Saturday, March 23, 2013

March hare



Mad as a March hare.

The first time I saw that expression come to life was a peek through a tall hedge on a tiny back road near the farm I lived on, close to Combe St. Nicholas in Somerset.   I was walking the dogs and  a movement in the field caught my eye.  Two large hares were standing on their hind legs, whacking furiously at each other with their front paws.  I stood watching them for a short time, fascinated at their strange dance/fight.  The dogs, of course, wanted to join in, so it was best to move on with them.

This is a common territorial dispute around hare mating time which extends past March I'm told and I was lucky to have seen it in real life.  Of course no digital cameras or cell phones to capture the action then, just my memory.

March Hare in Newfoundland means something different, even through there are hares present, mostly Arctic hares, often mistaken for rabbits.  March Hare was once a little get together on the west coast of the province to break up a long dreary winter, but now has turned into an international literary festival, including work of local poets as well as some of the best writers in Canada and the world as well as the finest professional musicians from across the province.

My March Hare is a memory of the ones I saw in the hedge-lined field in Somerset years ago.  Done with a charcoal under drawing with pastel overlaid on newsprint.  And here's what they looked like in the field.


8 comments:

Yelena Shabrova said...

I had no idea that's where the expression comes from :) Quite an unusual behavior for such timid creatures.

Great sketch. he looks like's pausing for just a second before going on another mad hop trip.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

o.0 thats pretty violent o.0 you can see the fur flying on some of the video

Jeanette said...

Yep, they're pretty serious about it.

RH Carpenter said...

How synchronicitous: I looked out my kitchen window this morning and saw a big rabbit in our yard. I don't think we have hares but it was a pretty big rabbit. Plus the latest magazine for the grandkids came and had these hares on the cover with a spread inside of them boxing. Apparently, the females will box the males if they are not ready and willing to mate when the male is chasing her.

Jeanette said...

How funny Rhonda. Must be the time of year. :) And interesting about the female hares boxing the males.

Celeste Bergin said...

all these recent drawings are gorgeous!!

Jeanette said...

thanks Celeste. Nearing the end of the month and the end of my March Sketch a Day project. I will miss it, but also need to concentrate on some larger pieces too. However, the sketching is always present, just not always shown.

Stephanie Berry said...

Discovered you thru DPW--love your work. Your prints are wonderful. I'm in an exhibit where someone has 3 paintings of boxing rabbits. I thought they were being humorous-now I know better.