Nevada, land of color

Drive on any rural highway these days, and you’ll be surrounded by the colors of autumn. Well, the Great Basin colors of autumn, that is. One of our more prominent colors is tan. Just look around and witness the glory of tan. We got lots of good solid tan goin’, and it’s complemented by various shades of light tan, dark tan, and a very nice tan-brown hybrid that’s favored by many of our native plants. Then, there’s brown. Fans of brown are certainly not being slighted here in the high desert. We have genuine brown abundance. Not just brown, but approximately 37 shades of brown, along with a nice brown/tan hybrid that could well be the same color as the aforementioned tan-brown number. In fact, it could be the exact same color. It’s tough to tell.

Then, of course, we have healthy doses of gray in the mix. And not just regular gray, but light gray, dark gray—well, OK, that’s about it. But the point here is that any vulgarian who thinks we don’t have much in the way of fall color around here is obviously colorblind in the tan/brown realm of the visible spectrum, and should be invited to have sex with a rolling pastry of his/her choice. All these simpletons who are so hung up on yellows, reds, and Cheeto-dust oranges are just oafs who can’t appreciate the subtlety and taste involved with the appreciation of acre upon acre of jammin’ earth tones.

But in looking at my yard recently, it struck me that some blazing scarlet would, I had to admit, add a nice accent to my well-established tan-brown-gray action. So I got one of those very popular “burning bushes” that you see all over the place. You know, those nice little shrubs that turn deep red in October. I got one, planted it, and then realized with all the horror that befits the season, “OMG! I’ve sacrificed another plant to the bunnies! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

I didn’t even think to ask the man at the nursery if the burning bush is a bunny-safe plant, meaning distasteful to rabbitty types. Not that it would have mattered. The jackrabbits and cottontails that live on my property have become positively obese munchin’ the shrubs and flowers that were guaranteed to be “bunny proof.” Hell, the last bunny proof bush I bought morphed into poop pellets so fast I thought the cottontails should’ve at least left a thank you note.

I have a real bad feeling that scarlet-leaved plants are like rib eyes to rabbits. The best thing I can say about my mental lapse? The burning bush was half price. I hope it lives long enough to have at least a few leaves turn red before all these ravenous lagomorphs get medieval on its ass. And I really want—need—a golden eagle to set up shop on my roof and get to work.