This is a hare, feeding in the field across the road from our home. I'm rather fond of hares, in a 'where there's hares, the world hasn't gone to hell in a handcart' kind of way, as opposed to an 'on the menu' way. It's a difficult emotion to rationalise, but for me it's part a spiritual symbol of Spring, part a love of wildlife in general and part a memory of the long ago, carefree days of childhood.
Hares were introduced to Britain during the Iron Age, so I'm guessing that there's an amount of pre-Christian myth and magic associated with the animal. In fact, hares are symbolic in many religions, so perhaps I'm not alone in my spiritual sojourn.
To obtain better hare shots, either I would need to be closer (not really feasible, they're a bit jumpy), or they would need to be closer, which means that they would be feeding in my garden. I am told that one of the many threats to our willow planting will be from hares eating the new growth.
Y'know, for great views of hares, I'm probably willing to sacrifice a bit of willow.
this isn't a hare, it's a rabbit.
In our garden...
trying to ingratiate itself into my affections by eating dock plants.
But I'm not so easily convinced of its intentions or yet ready to accept it as a loyal ally in the fight against the dark forces of Dockhood.
Its sense of curiosity will eventually and inevitably bring it into contact with willow saplings and all manner of recently-planted juicy annuals and herbaceous perennials.
Rabbits were introduced to Britain in the 12th Century, after the Norman invasion of these isles. They are documented as being in Orkney from at least the 17th Century. So, whilst I am attempting not to channel the spirit of Mr McGregor, my trust has been put on hold, as I recall the words of the late, lamented Anya Jenkins*...
"Bunnies aren't just cute like everybody supposes, They've got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses. And what's with all the carrots? What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?"
* Sorry, another Buffy reference, I'm afraid.