"That was one tough winter, wasn't it?" I asked my friend, Emily, as we pulled into the parking lot at the Annapolis City Department of Transportation for a meeting one afternoon last week. "If you use your imagination, you can see signs of spring all around."
"You mean, like that bunny, for instance?" she replied, pointing out a fluffy little bunny sitting in the grass by the brick wall.
"Bunnies are sure signs of spring," I agreed, especially when they're as cute as this one. Because it was a cute little bunny rather than a wild rabbit, it occurred to us that it must have escaped from somebody's home in the neighborhood.
"We'd better save that poor thing before it gets run over," Emily suggested, and I agreed.
We approached the bunny, certain that it would come right up to us seeking the food and shelter to which it had become accustomed all its short and coddled life. I was already composing in my mind the wording for the ad we'd place in the classifieds, "Found: one cute little bunny in the neighborhood of Parole. No reward necessary "
Imagine our surprise when the bunny took one look at us and bolted for the nearby hedge.
We spent the next 20 minutes dodging around the parking lot, cornering the bunny against the wall before it would slip between us, sneaking up on it from behind parked cars until it ran underneath them, shrieking in horror as it dashed toward the rushing traffic on Chinquapin Round Road, gasping with relief when it curved back for the hedge.
It's hard to describe the spectacle of two grown humans skittering frantically around a parking lot like a pair of pinballs, chasing that stupid little bunny.
I developed the notion that it was stringing us along for fun. If someone could have filmed us, I'm certain they'd have won at least second place on "America's Stupidest Videos."
We'd have kept trying to catch it if I hadn't stumbled across a tiny mound of freshly dug dirt. In the midst of the mound was a fist-sized hole disappearing into the earth. Obviously, our poor little lost bunny had made itself perfectly at home here in the landscape of the Department of Transportation, and didn't need anything from us humans except a good laugh every now and then.
We went to our meeting, muddy and disheveled and not a little burned, having been baited by a bunny.
Up in Punxsutawney, Pa., they've got that groundhog that gets scared by its own shadow. Here in Annapolis, we've got a bunny. The bunny came out of its burrow and even we couldn't scare it back, Emily and I.
"This could be a good thing," Emily said, "because that means spring is only six weeks away."
"Darn right," I agreed. "Otherwise, we'd have six more weeks of winter!"
Volunteers preserve history
If you're looking to keep yourself occupied until spring officially arrives, here are some suggestions:
Become a volunteer at the Charles Carroll House and Garden in Annapolis. You can help as a guide for school groups or public tours at the home of one of Maryland's four signers of the Declaration of Independence. You also could help with research or even portray a living history character.
Sandria Ross, the historic home's executive director, started the annual volunteer Docent Program on Saturday. The training series will run through Feb. 27, with lectures and workshops on a variety of topics.
The Charles Carroll House and Garden is behind St. Mary's Catholic Church at 107 Duke of Gloucester St. Information: Jane Jackman, 410-269-1737.
Would you like to dance?
Learn ballroom dancing with the nonprofit Davidsonville Dance Club. You can learn the foxtrot, the mambo, and even a tango or two for $40. The eight-week program begins Feb. 9 and runs from 6: 30 p.m. to 9: 30 p.m. every Tuesday in Ford Hall at the Davidsonville Recreation Center, Queen Anne Bridge and Wayson roads.
Walk is for the birds
Look for robins and other spring birds at the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary in Lothian. The folks who run the sanctuary are conducting a bird walk from 9: 30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday.
You can borrow binoculars and field guides there.
Admission is $2.50 for adults, $2 for seniors and $1.50 for children under 18. Coordinator Karyn Mollines says this bird walk is not appropriate for children younger than 10.
Pub Date: 2/01/99