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.