Crap, the rabbits are back. Hungry rabbits. Subaru-eating rabbits.
Wild rabbits took over our lives during the first winter we lived in our Taos house on the sage-covered mesa. One morning, after an early cold and snowy snap, the Subaru’s “check engine light” came on. When I popped the hood, I saw the distributor wires had been chewed. I saw droppings in the snow. Damn rabbits.
We replaced the wires.
Then, damn rabbits, it happened again a couple of days later. I even found the culprit when I raised the hood. My scream startled the little beast.
I heard horror stories from neighbors whose cars were also attacked by rabbits. One woman once found three inside her car’s engine compartment. Her mechanic called everyone in the garage to take a look. She ended up having the bottom of her car wired to keep out the varmints.
Here is what I found out: the wiring has soy-based wrappings. Rabbits and mice love them.
I took action. After I drove home, I waited until the engine was cool. I lifted the hood, covered the crucial parts with the floor mats, rubber needles up, and left containers of mothballs before I shut the hood. I reversed the process in the morning.
Then, I bought a bale of hay and placed it in the snow away from the car. I figured it was cold and since snow covered the ground, the rabbits didn’t have food. I’d serve them hay.
Then, something unexpected happened. While the rabbits feasted on alfalfa, the hawks feasted on them. The rabbits were gone. But I didn’t take a chance. I continued to protect the engine until the spring when there was grass again, and then resumed the next winter.
I thought our troubles were over. I lived in harmony with rabbits since. We fenced my gardens and used wire mesh a few feet below ground so they couldn’t dig. I watched them hop around the back yard as they fed on prairie grass.
But it got awfully cold Sunday. We had snow. Early. Sound familiar? And yes, the rabbits got hungry again.
So now we are back to popping the hood and going through the routine again. Hank got a bale of alfalfa for the rabbits. Let’s hope they prefer that to wires. I’ll let you know how we make out.