Rabbit Trails and Stuff

BunnyeatingMarigoldEarly this year, I was ranting online about the rabbit damage among my freshly-planted flowers. It was springtime and I had happily transplanted rows of beautiful marigolds. I purchased marigolds of several hues and mixed them generously across the front of my flowerbed. At that point, I should have photographed them. Because they are no more.

One of the main reasons I chose marigolds was because last spring, something quickly devoured the lovely bright red zinnias I planted. I remembered my grandmother saying you should plant marigolds to keep pests away. Well, it wasn’t quite clear what the pest was, but I was willing to try. The marigolds danced their little heads in my gardens for oh, maybe twenty-four hours.

Devastation! Oh my stars and garters! Something was quite happy with my choice of marigolds. The destruction of the zinnias was nothing compared to this.

Ah-hah! The perpetrator!

So, back to the drawing board. I looked online and found the lovely photo above. Then I caught the perpetrator red-pawed. But I’m a gentle soul and would rather discourage than draw blood or cause discomfort to a fellow earth-dweller. Except for snakes, snails, and spiders. And flies, of course, and mosquitoes, and…a few other things I won’t mention.

Stinky Stuff
Stinky Stuff

My local hardware store carried a wonderfully smelly solution. It contains a lot of garlic and yucky stuff that repels critters. It repelled me too. I had to encase the container in a sealed plastic bag between uses. But the stuff works. However, heavy rainfall this summer meant I had to reapply often to keep the ground around my new plants really stinky. Now the little hoppers head across the street and chew the neighbors’ plants. Sorry about that. No, I’m not! Ha ha!

Now I needed to fill the empty spaces inside my flowerbed. So I went back to the Internet and found some supposedly safe-from-rodents-with-big-ears plants. There aren’t very many of those plants and the list I found had a disclaimer on it that went something like this: …while these plants worked for me and my local bunnies, they may not work in your area. Good luck.

Rats! No. Rabbits!

ColeusBut I felt it was worth a try, so I headed back out to the garden center with my list in hand. Trouble is, most of these plants don’t have showy blossoms. But I found some coleuses that filled the bill. Wow, do they pack a punch in my garden. They do bloom, but it’s not a show-stopping bloom. Who needs it, however, when the leaves look like this!

Snapdragons! Little beauties of all colors and varieties. They prefer drier weather though, so didn’t do great this year. Maybe later when the weather dries up. If ever the weather dries up. And in my neck of the woods, snapdragons sometimes winter over and also reseed themselves. Two thumbs up!

Dusty Miller‘s silver leaves accent the other bright colors in the garden. And of course, there’s always geraniums. Bright red ones fill my window box. Rabbits never touch my Russian Sage, regular sage, thyme, or lavender. They don’t bother the daylilies, Stella d’oros or roses. So I’m okay there. But they love to snack on zinnias, marigolds, and petunias. 😦 They eat the leaves, the flowers–everything except one pitiful stalk attached to the roots–then the plant promptly dies. I did manage to save my petunias by sticking them in a well-guarded window box.

What a year. My garden is now filled with bright colors, but it’s so overgrown, it looks like a jungle. This is the result of the torrential rains in June and early July. I plan to spend hours out there in the fall when the temperatures cool. But that’s another subject for another day. In light of all the things that have happened in the world this year, my little rabbit woes just don’t compare.

Peter Rabbit
Peter Rabbit

But I have to admit, the research, the work, running outside to scare cottontails–it’s all been great fun. And it broke up the monotony of my more writer-ly pursuits. I hope you’re enjoying your summer, wherever you are, and can take pleasure in the small things. Even when they have big ears and a healthy appetite for marigolds.



Dianne Butts – Authorview

Dianne Butts
Nickname or “wannabe” name (If you don’t have a nickname, you can choose one you’d like, that tells us a little bit about who you are): I never had a nickname. Unless you count the one young man I worked with at a gas station/rental shop who called me Lady Di. If I could choose one? I’d choose “Sandra Bullock.”

I am: a magazine writer, book author, speaker, screenwriter, and Bible prophecy geek.

My best trait: I’m a student and teacher at heart. I have to study then share what I learn.

My bad habit: workaholic

Qualities I admire: Deep thinking.

What I like to read: nonfiction, especially about Bible prophecy. The one thing I can’t put down.

What I write: Mostly nonfiction. Working on fiction. Developing future film screenplays (which are also fiction).

What I watch:   This season we’re enjoying the new shows Legend, Gotham, Scorpion, and N.C.I.S. – New Orleans. From past seasons we still enjoy the original N.C.I.S, Blue Bloods, Royal Pains, Ice Road Truckers, and catching up on Listener though it’s no longer on. We recently discovered Longmire but now that’s canceled – hoping another network picks it up. There are certain shows we at my house used to watch but quit watching because of the continual, gratuitous sexual connections, including Cover Affairs, Defiance, and Bones. I also enjoy fun family and faith-based movies, like God’s Not Dead, and corny holiday movies on the Hallmark Chanel. We’re often filling our “watch time” with reruns of Touched by an Angel, Murder, She Wrote, or Diagnosis Murder. That might sound like a lot of watching, but I’m lucky because at my house we call all TV-watching and movie-going “research.”

My family:  One husband. One cat.

My favorite food, snack, or beverage: Ice cream. Chocolate. Any other flavor is a waste of ice cream.

What I love to do:  Besides my work? Riding motorcycles. Gardening. Photography.

What I admire:  Strong godly leaders.

What makes me happy:  Christians who firmly but lovingly stand up to erroneous or sin-tolerating thinking.

What makes me sad: Compromising the Truth of God or softening that truth in order to “accept” sinful behavior, whether due to political correctness or fear of being slammed.

I believe: Jesus is coming soon. Not a cliché. I mean really, really soon. And that when He does He will fulfill all the remaining prophecies. That the current set of four lunar eclipses are prophetically significant. That people need to come to Christ for salvation now, but there’s not much more time left.

Thanks, Dianne!  

Read more information about Dianne and her books:


Dianne E. Butts has been writing for more than twenty years with over 300 published print articles and dozens of online articles. Her work has been published in Great Britain, Bulgaria, Poland, Canada, and Korea. She has contributed to 20 books. Her book Prophecies Fulfilled in the Life of Jesus completes her 3-book “Prophecies Fulfilled” series and is her sixth print book.

Dianne is also a screenwriter. Her feature-length screenplay placed as a semifinalist in the Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays and a short script was a finalist in the 168 Film Project’s “Write of Passage.”

Buy Links & Book Info:
You can find out more about her books on her blog www.BiblePropheciesFulfilled.blogspot.com and web her site www.DianneEButts.com. For writers, Dianne offers the e-book How to Get Published by Magazine and Book Publishers and her blog www.ButtsAboutWriting.blogspot.com

How to Get Published by Magazines & Book Publishers