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Family Matters/Brian Foreman

Spring sprung, then retreated

March 31, 2012
The Daily Mining Gazette

We were blessed with spring weather during this month.

I saw many people leaving their treadmills indoors and running outside, and then the cold came back. There was a cartoon circulating on Facebook that showed a non-Yooper enjoying the warm weather as surely a sign of a pleasant summer ahead and then a Yooper on the other side saying, "We're going to pay for this."

I've stated my lack of fondness for winter, so I've learned over the years to not curse the heat but rather embrace it. I plan on snow-birding sometime in the distant future and will have to enjoy the heat, so it doesn't pay to complain now. During this heat streak I went out and bought seeds and started them indoors, all the while chanting, "It's only March, it's only March." There isn't anything worse than tall thin seedlings that will only wilt and die after two months of only window light and daily watering.

This is the year I'll garden, mostly container gardening, but I'll give it a shot. I've never been successful at growing pumpkins, so those are my focus.

We had a sad event that happened too during this early spring and that was the loss of one of our bunnies. "Jack Rabbit," or "Jack Bunny" depending on our mood, was about 5 years old and was a Himalayan albino - a big white bunny with the trademark pink eyes. He chipped a tooth and never recovered his passion for food; bunnies need food daily and a lot of it. Jack will be missed even though I called him our "big bunny" due to our other two nearly 8-year-old littermates that are of the miniature variety. Right now some of you are saying, "What, 5 years old, almost 8 years old? My bunny didn't live that long!"

This gets me to the second part of this spring has sprung column, and that is Easter is right around the corner and some people feel bunnies are a great gift. Let me advise you on why they might not be. Rabbits need their cages cleaned daily or you'll smell them; that is, if you keep them indoors which does help with their lifespan. They need a constant supply of timothy hay to keep their "gut" moving along with pellets for protein and the occasional treat. Rabbits, if left unattended, will chew through your charger cords and any available wood trim. Our bunny Max came from a home where he did maximum destruction to their walls and furniture. I'm not writing this to say that bunnies are a bad pet because they are not. They are intelligent, playful and a very quiet animal. But, and this is a big but, they are a ton of work and when then get sick, if not treated, will take days to die.

With all of this said, the best way to raise a bunny is as if they were a cat or dog; they need attention, food and medical care. If you do decide to give one this Easter to your child, plan on being the caregiver. Now, if they asked for a bunny, go over the amount of care, and remember a healthy bunny can live to be more than 10 years old.

Hopefully April will bring warm weather so we can all break the earth and prepare for late May and early June to get our seedlings and seeds in the ground. Lastly, if you do get a bunny, their droppings are great fertilizer.

Brian Foreman can be reached at



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