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A regular summary of irregular news and notes from neighborhood blogs and email lists around the District.
No Country For Cottontails: A member of the Shepherd Park email list reports about some rascals: “The rabbit population has escalated around here. Early runs in various neighborhoods sometime remind me of Watership Down or the ‘tribbles’ in one of those Star Trek episodes. The manicured lawns of Chevy Chase are covered with rabbit families munching away on annuals and woody plants in the early morning. Cute at first and then creepy when you see so many in one yard after the other. Although I have had fewer sightings in Shepherd Park, they are residing here as well….My trips to the park (Montgomery County) also indicate that those bunnies are everywhere. Cottontail’s lifespan—15 to 18 months. They can have up to four litters starting in the spring. They stay in the same general area. They love new tender plants. They build nice little ground condos and consider your garden Applebee’s and Morton’s Steak House on a Friday night.” But another member says it’s not just bunnies wreaking havoc on Shepherd Park lawns: “I see evidence of deer in my yard as well. My daylilies are almost all done, neatly cut off at the top flower. I sprayed my yard this morning with “Liquid Fence” that I hear is pretty effective. If you plan to use it, get ready, it has the worse smell and please don’t get any on your hands or clothing.”
Cleveland Park Problems: The severe storms over the weekend did more than just bring down branches. A member of the Cleveland Park email list writes of Sunday morning’s storm, “The storm that passed over Cleveland Park this morning at about 5:30am produced a bolt of lightning that zapped our phone system. It also caused some damage to some external hard drives, making them unreadable. It appears that the surge of electricity went through the internal phone wiring in our house, destroying several phones and our VOIP phone adapter. I can’t tell if the bolt actually hit our house (we’re near the Uptown movie theater) or if it just landed nearby, and the electricity traveled through the ground to us. But it was bright and potent. And, sigh, there’s a chance of more storms tonight.”
Just Don’t Replant It in a Toilet: Available, according to the New Hill East email list, is the following: “Tree in good shape, fruit bearing. We’re moving and can’t take it with us. The catch is, it is REALLY heavy and out of its pot. Probably needs to be planted in the ground. Pick up this week.” The title of the posting specifies that the tree in question is a “5 foot Turkish fig tree.”
Mistaken Identity: A message on the Takoma email list has this explicit description: “It’s house sparrow pride time and we are here to tell you that we are not called weaver finches anymore. Nothing against the weaver clan, some of those finches are our BFFs and show us great places to eat, but…times change, and so does taxonomy. When Roger Tory [Peterson] (another good friend) and a whole buncha other humans put us in the family Ploceidae along with the weaver finches, we still knew in our heart of hearts that we were true sparrows. We’d been called that for centuries, and a few off-base scientists weren’t going to ruffle our feathers. We just stuck it out, continuing to spread around the earth from our Old World origins, and now we have been vindicated!” The posting, signed by “harryandharriethousesparrow,” concludes thusly: “Yeah, we are the Old World Sparrows, the true sparrows. And we’re proud of it. Again, nothing against our weaver finch cousins or any of the New World Sparrows—we’re just not that close to them anymore.”