You know that scene in the original Jurassic Park movie when the velociraptors attack the humans using a complex hunting strategy?
One raptor stares at you from straight ahead, while another one appears flank left. You acknowledge their genius with a gentlemanly “Clever girl,” and then they eat you.
Well, forget raptors. Apparently, rabbits do the same thing.
At least the Velocirabbits of Whidbey Island did it to me.
We find ourselves on Whidbey Island near Seattle, Washington. It’s a nature photographer’s paradise.
We’re staying in a small cabin at the end of a peaceful cul-de-sac on the south side of the island. We love Whidbey’s killer sunsets and our cabin’s views of Puget Sound.
I’ve been popping outside every fifteen minutes or so to capture the stunning amount of wildlife in our front yard:
There’s a family of deer that shows up now and then, a nest of quail with a dozen chicks living in the front yard (more photos of that cute-splosion to come), and 3 or 4 rabbits who nonchalantly eat clover and grass all day.
Most photos fail.
I noisily creak the front screen open and stomp onto the porch, which immediately shoots animals in all directions before you can say ‘lens cap.’
Not to mention my camera settings are completely wrong. The photos I get of said deer are, 9 times out of 10, horrible—they look like bigfoot blobs.
After a few days of this National Geographic farce I call nature photography, I grow emblazoned and started stalking my prey.
I barely had the time to put my pants on when I spotted two bunnies in the yard.
As I got into range where maybe some kind of a photo with full telescope lens would be possible, the big rabbit locked eyes on me and froze.
The little rabbit kept chewing adorably.
I noticed a noise in the bushes behind the bunny that was staring at me. Suddenly, I wasn’t so sure if the rabbit was scared of me, or if he was seeking solace in my eyes: “Dude, did you hear that?“
I got nervous and started scanning the bush, and in that moment of distraction he bolted forward, which freaked the other rabbit out and sent it right at me!
FROZEN, I flashed back to a mere 24 hours before, when I was delightfully prancing through the aisles of a “U-Pic” your own vegetable garden.
Suddenly, two snakes slithered out from under a head of cabbage and touched my foot. I screamed like a little girl and ran away, got in my car and speed away so fast, I sprayed a crowd with gravel and dust as I fishtailed onto the highway.
Now a mere day later, a rabbit is making a mad dash for my foot and I emit that all-too familiar girlish scream and run away thinking the rabbit’s play wasn’t defensive, but a ferocious bite-your-ankle stratagem (or claw-your-guts-out approach, like the Velociraptors from said Jurassic Park).
I slammed the door behind me and turned to Rachel, who was staring at the window.
“Did you see that? They used Velociraptor strategy!” I said.
“That’s hardly what happened,” responded Rachel with mild amusement.
Between the Velocirabbits and the Cabbage Snakes, this So Cal Valley Boy is learning a lot about rural living.
Then she said, look, and just like that, I snapped a photo of the family of quail.