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Birdchick Blog

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Venting My Bunny

I love my pet rabbit Cinnamon, I really do. I miss her when I travel and she is home with Non Birding Bill.

But she is driving me up a wall!

I'm still catching up from Texas, I still have Rio Grande Valley birds and critters to talk about and I'm also in the middle of National Novel Writing Month (you try to write a novel or 50,000 words in the month of November). Both Birdfreak and I are giving it go...because you know, we don't write enough as it is. I was off to a good start, but lost momentum in Harlingen. I've been trying to catch up and was really on a roll yesterday--I typed 7086 words! I'm still behind for the month for a total of 11,587 but I'll keep going.

Cinnamon is not helping! Here she is right after I have yelled at her for nibbling my Swarovski back back. After a gave her a firm "no" and resumed typing (I have a very certain tone of voice that I use that Cinnamon understands is the I-Mean-Business-Tone). She waited and moment and then she started licking the backpack. You can't tell me rabbits aren't smart.

She has also taken to just sitting on my bag, and trying to root around inside. I think she either can smell that I have had apples in there or that I have some fruity gum (I don't give her chewing gum, but I'm sure that smells edible to her). She seems to go through phases. We have a large closet that we have converted into a "bunny room" with a Cottontail Cottage, toys, food, etc that is blocked by toddler gate when she cannot come out, usually when NBB and I are away. Sometimes she goes through a mellow phase and she sleeps under our bed or hangs out in her little hidey holes around the apartment and I know I can leave and not worry about her getting into mischief while I run errands.

But she also goes through phases of mischief obsession and is hell bent on doing the opposite of whatever we say. Last night, she kept hopping on the futon with me as I was typing, I kept putting her back down. NBB left a box of cookies on the couch and though she was insisting that wasn't her main purpose for hopping up time after time...

...if I did not pay attention, she would open the box to get at the sugary goodness on the inside. She is also going for the kitchen constantly. She's not allowed in there because she gets in the trash and I'm worried that she might find a bottle of cleaner or inappropriate bunny food. But as soon as a door closes in our apartment, she runs right for the kitchen. NBB headed out last night to help his friend Ari with his computer. Door closed, Cinnamon made a mad dash.

"Oy!" I shouted at her in that tone, "Get out of the kitchen."

She hopped out, waited for me to resume typing and went right back in. I yelled again, she did not leave. I set my lap top on the coffee table and she came tearing out of the kitchen (uh-oh, it's serious if mom puts down her laptop). From there it was an endless parade of chasing her out of the kitchen, chasing her away from chewing/licking my backpack, removing her when she hopped on my keyboard, taking her off the futon when she hopped up to steal cookies--BUTThead! I started an auction for one naughty bunny on FaceBook.

By the time NBB returned, Cinnamon was dozing on top of her Cottontail Cottage--the amount of mischief was just exhausting. He didn't believe that this peacefully sleeping bunny could be so naughty.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Disapproving Rabbits At The Science Museum

Last night I was working at the Mississippi River Visitor Center at the Science Museum listening to the cool song stylin's of the Brass Messengers (they were there for a wedding reception held at the museum) when I looked up from the counter and saw two people approaching me with Disapproving Rabbits shirts--the old school brown shirts. Two Cinnamon fans came up from Iowa to visit the Twin Cities and had me on the itinerary. Since they arrived about 45 minutes before I closed and Non Birding Bill was coming to pick me up, I called and asked if he would mind bringing Cinnamon with him. They were happy to hang around the VC and the museum to wait for NBB.

Because of the collections, animals aren't allowed in the Science Museum but Cinnamon frolicked on the front lawn and we got a photo. They even stuck around while we got a fast Sunday Cinnamon photo. She really seemed to enjoy the night air and she always enjoys attention--even at the ripe old age of nine (my Cinnabutt is nine, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around her mortality).

Thanks so much for visiting us Iowans!

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Morning With Cinnamon

We tried to get Cinnamon to pose with some peeps this morning, but that seemed to not dignify our girl, however having her own MySpace Page and BunSpace Page is ok. Don't worry, she's not being held down in the above photo, Non Birding Bill is petting her. You can see more photos of her and her Peeps at Disapproving Rabbits and below is a video of her gettin' some bunny lovin' (bonus points to those who can id the two people singing in the duet in the background):

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Monday, February 25, 2008

I Heart Amy Sedaris

Amy Sedaris (who happens to love Disapproving Rabbits) has managed to make a video that mimics my life, only substitute birding for baking.


Monday, January 28, 2008

I Just Bring It Out

I took this photo of Cinnamon during the interview last night. This is the stare down--she does this hoping that if she stares at me long enough, she will have willed me into giving her a treat.

Well, last night's online show (The Rabbit Show) took a weird turn. I guess when you have an online show hosted on Talk Shoe, you can have a forum going where people can ask questions and it's very interactive. And as happens in forums, someone joined and started asking...well let's just say they were questions that Cinnamon would not approve of. The poor host seemed surprised and flustered. My inclination would have been to just giggle quietly and ingore it, but the host was trying to delete them, which I think just made the anonymous posters pose even worse questions. Then, there was an odd sound and I couldn't hear the host. I figured I was on hold or the show was stopped because of the questions. Non Birding Bill was in the other room listening live and shouted, "Hey keeping talking--he's not on, but I can hear you, fill the dead air."

So, I kind of "umed" and "ahed" and "you knowed" my way into getting rabbits from humane societies, it was very strange. And fortunately, there were people asking questions that didn't involve impossible rabbit mating processes (thank you to all those kind folks) and I was able to speak to those.

The host made it back on--he had a power surge from his house and got knocked off the show. An eventful interview to say the least. You can download a podcast version here. I guess I was the first author he had on his show--I hope the experience didn't sour him on future guests on his show. Thanks, Dan, for having me on and for promoting the book.

After it was finished, NBB shook his head and said, "You just bring that out in people, don't ya my little trouble maker."

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bees In The Snow

Thank you to do Stacy Kagiwada for getting this awesome photo of Cinnamon! This is from the Indianapolis book signing, you can see more here--wow, Stacy has really nailed how to get a disapproval out of my bunny. I just love this one below--Cinnamon's totally disapproving of me in the background. Stacy also got a shot of Non Birding Bill and I together--we have so few of us in the same shot, I love it!

Whoa, doggies! Sounds like I'll be signing lots of Disapproving Rabbits books tomorrow. About a month after the book came out, we learned that Harper Collins had run out of the DR book and were going to print more. According to UPS, the packages will be dropped off tomorrow and I'll be signing away so we can mail them out on Friday and get them to people in time for Christmas.

It continues to be super cold here, but very lovely--like this puffed up little downy woodpecker. This morning I woke to 5 degrees but I am assured by the weatherman that it will warm up to twenty degrees before the sun sets at 4:30pm. I went out check on the beehives.

Single digit temperatures are much easier to take in when there is snow. Also, between all of my layers, hand warmers and the marching motion I have to do to maneuver over unplowed paths in the woods, I can work up quite a sweat. It's a strange quiet in the woods, and all you hear is the chip note of a chickadee, the industrious soft tapping of several woodpeckers, and crow caws echoing off of the hillsides. So different from the cacophony of warblers and vireos in spring and the dry humming and buzzing of katydids and grasshoppers in late summer.

I took a very long route to the hives to enjoy the scenery in the snow. The creek on Mr. Neil's property is almost completely frozen, apart from a few pockets that the birds are using for drinking water. I can't believe I've seen some ice fishing houses out already on some of the lakes in town--it's too soon. If there is still some slush on the lake, it's too soon, you crazy fishing people! As I was working my way to the field near our hives, I noticed a strong aroma.

Hoo-wee, you've been warned of yellow about brown snow? Someone must have run a manure spreader right after our last big snowfall. It was still very pungent--and rock solid.

The path to the hives was dug deep into the snow with splatters of hard poop. I know the kind of enjoyment I get from walking through fresh snow...I wonder if it's the same when one is riding a manure spreader. There's a huge field full of pristine snow and you're gonna cover it with some hot liquid manure. Good times. Actually, I had to chuckle, because the field is part of a network of snow mobile trails...I would wager that there have been some very disappointed snow mobile drivers who were raring to go after our first big snow of the season only to come upon that road block of several acres.

But I made my way to the hives and found Kitty nestled in the snow. I put my ear up to the hive and you could hear all the bees inside buzzing softly keeping the hive warm. Incredible.

You will note that the snow just around the hives is melted away--they keep it that warm! Again--Incredible. And now in French--Incroyable!!

There were some dead bees outside of the hives, here's a little pile in front of Olga. I had closed the entrance reducer, but Mr. Neil read about some Canadian beekeepers, leaving it open a little bit for some air circulation. The bees seemed to have covered the entrance holes with dead bees on the inside, so I'm not sure if they need in ventilation or not. There's a small hole at the top as well, so they can take cleansing flight. I'm not too worried about. After all, our bees have insulation around their hive, in the wild, they don't have anything, but their honey and their little wings to maintain temperature. I put my ear up to Olga and you could hear the humming in there too. Amazing, just amazing to hear them living on the other side of some thin pieced of wood while it's in the single digits outside. Ah, my bees, I miss you. Can't wait to play with you next spring.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fun With An Indoor Cat

Here is my Mom's following the bouncing Disapproving Rabbit (you might want your computer on mute so you don't have to hear my big ole donkey laugh):

You can also get a low down of the book signing at that we had at Big Hat Books in Indianapolis.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Disapproving Rabbits In Indy

This is a photo by John Rubbo, the official photographer of the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society. He took this at the DreamHaven Book Release party.

Well, we have a whirlwind trip to Indianapolis coming up next week. Cinnamon and I will be on Daybreak Saturday Morning on WISH TV sometime between 8:30am - 9am. That afternoon, we'll be doing a book signing at Big Hat Books at 4pm. Members of the Indiana House Rabbit Society will be on hand with literature about whether or not a rabbit is the right pet for you and have live foster bunnies.

I don't think I can manage a Birds and Beers, we just don't have enough time on this visit--I have a large family so it's hard to squeeze everything in. Speaking of which, my mom will be at the signing. If you think I'm short, wait until you see her. And if anyone is curious, Non Birding Bill will be on hand too on bunny wrangling duty. So, come meet Cinnamon and learn about a great rabbit organization in Indiana.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Disapproval Partay! Friday Night!

Above is the man responsible for getting Disapproving Rabbits to the masses. That's Matthew who was my editor on the book. I got to meet him for the first time while I was in New York this week. It was about this time last year that he emailed and asked if we would like to turn our web page into a book. Thanks, Matt!

Speaking of which, it's time for the Disapproving Rabbits Party at DreamHaven Books--it's tonight at 6:30pm--there will be cookies! live bunnies! and Cinnamon! Afterwards, there's a group heading to Charlie's in Stillwater for some great music care of Lorraine and Paul.

While in New York, I met up with some great artist friends including Mimi Ko (on the left) and Kelli Bickman (on the right). Rumor has it that Kelli is going to paint a hive for us for next year...can't wait to see it. Here we were, three hot arty chicks on the town.

Our first stop was a place where Kelli did all the artwork--very cool. Any New Yorkers stopping at the new location of the City Gourmet, take note of all her art. If it's colorful, it's Kelli's.

We stopped at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square and I was excited to see the Disapproving Rabbits book on prominent display--face out and everything--and I didn't even do it, it was like that when I got there.

We found a copy at a Borders in Columbus Circle--they only had one copy left!

On our travels we found a Chet Baker purse. I was tempted to purchase it for Julie, but was worried the real Chet would chew it before she had a chance to use it around town.

Our travels eventually took us by the Colbert Report Studios and I couldn't resist popping in for a photo. I took a photo of the Colbert Report portrait just for Laura Erickson. I'm not sure what she would do if she saw this painting...or if it would be legal.


Friday, October 26, 2007

MSNBC Holy Crap

MSNBC has a story about rabbits on the Internet and it features Cinnamon and Disapproving Rabbits!

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Monday, October 15, 2007


Hey Disapproving Rabbit fans, there's a caption contest going on over at Neatorama and you can get a sneak peak of some of the bunnies in the book.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Workin' On The Books

Woof. I have a lot of signing to do. I bailed on Carpenter banding this morning because I'm behind on some blog posts, I'm going hawk banding this weekend and need to get some work done if I'm gonna sit in a blind for two days, and holy cow you guys are so cool and have ordered a lot of books for me to personalize. My goal is to get them done this weekend and to commence the shipping on Monday. But, really, holy cow, thank you to everyone who has ordered a book, it's an overwhelming and strange sensation that something that started as joke between my and my husband got turned into a book and so many people enjoy it. I am truly grateful and never cease to be amazed by what a strange and delightful trip life can be.

I haven't found an ink I feel safe using on Cinnamon's paw for her to do a "pawtograph" and she would not be happy to have Non Birding Bill and myself hold her down and mark a bunch of books. However, she seems to tolerate running a book across her back (see how thrilled she looks?) so I can get you some Cinnamon DNA on your book (or at the very least bunny fur) and your book will absorb a lot of disapproval. It should be palpable when you open the package.

Last night I picked up NBB from work to go out and do some celebrating of the book's arrival. When we pulled into the liquor store parking lot, I saw Leann and Jon who designed and produce our Disapproving Rabbit shirts (by the way, Carri Ann, they LOVED disapproval gate). I fumbled in the car for a book and went to personalize one for them. I was so flustered because it was the first official autograph, it's illegible, I made up a word, and when I got to the actual signature...well it was sad. They laughed and said they were honored to get the very first autograph. They were being kind. Leann mentioned that the brown women's shirt is being discontinued and Jon says he has a new design he's working on so be prepared for a new disapproval shirt, and if you want to be someone who has one of the original Disapproving Rabbit shirts (you liked Disapproving Rabbits before they were popular), you might want to get one fairly soon.

And don't forget, if you would like to meet Cinnamon in person and learn more about living with a rabbit and meet some foster rabbits looking for a new home, we are having a Disapproving Rabbits Party at DreamHaven Books on November 2, 2007 at 6:30pm.

Okay, now to work on the next blog entry--brace yourself for a super cute junco photo as well as lots of brown birds!

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Look What UPS Just Delivered

"What, am I supposed to chew on all these?"

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Scott Weidensaul On Disapproving Rabbits

Here comes some major name dropping:

Thank you Scott Weidensaul!!

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Disapproving Rabbits in USA Today's Blog

This is the weirdest sensation I've ever had. The Pop Candy blog at USA Today has a mention of the Disapproving Rabbits book...and they are encouraging people to buy it...and I'm not related to anyone on staff...the blogger did of her own accord. Thanks, Whitney!


Monday, September 24, 2007

Birdchick Mention In The Wall Street Journal

Well, I was called perky and witty in the New York Times Last year, and now the Wall Street Journal confirms my status as falling short of geeky. So, if you come by my blog for the first time via WSJ, welcome! Here's the mention (and as luck would have it, I was getting a good whiff of red-tail this weekend and have a photo to go along with it) and I've linked to the entries the article mentions:

This blog by Sharon Stiteler, based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, aims to "show the world that you can be a birder without being a geek," according to its masthead. Her recent video of a Peregrine falcon tearing a piece of meat to shreds certainly falls short of geeky.

Ms. Stiteler talks about birding on a couple of radio shows in the Minnesota area, and her blog is packed with information about birds on the prairie and in more urban habitats. In one recent post, she explains how to tell the difference between a juvenile male cardinal and a female cardinal -- neither of which has the bright plumage associated with adult males -- by the color of their bills. A separate post describes a particular insight that comes from being close to wild birds: "I love the good, warm, feathery smell of a bird. Not all birds have this, eagles for example smell like an empty 35mm film canister. Great-horned owls frequently smell of skunk or at the very least three-day-old road kill. . . . Red-tailed hawks have a wild alive smell."

Congrats to Birds Etcetera, Bill of the Birds, 10,000 Birds, and I and the Bird for getting a mention too.

And to take advantage of the all the extra traffic and continue my usual shameless self promotion, I do have a book coming out October 16, 2007 titled Disapproving Rabbits, based on the website and my pet rabbit Cinnamon. We also talk about beekeeping and a favorite reader post appears to be my recent bee sting, so if you need a laugh, you might want to take a look at that.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

A quick note

Hello, all, NBB here. Sharon's running off to her segment on Showcase Minnesota, but she wanted me to let you all know that as she was heading out the door, UPS delivered her advance copy of the Disapproving Rabbits Book!

I quote verbatim:

"It's soooooooo cool! I opened a page and, there's a picture of Latte (our first rabbit)!"

Sharon asked me to let you all know that. The book is being published in October, and the reason it's taken so long for us to get an advance copy is that as soon as they show up in the publisher's office, they disappear. Yay.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Buy my book! (in the future)

Throw away your calendars! They are needed no more!

Sharon's editor sent us this little piece of joy:


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Monday, August 27, 2007

New Form Of Disapproving Rabbits

"Ah! My book is coming out in October?! And I can personally disapprove of each one before we ship them out?"

We've changed the format a bit of Disapproving Rabbits. Don't worry, the original pages are still available, but we've decided to continue it in blog form. New, daily disapproval...can you handle it?

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Help Promote Disapproving Rabbits

The sad thing is that when I took this photo, I was sining. I don't think she cares for my singing.

Hey blog readers, could I impose on you for a moment?

Because I'm new and unheard of, I'm going to be responsible for promoting Disapproving Rabbits. Could ask y'all a favor? I just noticed on the Ellen Degeneres site that they are looking for weird websites they haven't heard of. If you have a spare few minutes and could put in a note about Disapproving Rabbits (, that would be awesome. Wouldn't it be fun to see Cinnamon on national tv?



Monday, August 06, 2007

Word On Disapproving Rabbits

Well, I just got off the phone with Harper Collins and got some great news about the Disapproving Rabbits book - both Barnes and Noble and Borders have ordered large quantities of the book! Actually, those two orders are more than half of the first printing--I think that's a good sign. Whoot!

We're now in the process of scheduling signings and appearances. If you think that your local book store or tv station would be interested in booking us (I'm going to try and take Cinnamon with me when I can) then email me at sharon at birdchick dot com. Also, if you know of any publications in your area that might appreciate a press release, please let me know.

The official date the book is ready for sale is October 15--right before Cape May Autumn Weekend/First Annual Blogger Conference.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Little Disapproval Cleansing

After the last twenty-four hours, I thought I might cleanse the blog and give you an online experience of feeding Cinnamon treats and giving her velvety face some scratching--all the while taking in the brunt of her disapproval.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Cinnamon potpurri

In lieu of a post today, I present a series of miscellaneous Cinnamon pictures. The insects done wore me out.

Cinnamon is a Castor Rex, bred for their fur, which is very soft. Wild rabbits have a combination of long and short hair. Cinnamon's is all short.

She's a curious rabbit, and by that, I mean she likes to explore. Sometimes I worry she gets too bored, so we try to take her out to the park when it's not too hot, or into the hallway to let her stretch her legs. Most of the other rabbits we've had were content with the apartment, but Cinnamon likes to explore.

It took us forever to find a treat that she liked. I don't know what her life was like before we got her from the shelter (we were told the previous owners had a baby, which is why they gave her up), but we couldn't get Cinnamon to take any treats at all. It was weird.

Then one day some dried cranberries spilled on the floor and she snarfed them up like a vacuum cleaner. That was when the penny dropped and she realized that HUMANS COULD BE A SOURCE OF FOOD!
Which was all well and good until she also realized that the food came from the kitchen, the one area we don't want her to go into it, since that's where the trash is.
Combined with her naturally curious nature, it's becoming sort of a game for her to see how close she can go into the kitchen before we yell, and--more importantly--get up. When we shout, she'll pause for a moment and look back to see if we're getting up. If we don't, she just keeps on doing what she's doing. But if we get up, then she knows we mean business and she scampers off. Until she thinks we're not paying attention.

She's lost a lot of weight in the last year, which has made her even more active.

When Sharon wanted to put up a section of rabbit photos on her (then) new website, I thought it was a dumb idea. This was a site about wildlife after all; why put up pictures of domestic rabbits? Who'd wanna look at that?

"Disapproving rabbits" was the last thing I put up, and grudgingly. Joke's on me! Especially when the book comes out in October.

Okay, I'm off to read some Gene Wolfe and veg. We will hopefully have a more coherent post tomorrow.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

For Teageeare

Who tells me that I don't put enough Kabuki in the blog:
Here is my cranky little cockatiel, eyeing my inbox, hoping I will not notice if he pulls out and chews some paper. He and Cinnamon are about to go an a small adventure. We're going to dog sit for the next few days and we're bringing the pets with us.

I can't believe blogging escaped from me for a couple of days--it turned much busier here than I had anticipated. Next weekend should be about the same. I took Cinnamon with me to Carpenter Nature Center on Friday. I got an email a few weeks ago from some blog readers who said they might join us for banding. They asked if Cinnamon would be there and originally I had said no, but Thursday night and Friday morning, she was doing all those things that say, "Hey, mom, I need some stimulation." ie - digging in her litter box and sneaking into the kitchen. So, on went her leash and she went with me to Carpenter and found a whole slew of new things to disapprove of.

Even though we can still get her to put on the leash and harness without too much of a fuss doesn't mean she tries to chew and whip it off when she thinks I'm not looking.

We're getting in quite a few of the summer residence. Above is a male robin we have had in the nets twice this summer. You can tell he is male by the dark head and the darker rusty breast. Boy, he really looks unhappy in this photo.

We also got in this hairy woodpecker. Notice anything strange about him? Check out his red patch--it's on the front of his head and not the back--a way you can tell if the bird just hatched this year when it is at your feeder.

Cinnamon was not as impressed with all the banding going on and was way more interested in exploring all the prairie grasses. Just by hopping in a few feet, she would completely disappear.

Apart from the leash, the only other way you could tell she was in there was by watching a tall piece of grass waver for a moment and then fall over as she had chewed its stalk. She was almost on sensory overload with the abundance of chewables at her feet.

To a blade of grass, she's kind of a scary looking monster. Afterwards, she kept me company as i scouted for a field trip that I was leading on Saturday. Which I will blog about later tonight. Right now, I have to go out and check on the bee situation...have I prevented a swarm...will the Olga hive be ready for a queen excluder...what wonderful bee adventures will I encounter this week?

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Beware The Disdain Of The Urban Rabbit

First, check it out: Wil Wheaton had a black phoebe nesting on his porch (yes, it is that Wil Wheaton).

I can't believe I was late to a meeting today to get a photo of this, but when I notice nature, especially nature that is disapproving, I must obey the call to digiscope it.

I was walking to my car when I saw the above urban bunny spread out on the lawn on the side of our apartment building. Hey, Dawn, see why I was a little late--even you couldn't have passed this by! I was 1:40 pm, broad daylight. See what a general lack of red-tailed hawks will do--produce willful bunnies. This must be part of Cinnamon's posse.

The rabbit did stretch out, stood up, and then gave me head on disapproval mixed with some aloofness. As soon as this bun sat up, I noticed something else pop up much like a submarine's periscope from the ocean right behind it.

Another rabbit, loafing in the grass! It must have cocked one ear up when it heard the first rabbit stir. I would guess, baby bunnies cannot be far behind.

And as a teaser for the next blog post. Can you guess who these two bloggers are? Both frequently comment on this blog...

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Disapproving Rabbits Band Aid

Okay, Disapproving Rabbit fans, I know the disapproval entries have been slow this spring--but hey, that's how the bird readers of the blog feel in winter when the birding is slow and I load up on Cinnamon entries. So, here's a little Cinnamon report:

I took Cinnamon with us this weekend--she did not go with us out to the bee hives but did get some quality time with Non Birding Bill and myself--whether she wanted it or not. We brought along her leash and did a good job of keeping her away from Cabal the Wonder Dog. I was sitting outside with her and had her on her extra long leash. We attached her leash to the legs of a trampoline and I sat with her, just in case she got tangled. Someone who had never met Cinnamon came down to experience the disapproval and when Cinnamon had had enough of people stroking her velvety soft fur, she hopped away.

As she hopped away, I noticed the leash was loosely wrapped around her back paw. Not wanting her to get tangled, I crawled over to move the leash. Cinnamon must have thought I was going to grab her and take her in, because she ran the other direction and sure enough, the loop acted as a noose on her back paw. When a rabbit is scared, they panic and try to get away in any way possible--this can help save them by making a last minute jump away from a golden eagle, or in the case of Cinnamon--tangle her up further.

Cinnamon then tried to jump in every direction and squirm out of her harness, which somehow wedged the whole front section of her body into the harness, binding her front paws...that's when I heard the sound no rabbit owner ever wants to hear--the rabbit scream. I tried to twist around and grab Cinnamon but she kept going around behind me and hopping up my back--she was slippery and I couldn't grab her. The screaming and the idea that Cinnamon could be breaking bones tangled in the leash boiled panic in my mind. I forced myself to try to keep calm and just take time to do it right. I finally grabbed hold of Cinnamon (still screaming) and asked for a knife to cut her out of the harness. But before anyone could move, I found the quick release and she was out and the screaming ceased. It felt like it took ten minutes to get her out, but Non Birding Bill assured me that it was barely a minute and was surprised at how fast I moved and got her out of the leash.

I sat with her for several minutes snuggled in close next to my chest--her breathing was raspy from all the screaming. NBB forced me into the house so we could look her over and see where she was hurt--I kind of didn't want to, imagining the worst possible damage. We set her on some carpet and she hopped normally, no limping, no favoring of any paws. She flopped onto the floor and I laid down next to her to pet and stroke her ears and apologize for not getting her out of the leash sooner. After a few minutes, she got up, shook her ears and nudged me hard as if to say, "Hey, I'm over it, now you get over it. It was far more embarrassing for me."

That night when I finally went to bed in the guest room, Cinnamon was sleeping on my side of the bed with NBB (that big pile of sheet behind Cinnamon is NBB). She seems to be saying in this photo, "Want to make it up to me? Then YOU sleep on the towel on the floor."

I don't think she hurt herself too badly. I think she just got bound up and couldn't get free and that freaked her out, causing her to panic and scream. It's so strange, I've heard the rabbit scream many times before in the wild--I've even mimicked it to call in hawks, owls, coyotes, and foxes. But, man o man, is it different when it's your very own disapproving rabbit.

But all is well and she's snoozing in her little Fortress of Solitude at home.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Belated Bee Report: Unregulated Comb Construction

QUICK NOTE: As of the posting of this entry, no one has correctly guessed the id of the bird in this entry...although the guesses are getting VERY close.

"I disapprove of being any part of your mad pollination schemes!"

I can't believe it! I got Non Birding Bill out to the hives! There he is standing next to the Olga hive, right before he opened up her entrance reducer. I have to say, he looks mighty cute in the bee suit. The suits were built for men and the guys look kinda sexy in them. Lorraine and I tend to look more like Oompa Loompas with the suits on. Sigh. But, I'd rather risk looking like a chocolate factory worker than getting stung.

Here's a big pile of Kitty bees. Saturday, was about checking comb construction and adding another brood box. The Olga bees had filled 80% of the frames with drawn out comb, which meant it was time to add another box for them to build even more comb. I would say that Olga is a full frame ahead of Kitty, but Kitty has some of her own weirdness going on that may in fact put her ahead of Olga.

Olga continues her odd comb construction. This particular frame appeared to have waves of comb built across it as opposed to a flat layer of comb across the frame. I didn't want to kill any more brood than I needed to, so left this odd construction. I'm sure this is going to bite me on the butt later this summer, but the girls are working on hatching the first brood and I think that's more important to let the odd comb go as opposed to killing off brood. Besides, this is a learning summer for me.

We found Queen Olga with very little effort this time. She was on one of the outer frames with fresh honey in it, looking for cells to lay her eggs.

Kitty has gone from being a textbook hive, to making some funky comb like Olga. As soon as we opened the top, we could see the workers placing comb on the tops of the frames. I hate to discourage creativity, but we scarped it off since there weren't any eggs or larvae inside it.

The Kitty bees weren't doing the waves of comb like Olga, but have made their comb in layers. Instead of drawing up the comb from the frame's wax base, they appear to have made a layer on top of the frame and are tunneling between the frame and newly made comb. We weren't able to find the queen, but I'm sure she was running around between the layers and we couldn't see her. We did see several eggs which implied that she was alive and healthy. Even though Olga has filled out more frames, I wonder if Kitty is actually ahead, since she appears to be doubling up each frame?

If anyone has experience with this or advice, I sure would love to hear it.

As we were checking the Kitty hive, the oddest thing happened--a plane crashed. Seriously! We heard a crashing in the trees right overhead, we all looked up and saw what at first looked like a large branch falling to the ground.

It turned out to be a radio controlled plane falling to the ground. We didn't hear it fly overhead, but heard it landing in the trees. At first we weren't sure if it had been in the tree for a few days and finally fell or if it flew over and crashed in the tops of the trees while we were working. After about 10 minutes, the plane's owners arrived. I chuckled at the idea of them coming to look for the plane if we had not been there, only to find it behind two beehives.

As if the plane crash weren't weird enough, check out the name on the plane: Yellow Bee. Ooooooo. We're getting an exorcist and this time I mean it (NBB at least will get that reference).

As we were adding another brood box to Kitty, we couldn't help but notice all the foragers coming back loaded up with pollen. It's interesting to see the distinct colors based on the type of flower they were gathering from. Some have orange colored pollen baskets, some bright yellow.

Here is a worker that I affectionately refer to as thunder thighs--she's an over achiever when it comes to gathering pollen. How did she fly back with that much weight? I don't know, but I sure am proud of this little Kitty bee.

So, now we leave our bees alone to create more worker bees, fill in the frames of the second brood box and to gather nectar and pollen. It will be at least another week until I check on them again. I hope they do well.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cinnamon Is Not Amused

Warning: The following commercial is not in any way real...but it's chuckle worthy:


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Per Request--Disapproval

Some people are begging for disapproval--you people are sick. We're working on another page of disapproval and should be up within the next 48 hours.

There's been nonstop disapproval since returning from Ohio. It's my own fault, I scheduled a nail trim and a yearly exam for Cinnamon the morning we left town. Above is a photo of some massive disapproval while waiting in the vet's office. You can see that realization has just kicked in--that this time the leash didn't mean a fun romp in the park, but poking, prodding, and clipping. The good news: she's very healty for a six year old rabbit.

We're trying to bond to with Cinnamon again, but she is having nothing to do with us. Five days with a pet sitter after a vet visit is just too much. She has holed up in her little bunny fortress of solitude.

Whew, that's bordering on most intense disapproval territory...I backed away from the box slowly and let her stew in peace.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Disapproving Rabbits Book Is Coming!

My niece Laura offered to be a model for my website--she's so cute, I wish that we had more shirts for her to model. Nice to know that she is spreading the Disapproving Rabbits culture around the Indiana University Campus!

Right before I left for Indiana, we got a proof of the Disapproving Rabbits book so we could check captions and photos--this book is barreling ahead at great speed. I think it really is going to come out this fall. We gave it to Cinnamon for her approval, but she's dismayed that she is not the only rabbit in the book--she has the most photos, but it's not all about her.

Wow, I'm officially a kept woman--kept by her pet bunny.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

What Is My Bunny Singing?


"I disapproved myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy way!"

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Cinnamon the Disapproving Rabbit Streaming on the Internet!

Just a Show has just put up Episode 30 with the big Cinnamon interview. You can watch it from their site or go to iTunes and download it under podcasts. Look for Just A Show Episode 30. We're about 13 - 14 minutes into the show and you do need to watch the Virgin Islands sketch to understand the question that I ask a the end of the segment.

You can't see it, but there is a big billowy cloud of bunny fur around the host Keith King and myself while we are talking. Poor Cinnamon was too nervous to eat parsley but she did well for her first interview.

Thanks, so much, Keith, for having us on. We had a great time and totally enjoyed the popcorn you gave us. Keith sent us a DVD, so Non Birding Bill and I are going to see if we can get just the Cinnamon part on the website.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rabbits USA

We just got the lates issue of Rabbits USA and Disapproving Rabbits is in it! We're in a section called "Wonders of the Web" on page 74.

Go out and grab a copy today. We usually buy it at PetSmart, but I'm sure most pet stores carry.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gigantic Disapproving News!

We interrupt the coverage of the Rio Grande Valley Bird Fest for a special announcement.

First, remember the Disapproving Rabbits Shirt idea? You can view the graphic here. The caption will read "Nope. No, sir, I don't approve." and the back will have on it.

The shirts are brown Hanes Beefy T-shirts and available in mens or womens sizes and will retail for $15 plus shipping and handling. Before I order, I need to get an idea of what people will want. Can you either leave the number of shirts you plan to order in the comments section or email me privately at sharon at birdchick dot com. Please note sizes. I don't want to go crazy Broadway-style when I order but I don't want to run out of shirts for people who are planning to give them as holiday gifts. I plan on placing the order over the coming weekend. I will order some extras.

And since Lynne brought it up as a suggestion in the comments section, I have other very super exciting news. Harper Collins has offered to turn Disapproving Rabbits into a book that hopefully will be out next fall. It will not be just Cinnamon...which she is not happy about:

"What do you mean I'm not the only one in the book?"

I am on a quest to photograph 200 some odd bunnies disapproving of various things over the next few months. What a way to make a living! Who knew this would happen when I started this site? I sure didn't know. I can remember when Non Birding Bill and I were kicking around ideas for this site and I said that I wanted a page of Disapproving Rabbits. He said I was crazy and no one would get it, especially since it was a bird site. I said that I didn't care as long as one person just happened to find it on a lunch break and got a chuckle out of it, that was enough for me. Who knew this would happen.

The poor editor at Harper Collins got an earful when he made the offer. I was so excited and disbelieving I unleashed a huge amount of profanity uncontrollably. Looking back, I'm a tad embarrassed by my lack of decorum, good thing Cinnamon wasn't there. I'm not sure I would have survived that disapproval.

Speaking of disapproving, NBB has added another page of disapproval.

Anyone out there have a gaggle of bunnies for me to photograph?

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