I’ve decided to write about rabbits.
Why? Because they’re cute, and there are so many of them.
They line Birkdale Drive in the mornings and evenings, after sunrise and before sunset. They have comically large, rounded ears that catch the sunlight as they nibble the grass around the Pine Valley Preserve, where they live.
Our adorably quiet neighbors in Eastwood are marsh rabbits, which are native to Florida and found close to water, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
I’m not the only one who has noticed them. Recent posts on social media, including Facebook and Nextdoor, show that others are just as interested in the rabbits as I am.
The marsh rabbits breed year-round but especially from December-June, which might account for their sudden and prolific appearance along our sidewalks. I should clarify here that we’ve seen rabbits around the preserve in the past, but not in these numbers, at least not in the years I’ve lived in the area and can recall.
The higher water levels recently may have led the rabbits to look for dryer ground, Village Manager Jim Barnes said. According to the FWC, these rabbits aren’t water-shy — they make their nests near water, in thickets, stumps or logs that are lined with grass and fur.
I think there might be a lesson to learn from these adorable little critters.
Each morning, they emerge from Pine Valley Preserve to grab a meal. It just so happens that Pine Valley Preserve is right next to Elbridge Gale Elementary School. Students and parents stream past the rabbits’ home each morning and afternoon.
But the rabbits are unflappable. They munch away, undeterred by all of the noise.
The next time you drive by in the morning or evening, keep an eye out for our new friends. If you decide to walk by, keep your distance and don’t disturb them. They’ll be hard at work being adorable and munching on greens.
Pine Valley Preserve
There is an actual takeaway from this blog post, other than I wanted an excuse to post the cute photo of a rabbit that I took yesterday morning.
Pine Valley Preserve is a little gem tucked just off Forest Hill Boulevard, next to Elbridge Gale Elementary at 1465 Birkdale Dr.
With a boardwalk and gazebo, it’s a great place for a morning or evening walk. The preserve is gorgeously alive right now in the spring. Yesterday morning, I spotted an ibis, a red-winged blackbird, a purple martin and two plump blue jays, one of which got so close I almost didn’t need to zoom to take a photo.
I would suggest parking at the Wellington Branch Library and walking over. There is parking right across the street, but it’s occasionally used by parents and employees from the nearby Cambridge Schools of Wellington.
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