Next morning I saw a cottontail under the feeders, as I had so many mornings through the winter. So all was right with the world--whatever that monster bunny was, it had turned back into a cottontail.
Then yesterday evening I was walking down towards the cedar bush, when I heard some kind of cafuffle, and saw branches of a small pine being shoved. A deer brushing past? A bear feeding back there? As I got closer a cottontail rabbit took off and raced into the bush, then stopped. Maybe there was a nest by the pine....then the caramel giant came into view, following the cottontail.
Some kind of altercation? Or, could it be extra-specific love? The caramel bunny was 3 or 4 times the size of the cottontail, either possiblity was somewhat disturbing.
Domestic rabbits go walkabout around here now and then, but they usually hang around yards, and then not for long before they disappear. I guess that's what this critter is--but such an odd-looking sight in the bush, and clearly a survivor to have lasted even this long.
I interrupted whatever was going on pretty thoroughly. The cottontail took off, and the caramel bunny started back the other way again, ambling slowly, aware of me, but not terribly alarmed, snacking, moving on, snacking again.
Walking along the ATV trail, before the bunny event, I saw an enormous coyote scat composed entirely of hair, suggesting an animal working the fields that would happily take on a giant galumphing caramel bunny.