Kitchen Garden

Rabbits Have Returned

Unsuspecting Predator of the Garden
Unsuspecting Garden Predator

This fellow may look cute, but I caught it approaching the trays of seedlings set near the front steps. Celery, peppers and broccoli were within inches and moments of rabbit consumption when I pulled up in my vehicle after returning from the newspaper. There were three of them frolicking in the long, wet grass last night.

As long as they stay out of the garden, I don’t mind. There is clover to eat, and little human contact toward the back of the lot near the mulberry and Blue Spruce trees.

Elmer FuddI’m no Elmer Fudd, and won’t go hunting rabbits. Other natural predators almost always take their toll and reduce the population. By mid-summer there are usually no noticeable rabbits.

That said, it wouldn’t take long for a rabbit to decimate certain crops, so I train a wary eye on them when they are out and about in the habitat we created— one that suits them so well.

A lot is at stake during the 2014 midterm elections. Some of us would say there is always a lot at stake– with every legislative session, with every local initiative, with every city council and school board meeting, and with every encounter with a neighbor, friend, relative or stranger. Just about everything matters on the Iowa prairie. There is plenty to write about.

At the solstice, moving into my second of three months of summer editorship of Blog for Iowa, it is important to get the lay of the land politically. There is no way to do it other than from a ground view, and that means a few things are worth mentioning… in addition to rabbits.

First, there are only two political campaign subjects that people I meet in daily situations are talking about: Hillary Clinton and Terry Branstad.

HillaryClinton-HardChoicesCopies of Clinton’s recently published memoir are available everywhere books are sold and people are talking about her. The conversation goes something like, “what do you think about Hillary Clinton?” The question is both probing and indicative of the asker’s interest in her. I have little response, except to say “we’ll see if she runs.” She has become such a superstar that the idea of getting up close and personal with her is a dream (or if readers are wingers, a nightmare).

Regarding the governor, people say they have had enough of him. With his political barn signs dotting the landscape, extensive name recognition, and a well-funded campaign war chest, he holds the advantage going into the summer campaign. Many people won’t decide on the gubernatorial race until late October, so there is time for Jack Hatch to close the gap if he works smart.

Something else noticeable at the ground level is how intent most people seem in their lives, to the exclusion of concerns outside their immediate sphere of influence. All of the busy-ness precludes action on solutions to global problems and is more of a concern than whether people are ready for Hillary or tired of Branstad. As Marshall McLuhan’s global village failed to take root in the U.S., it is needed more than ever.