Cottontail and Cotton-y trail.

It’s THAT time of year in Michigan. The Poplar trees, a/k/a Cottonwood trees, are at it again, dispensing wisps of white fluffy stuff all around the neighborhood. Just like clockwork, every Spring, after pollination has taken place, the white and fuzzy wisps will scatter to the wind beginning in early-to-mid-June. The seeds are light as a feather and may travel as far as five miles from the tree they originated from. I don’t see a single Cottonwood tree in my immediate neighborhood, yet all the recent high winds have caused fuzzies to drift lazily about the ‘hood. The filmy fuzzies also find themselves sucked into the A/C grille where they glom together and must be sprayed off periodically to avoid taxing the unit.

At Council Point Park, a quick glance down at the trail showed me an abundance of fluff. I saw cottony seeds outlining the asphalt path, similar to how sudden snow flurries quickly settle into the area where the path meets the grass. What cotton seeds don’t land on the path like this …

… are sure to land in the water, so it appears that cotton balls are dotting the Creek surface.

But it was not just cotton-filled trails; I saw a Cottontail.

This bunny was so small that it had not yet developed its most-recognizable attribute, that white powder puff tail that identifies Michigan’s Cottontail Rabbits.

Slowly I retrieved the camera from its pouch and that slight movement caused the bunny to bolt. Bummer! But he aimed for a patch of fresh mulch beneath a memorial tree. “Perfect!” I thought, but then Parker ambled over near my feet.

Unlike the bunny, Parker is far from shy!

“Yes I see you dear” I told him, but the ever-impatient Parker, who is used to being indulged his every peanut whim, was not fine with waiting. We had a mini stare-down and I swear if he could stomp his little paws like a whiny toddler, he would have done so, all the while protesting “nuts now please!” I whispered to him to please be still and that didn’t work as he climbed aboard my right shoe, then rested his front paw on the cuff of my sock. He’s bold as brass, as you know. Next, I saw him glance up at the bag of peanuts suspended in a mesh bag off my fanny pack, and, fearing he’d make an acrobatic move to reach them and accidentally claw my bare leg, I stopped, fished out a few peanuts, then laid them on the ground.

In that few seconds I took my eyes off the bunny, that mini Cottontail had hightailed it to an area where some tender shoots were growing. Obscured by a large leaf that he nibbled on, all I saw was a pair of twitching furry ears with shell pink translucent inner portions that were bathed in the soft morning light.

I got these few shots of this cutie pie, though he kept scooting back into the shady area. (Thanks Parker.) So, I fed a few more peanuts to Parker who hung around, afraid he might miss something. Hmm … was I just imagining that Parker seemed miffed to not be the center of attention?

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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42 Responses to Cottontail and Cotton-y trail.

  1. Cotton was the theme! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the fallout from a cotton tree in person. That was impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Schaub says:

    Last weekend we had very high winds, 15+ both days, so the cotton was flying fast and furiously. I was at bigger parks last weekend and saw huge wads of fibers glommed together, like a roll of cotton batting. Thankfully the A/C has been off for almost a week, otherwise I would have had to take the hose and spray down the grille. I’ve not turned the water on yet as it was so cold the last few weeks, though I didn’t think it would get below 32F by did get to 40 a few nights.

    Like

  3. Sadly we don’t have many rabbits in our neighborhood. There are too many predators. Occasionally I will see one hopping into our groundcover for protection but I’ll probably never see it again. They used to eat my small plants when they were more plentiful. That I don’t miss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      That’s too bad – they are so cute to see and we do have them in the neighborhood. I see them in my yard and while walking to the Park. They annoyed me to no end when I planted bleeding heart plants one year. I planted a double or triple plant to give a nice size start to it and went out the day after and they stripped the hearts off the stem and the next day the rest of the family must have shown up as a good chunk of the plants were gone. I even tried the following year as I’d not seen any bunnies around and the same thing happened. That was the end of that.
      Carol has been posting photos on Facebook of the deer cruising into her yard and demolishing all her perennials – they like her hostas especially. They munch and look in the window at her and she’s yelling at them and shaking her fist, then they go right back to munching.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Aww! Bunnies are adorable. We have one or two that have been hanging around in our backyard. Their nibbling tendencies can be troublesome, and my sister keeps (jokingly) threatening to make rabbit stew, but you just can’t watch the cute little things hop about and not begin to dote.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I know Rachel – they all are cute, whether babies or big bunnies. We have lots of them in the neighborhood and a few years back they ate all my bleeding heart plants and I had some sunflowers that I started from seed and I covered them with jars and when big enough, took the jars off. They must have been waiting for that moment – they ate everything the next day! Annoying and I can’t blame your sister, jokingly or not, wanting to make rabbit stew! We had a neighbor many years ago and he moved here from Kentucky where he hunted rabbits and squirrels. For a while we had none of each as he shot them with BBs and his wife made rabbit stew and squirrel pie. He was proud of that fact; he told my neighbor over the back fence as they were friends as they both came from the same part of Kentucky.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not the bleeding hearts! I rather like those. Bad bunnies! A shame about the sunflowers, too. It’s always frustrating to spend all that time waiting for something to grow, only to have it gnawed down unceremoniously by something with an unscrupulous appetite. It’s almost enough to make me wonder what rabbit stew tastes like… But no — they’re just too adorable!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Rachel, I have a friend who lives in a rural area in New York. Her backyard touches a wooded area and she gets lots of deer … lots and lots of them. One time she counted 22 in her yard. She takes pictures and posts them on Facebook of the deer lounging around in her backyard, helping themselves to the bird feeder (standing on hind legs and tipping the feeder over to shovel it into their mouths) and this time of year, now that the perennials are out, they come and nibble on her Hostas … that’s their favorite. All she can do is raise a fist, yell at them and forget about it as they’ll just return. Maybe they need a cage over each plant, but how would that look? You’ll have to tell your sister that bunnies are easier to contend with than deer (if that’s a consolation).

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Eliza says:

    I love the pictures! He looks shy and sweet…. and scared too. Hello lil one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh how i dislike cottonwood trees! They plug up my A/C every other day and I have to get the hose out and clean the unit off. When I had a pool they filled it up as well! However, they made your pictures look pretty darn good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I’ll have to check tomorrow or this weekend. It has finally gotten hot again and the A/C is back on. Yes, you have to get out there regularly or it clogs up everything. I never thought about a pool – oh that would be a pain for sure. Yes, that cotton settling along the pathway is pretty to see, so delicate and wispy.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda………………………you did a great job of the up-close picture of the “Cutie-pie” bunny………………….yes I’m sure Mr. Parker was wondering what all the fuss was about with the white-tailed bunny…………………………………and as far as all of that white fluffy stuff that is all by the entrance of my front door………………………………it is annoying

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Ann Marie – I’m glad you liked this bunny. He sure was tiny and cute as well. Yes, I believe Parker’s nose was a tad out of joint wondering why he had to share with “lesser beings” and why I was not paying him attention. 🙂 I think now that the A/C is on again, it will be flying right into the grille once again – yes, it is annoying.

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  8. Sandra J says:

    I have not seen the cottonwood fluff either I don’t think. I just love the bunny photos. The babies are the cutest. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Sandra, the bunnies are so sweet, those big eyes and pink ears. I’ve seen a few, but not as many as usual at the Park due to the closure. We had yellow dandelions when it shut down and they went to seed while shutdown was happening, then I saw the tail end of the clover once they reopened. I usually get lots of bunny shots. They mowed and the clover is pretty much gone … less goslings, bunnies and no baby birdies for 2020 unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        That sounds about right for around here also. Strange year for the wild life. Some days there are a lot and others, I don’t see anything.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I am glad you said that comment Sandra … the Park is not right and I don’t know if it was the month-long closure or what. It’s been at least a week since I saw a Jay come to the path for a peanut and the Cardinals still have not shown up. Today when I walked it was all new people … did people just try out other open parks and stick with them? I had a dozen or more squirrels on the path who came running over and if Parker is not there, I have to coax the few who are running around over. The world, the weather and the wildlife – everything has gone awry in 2020.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sandra J says:

        It really has Linda, it is one strange year.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Laurie says:

    We have no cottonwood trees here in my neck of the woods but when we visit in OC, they are EVERYWHERE! My daughter-in-law is allergic and she is miserable when that cottony stuff is floating around.

    That Parker is BOLD! he demands peanuts! 🙂 Glad you got some shots of the cottontail. I think the photos are wonderful with him framed by the greenery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Yes, the fuzz will be around another few weeks. Too bad for your daughter – allergies are miserable to have. Mine originally were in late Summer (ragweed), but my allergist said I could stop the shots after 20 years. They came back 9 years later with a vengeance, but this time as Springtime allergies. I went back on the shots in 2004 and go once/month now. Tell your daughter-in-law that the immunotherapy does work well.

      Parker pulls no punches – if he appears, it is all about him! Thank you Laurie – the sun was filtering into that little area where he was and those pink ears all aglow in the sun and he was so shy when looking at me.

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  10. Joni says:

    I hate those trees but I have to admit the effect of all those cotton balls is somewhat magical. Cute bunny pictures Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Our trees haven’t lost their cotton puffs yet – they do make a mess, that’s for sure. Your bunny photos are adorable. When rabbits are little, they’re so DARN cute. Parker should know you’ll always keep him stocked with peanuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Thanks Shelley – it was a cutie, that sun shining on those pink ears and so shy. We have a lot of rabbits in the neighborhood. I don’t know if people have veggie gardens, but when I had the Bleeding Heart plants, they demolished them. The cotton is flying fast and furiously and it’s been hot today so likely it will be plastered all over the A/C grille.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bunnies can be so darn cute. Until they eat the plants. I’m thankful our bunnies seemed to prefer the dandelions over the Bleeding Hearts. We still don’t have any cotton flying. Our trees are so goofed up this year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        You have well-behaved bunnies … please send them here if I ever plant any flowers. A friend send me bulbs for Oxalis (shamrocks) … she lives in North Carolina and leaves them planted year around and says I need to take these in. I planted the bulbs over the weekend in tall pots so the bunnies can’t reach the first tender shoots so I can at least send her a picture of how they look in the yard.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well-behaved or MIA (we’ve had fox, wolves, and coyotes go through here).
        I wonder if that shamrock plant is what I have? It does grow like a weed. It’s fragile when touched, so I trim it a few times a year. It always comes back. I don’t think it’d survive the winter though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Well I am thinking I’ll have to pull the small bulbs out of the outside pots because squirrels (has to be squirrels) have dug holes and exposed the bulbs. I covered each one up with dirt once, and this morning I went and looked and they are probably burying nuts there. I am irritated with them, as I made three pots of them and buried the bulbs deep enough to avoid that happening (or so I thought). She gave me a slip of paper with the colors of the flowers and leaves (one dark and one light-colored leaves) and one she said was fragile. I don’t think it will survive outside – it’s invasive in NC where she lives.

        Liked by 1 person

      • We don’t have squirrels often in our yard, they stay in the woods for the most part. We do have ground squirrels (gophers) that frequent our yard. As long as they stay away from the plants, I’m okay with them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        We don’t have gophers in the neighborhood, but you are more rural than I am.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. J P says:

    Cottonwood and cotton tail, but at least you stopped before adding a cottonmouth. A poisonous snake would have given the story a dark turn.

    We have a lot of cottonwoods around here too and the white stuff is everywhere. I am happy to have Rabbits because I don’t have a vegetable garden.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      I’d have fainted dead away if I saw a cottonmouth. I took an interpretive tour at Lake Erie Metropark a few years ago and the guide showed us how snakes take over crayfish habitats (a/k/a chimneys). I remarked I’d never seen a snake – the guide was aghast that I got this far in life without seeing a snake. When we got back from the hike, I got a tour of the museum to see all the snakes in the terrariums. We rented a cottage one time up North and my father came into the cottage all shook up and said he killed a snake with an axe. The snake was on the property and was big – I didn’t go to see it.

      I’ll have to spray down the A/C tomorrow as it was 90 here today and it was on most of the day and the cottonwood is a’flyin’. When I had Bleeding Heart plants, the bunnies ate them to the stubs – they showed no mercy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J P says:

        One year we planted a garden for tomatoes. We ringed it with hot red chili pepper plants and none of the local varmints touched those tomatoes. 😎

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Great idea! A friend in North Carolina grew cherry tomatoes and the squirrels and birds would peck them or take a bite and leave the rest, so she painted them with Tabasco sauce.
        It might have worked with bigger tomatoes but was a painstaking effort for tiny cherry tomatoes … she finally gave up and buys them at the store now.

        Like

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