The adventures of Blizzard the bunny 

Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I’ll begin. Here’s the tale of Blizzard the bunny.

On Sunday afternoon, the Postcard family enjoyed a lovely Sunday lunch together in Queensway Quay marina.

We decided to put off going straight home, so we went for a wander into the Alameda Gardens to show the boys the Green Men.

It had been a very grey day, but as the sun was going down, it poked through the clouds and we had a really lovely half an hour or so in the leafy glade.

As we headed for home we found two ladies with their young daughters standing by one of the flower beds pointing. As we approached, we saw what they were pointing at, 3 rabbits. A white one (below) …

…and two brown ones. Along with a cage, which was left with the lid off and a sack of food.

The bunnies had clearly been abandoned as they were right next door to the Alameda Wildlife Park (which has some rabbit inhabitants). One of the ladies called the police to find a number for someone to come and collect the rabbits. We waited for well over half an hour and no one was coming and it was getting increasingly dark.

We decided that we would try to catch them and get them into the cage before it went dark – otherwise we wouldn’t be able to see them (especially the brown ones). The white bunny was very docile and sat for quite some time under a clump of dead flowers so was easy to pick up. The other two, however, were having a whale of a time running free in the undergrowth and they scarpered. Spotting an exit point from their location into the slope behind and through the trees and brushes beyond.

After more time passed waiting for someone to show up, we decided to take the white bunny home with us rather than leaving it out in the stormy rain which was forecast for Sunday night. We must have been quite a sight walking along the road with a rabbit cage!

Poor bunny, fancy abandoning a lovely creature like that?

I feel at this point I need to  make something clear… I am NOT an ‘animal person’. I had several goldfish and a 1/4 share in a grumpy arthritic blue and grey budgie (called Nicky) as a child, but that did not make me particularly fond of creatures up close and personal. I can appreciate the beauty and elegance of a cat and I can see the merit of a pet dog (if you have the time and room and desire for one) but I’m happy as I am thank you very much.

So, just to recap,  we went out to lunch on Sunday and came back with a very quiet, furry lodger.

Once back at our house, the bunny (who had now been named Blizzard) got a bowl of spinach, clean litter and hay,  and the empty water bottle on the cage was refilled. The cage was placed next to Bunny Postcard’s run so they could get to know each other…

I’m not sure that Bunny Postcard was too impressed with the new arrival!

Sunday night went ok, but by Monday morning, there was an almighty racket coming from Blizzard’s cage. I was witnessing some completely new rabbit behaviour. Thumping. Every minute or so, Blizzard was thumping his/her back leg against the floor of the cage in a very aggressive way. A quick Google search revealed this could mean a whole host of different things, fear, anger, threat, territorial dispute, upset etc. Well the poor rabbit had just had a very upsetting 24 hours, abandonment, being caught by strangers and brought to a strange house with a rabbit already in residence.

On Monday morning, I returned to the Alameda Gardens and visited the wildlife park. The lady there had been alerted to the the bunny situation by the police and had actually seen one of the brown escapees running through the bushes close to where they were last seen. Sadly, this is not the first time that animals have been abandoned outside the park when it’s closed.

She told me that one morning, they had arrived to work to find a cage of ferrets which had been abandoned and left overnight in a stormy wet weather. How can you do that? Anyway, the main reason for my visit was to see whether they had room for a new addition. The short answer is no. They are not an animal shelter although they do take in exotic animals seized by Customs. Looks like we may be adopting a bunny.

Next stop, the vets…..

I can now reveal that Blizzard is a girl (may need to rethink that name). She appears healthy, although a little overweight. She had a treatment for fleas and parasites, a pedicure (as her claws were a little long) and a scan to check for baby bunnies (eek).

So far there is no evidence of babies, but as bunny pregnancies only last a month, the vet couldn’t rule it out. We have to return in a fortnight for a second scan and then we can get her injections done.

So there you have it, we now have another girl bunny in the house. We can’t put them together yet, as they need to get to know each other a bit first. So after 2 weeks of being side by side, we will try putting them together in neutral territory (vet suggested the bathroom) to test how they react.

I will keep you posted on Blizzard’s progress and ours…

Sister Sledge, treasure hunts & a praying mantis: August Bank Holiday fun

 
Wow, wow, wow! I had a fantastic night on Saturday entertained on the Sunborn yacht hotel by the amazing Sister Sledge. I was well and truly star struck (my first ever single was Frankie back in 1985). They were great and put on a fantastic show.  

 
They sang loads of their old hits, except Frankie (what a disappointment) but apart from that it was a great night. Everyone was up dancing and there was a real party atmosphere. It was a fun musical prelude ahead of the great Gibraltar Music Festival which happens next weekend. For such a small community, we really are lucky with the amount of entertainment we get to experience here. 

Sunday, by comparison, was a rather quieter affair in the Postcard household, it was a dull humid day again which didn’t inspire us to venture far from home until evening. There was a bit of pottering on the patio in the afternoon, tidying up and cutting back some of the summer growth in the garden. While attending to an Oleander bush, my husband spotted this little fellow:

  
The praying mantis caused much excitement for the boys, especially our young bug enthusiast. Field notes were taken and research done.

   

Many of our patio plants are past their best now unfortunately but this sunflower, which has multiple flowers and buds up its stem just keeps going! I do love sunflowers, they are so cheery.
  
After dinner we decided to pay the Gibraltar Fair one last visit. It ran for nine days and Sunday was its last night. Could we entice one of our boys to have a go on one of the rides this time? (See this post for more on our previous trip to Gibraltar Fair)

  
The answer is ‘Yes we could!’ The youngest of the family not only had a trip round on a carousel, he also had a great time on a bouncy castle. Perhaps we are a family of doers rather than watchers after all? Watch this space!

I reckon the weather here in Gibraltar got the memo that it was a British bank holiday here too, because it was yet another grey and gloomy day on Bank Holiday Monday. I had rather hoped we could fit in a final trip to the beach before school starts next week but I wasn’t inspired by the clouds. What could we do to tire out three boys who need to start going to bed early again ahead of the fast approaching start of term? A treasure hunt! A friend of mine had mentioned geocaching to me once a while ago and I’d downloaded the app to my phone but didn’t do anything with it, until today. 

If you haven’t heard of geocaching before I’ll explain; (if you have heard of it, apologies for this bit!) the aim of the exercise is to try and find a cache. A cache can be just a piece of paper in a box or other container which is well hidden from view in sometimes quite obvious places. You use the app to find them, it tells you which direction to walk in and roughly how far you are from your destination using GPS and offers clues for where to look. When you find the cache, to mark your discovery you update the app to say you’ve found it and sign and date the piece of paper before hiding it back in it’s original hiding place. These caches are hidden all over the world by folks who presumably enjoy purting their puzzle and problem solving skills to the test.

There are quite a few of these caches dotted around Gibraltar so I decided to try the area around the Botanic Gardens as there are three nearby and if we failed in our mission, at least we could have a trip to the small zoo there.  

 
The gardens really are lovely, although the grey sky and murkiness in this photo don’t  show it off to it’s best advantage! We ambled through the gardens and paid a visit to the Alameda Wildlife Park or ‘zoo’ as we like to call it. It’s tucked away in a small corner of the gardens and offers a home to a small and eclectic collection of animals, many of which have been rescued from smugglers.

  
The pot-bellied pigs are big favourites for us, as are the tortoises.

   
Of course there a few of Gibraltar’s most famous residents, the Barbary Macaques.


Check out this little guinea pig – it’s got such a lot of hair! (Or perhaps that should be fur)

  
Back down through the gardens we headed over this gorgeous bridge over the sunken garden.

  

The garden is beautiful and a real green oasis in a rather built up environment- I do enjoy spending time here.

 
We were, of course, on a mission to find treasure or at the very least a bit of paper in a plastic box so we set off on our first mission. It was unsuccessful. Hunting around looking for something I had never seen before in grotty holes reminded me of the frustration I’m faced with daily as a mother of young boys who constantly lose toys (or bits of toys). I was not really enjoying this geocaching lark, so we gave up and went to the nearby shop and ate ice cream.

Reinvigorated and energized after a sugary treat we decided to push on and try to find a different cache. This was a short walk away and hidden in a wall. There are a lot of walls in Gibraltar and this particular one is over 100 metres long. After much rooting about in undergrowth and worried looks from passers-by I sat on a bench for a sip of water feeling defeated. That wasn’t the case for the rest of the team and the cache was discovered. There was much high-giving and congratulations. Feeling rather pleased with ourselves  we carried on and found a second one a short walk further along the road. 

I have to admit I’m intrigued by this geocaching business and would like to have another go soon. It’s interesting to see the names of the other people who have found them before you and signed the logs and also see where they have come from.  Have you had any experience of it? If so I’d love to hear from you. I haven’t included any pictures of the caches or where we found them as you may want to have a go at finding them yourself one day. That’s all for now, happy September to you all!