Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Hare Today - Still Here Tomorrow?

We had seen an adult hare in the garden a couple of times and with some misgiving, having read that they do a lot of damage. What we hadn't anticipated was having a family of them.
Over the weeks, the leverets - as young hares are called - have become remarkably tame, quite unlike the normal flighty and timid creatures of the fields. The photo below was taken just three feet away and they hop about the garden as we work amongst the borders. So far, no damage....
According to legend, witches take the form of hares and the Cotswolds are a very witchy area. Village names such as Whichford and the Wychwood Forest, which lends its name to places such as Ascott-under-Wychwood, Milton-under-Wychwood and others, testify to this. Perhaps our hares are not all they seem which is why they aren't nervous of us. Most likely, they just feel safe in a peaceful garden environment. Lurchers like our She-dog were bred for hunting, hares especially so, but so far she hasn't bothered with them. And if they are witches they are obviously 'nice' ones!
There are still packs of beagles in existence despite the hunting ban. A couple of years ago we 'puppy walked' Daring and Darkness, the object of which is to get them used to humans and everyday life before they return as young adults to their kennels. We kept them for several months and it was a difficult day when the time came for them to leave us. The photo below shows Daring being excercised and only feet away from a hare - although she barely noticed and the hare too wily to give her presence away by moving. You will have to take my word for it as you won't be able to see the hare either! The other photo is of them both in the process of making their first 'kill' - my bootlaces!


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7 comments:

  1. Daring and Darkness are both so cute, although my heart belongs to She-dog.
    Hope your hares, don't cause you any problems!

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  2. Hares are my favourite of our native species, nothing quite thrills me as much as seeing one.
    I am afraid, being pedantic, the name Wychwood has nothing to do with witches, as I thought when we first moved here; it is derived from the Saxon 'Hwiccewudu', so named for the Anglo-Saxon tribe which inhabitated the woods, the Hwicce. Which is kind of disappointing, yet interesting from a historical angle. If unromantic.

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  3. I stand corrected - and a bit disappointed - PG! I cannot remember seeing hares amongst your felt animals, I shall have to take another look.

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  4. Cute bunnies and darling pups. Say, I was on istockphoto looking for some photography for a design project and whaddyaknow.. the one I decided upon turned out to be from Cotswold.

    Just had to stop by and tease you -- I guess your valley isn't all that secret any more! tee hee

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  5. oh no! lets hope we don't get coach loads of people turning up! Don't tell anyone else, kate!

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  6. I love the vasness of the land, the green pastures and the ease that accompany nature... you're lucky to live in such an enchanted place....

    Cielo -- the fairy at the house in the roses

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  7. Being a little witchy myself, I highly commend you for not exterminating the hares and rehabilitating the Hunters. Rabbits and Hare's always remind me of either Peter Rabbit or Watership Down. Or really Bugs Bunny for that matter. I'd say the witches of old are keeping an eye on you and now you'll lived a blessed life ;)

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