June 22, 2016
- as seen by -Barbara Russo
I like to walk or jog around my Staten Island neighborhood when the sun goes down to both relax and get exercise. But while I’m out enjoying the fresh air and whatever elements the weather offers, I like to do something else: Count the eastern cottontails I spot along my route. I do this mostly in the spring, summer, and early fall when I’m likely to see these bunnies. Now, the eastern cottontail isn’t endangered. In fact, they are quite plentiful in my locale. But having lived in the same neighborhood my entire life, I can’t recall seeing as many eastern cottontails as I’ve been the last five or six years.
I see these fawn-colored rabbits doing different things as I work out. I’ve seen them chase each other on sprawling lawns, and lounge in the grass. I’ve seen them eat and run at high speeds from yard to yard. They’ve even startled me when they come out of nowhere and hop right across my path. My favorite encounter with an eastern cottontail was when I just got through feeding my domestic rabbits when I left my house to do an errand and saw one sitting right next to my car!
I’m not sure why I see more cottontails in my neighborhood in recent years. Maybe I’ve just become more alert to them. Whatever the reasons, I do enjoy seeing these little guys when I’m outside, and they are always welcome in my yard along with their other local wildlife friends.