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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Currently, visitors of Bird Park can participate in an entertaining scavenger hunt. There are six almost-identical rabbits that can be found around the park, part of their seasonal Bunny Quest.
I had been planning to come to Bird Park to try the Bunny Quest for weeks. However, the lovely spring weather prevented me from going on the walk, as I did not want to get trapped in the middle of the park during a rainstorm - especially if I decided to bring one of my dogs along with me.
Finally, on Sunday, May 4, my trusted companion, Biscuit, and I arrive at the parking lot on Polley Lane. From the second we get there, I can tell that there is still a chance of rain; it’s been spitting off and on all day and the sky still has a grey tinge to it. I bring my rain jacket, just in case. I’ve gone into my quest expecting to be able to find all six bunnies within an hour of arriving at Bird Park.
It should be noted that this would have probably been the case, had I not brought a beagle who had to sniff everyone and everything he saw.
I haven’t had a chance to explore Bird Park the last few times that I’ve been here, so Biscuit and I take our time. As we walk through the field, I start to make my way to an area I’m most familiar with. A few years ago, my friends had been part of a play that was performed at the music court of Bird Park. From a distance, I can see what I think is the outline of a wooden bunny. I pass by a dogwood tree and a small blooming tree with pink flowers that I can’t identify. As I approach closer to the figure I realize that I’m right - I have found my first rabbit. He’s decorated in orange, with orange pipe cleaner whiskers, a little orange bow, and an orange notebook for guests to sign when they find him. He’s sitting on under a tall tree with pine cones surrounding him on either side. The music court is just a few feet behind the tree. Biscuit starts pulling on his leash, just as I’m about to sign the notebook, urging me to continue on our walk.
The two of us walk straight, past the music court. I start to get worried after five minutes of walking, because we have yet to see another rabbit. I found the first one so easily - did I miss one along the way? I briefly consider turning back and rechecking the area between the last rabbit and where I’m standing.
But Biscuit is determined to keep walking, nose to the ground, snorting along the way. As we walk, I spot two geese resting on the grass that we’re about to approach. I stop walking and Biscuit looks up at me, acting as if he is going to be a perfect angel and not bark at them when we pass by.
I know better and want to avoid being attacked by Canada geese.
Changing our route, I pull Biscuit and head towards an information station a few feet away to see if that has any clues as to where the rabbits are. There are no clues, though there is a sign inviting people to visit multiple times if they can’t find all six in one visit to Bird Park.
“That’s going to end up being us, isn’t it?” I say to Biscuit, who looks up at me and snorts as if in agreement.
We start walking again, when I see a couple walking near us. I ask if they have seen any of the rabbits. They have. The man tells me the location of three rabbits. The first, which I have already found, is located near the picnic area. The second, I can see in the distance. Biscuit and I walk in its direction. I find the second rabbit beside a medium sized rock. This one has indigo whiskers, a matching ribbon wrapped around his neck, and a matching notebook. Behind it is a large pond. The water bugs dancing on top makes me think that it has just started raining. When we come out from under the cover of trees, I realize that it is still clear and that Biscuit and I can keep going. At this point, he and I are about 40 minutes into our walk.
The third is located across a bridge, according to the man I asked earlier. It isn’t until after we continue walking that I realize that there are multiple bridges in the park, and that a rabbit could easily be anywhere.
I pull up a map of Bird Park on my phone and try to find where in the park this third rabbit could be. I notice one area has a lot of bridges - at least six. I determine that that is a good place to start. Along the way, Biscuit makes friends with a dog enjoying his own Sunday walk and spends five minutes trying to play with the him, almost tripping me in the process. The entire walk has been the best part of his day. His tail has been wagging since we started our walk and hasn’t stopped. We make our way to the first bridge.
Luck is on our side. I spot the third rabbit behind a tree in front of the bubbling brook, right as we get to the other side of the bridge. Just like the other two, this one has a color-coordinated outfit. It’s wearing a turquoise colored ribbon that matches its turquoise whiskers and notebook.
“We should start heading back,” I say to Biscuit. It’s been 50 minutes, and we’ll walk back on the opposite side, trying to find any remaining bunnies.
Apparently, we’ve run out of luck. Biscuit and I don’t find any more bunnies on our way back to the car, but we’ve relished our walk. We arrive back at the parking lot, one tired person and one gleeful beagle.
As it was advertised, the Bunny Quest was a fantastic excuse to explore the Bird Park’s picturesque acres.
Explorers and their leashed dogs can search for bunnies at Bird Park through this Sunday, May 12.