such a special place in Vermont.

Flat Bonnie playing with new friends

Flat Bonnie posing at Rabbit Hill Inn sign

Flat Bonnie posing at Rabbit Hill Inn sign

Flat Bonnie posing at Rabbit Hill Inn sign

Leslie Mulcahy-new adopter of Flat Bonnie and Rabbit Hill Inn innkeeper

Flat Bonnie playing with new friends

Flat Bonnie playing with new friends

Flat Bonnie playing with new friends

Flat Bonnie playing with new friends

Flat Bonnie playing with new friends

Flat Bonnie playing with new friends

Flat Bonnie playing with new friends

Flat Bonnie doing acrobatics with another friend at Rabbit Hill Inn

Flat Bonnie doing acrobatics with another friend at Rabbit Hill Inn

Flat Bonnie doing acrobatics with another friend at Rabbit Hill Inn

Flat Bonnie doing acrobatics with another friend at Rabbit Hill Inn

I hope you enjoy the photos and perhaps check out adopting a Flat Bonnie of your own and perhaps visit the Rabbit Hill Inn!

Hope this brightens your day and that life is treating you well!
Mary Ellen