Thursday, 9 February 2012

Hare today

The hare was moving right to left...

Either the cold weather is making the creatures more venturesome, or it's just the snow revealing where they have passed. This morning we awoke to find an unmistakeable set of Hare (Lepus europaeus) lièvre tracks passing our front door.

Coming towards the camera
If you look closely at the first set of prints,
you can see the rear right paw mark clearly at the bottom of the hole.
A hare, travelling at some speed, crossed the bridge from the meadow, and accelerated around the end of the barn to the proto-hedge where it could cross the road. Each set of pawprints is a single splodge in the snow, with the two front feet in line at the back. The huge back feet pass the front feet as the hare bounds along, landing splayed out to either side.

Here, the hare's front feet are at the back and the orangy splodges, just above the front elbows, are the hind feet overtaking!

Hares are hunted for the pot throughout France and elsewhere. In our community of communes the hunting fraternity is performing a comptages(census) of hares because of concerns about the population, believed to be declining rapidly (more by habitat loss than from predation). The season for hares was 25 September to 4 December last year, so our hares can bounce in peace for the time being.

Here is that paw print again.

3 comments:

Susan said...

Very nice and informative post. I noticed a lot of communes are doing surveys this year to monitor the population. Friends of ours have been involved in the past but I always find out too late. This year I see they have been putting notices in the paper warning they will be spotlighting (lamping is the British English term I believe) as part of the process.

Tim said...

The most we've seen here in the past quinzaine is three.
The running shot was a lucky one... I didn't pan quite fast enough... and because I was reviewing the previous three, very poor shots, I missed a beauty of it standing on its hind legs.... just before it took off like that!
Hence the poor pan... I only just got that pic...
C'est la vie!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Our garden is covered with tracks the only one I can identify is rabbit. We are fully fenced and high hedge, so there can be nothing big here.
Great shot of the hare. Diane