"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 28 March 2011

Encounter with a Hare

I've visited a location fairly local to me several times during the month, where I have seen hares in the past, in the hope of witnessing "boxing hares". I hadn't seen any sign of hares until this afternoon when I spotted one lying still in its form only about 100 yards from the road.

I stopped the car a little further along the road at which point the hare went "haring off" (sorry, just couldn't resist!) only stopping when it was about a quarter of mile from the car.

I took some photos but even with the 70-300mm telephoto lens it was a waste of time -if you click on the photos to enlarge you can just make out the hare as a brown shape in the centre of the pictures. I spent about an hour looking for other hares with binoculars, without success, and hoping that the original hare might return a little closer but it remained lying quietly in the same position. It was a real treat though to get a glimpse of this mammal and know they are still in the area.

Distant views of the hare - even cropped you can hardly see it!

Whenever I see hares it always reminds me of a fascinating children's book called "Masquerade" by Kit Williams that was published in the late 1970's.

The author created a beautiful 18 carat gold filigree piece of jewellery shaped like a hare containing precious stones such as ruby, moonstone, citrine, turquoise and mother or pearl. This was placed in a ceramic hare-shaped container (to prevent it being found my metal detectors) and buried in a secret location somewhere in Great Britain.

The book formed a type of treasure hunt and contained all the clues to lead the reader to the buried hare. I used to spend hours poring over the beautiful illustrations trying to solve the puzzle - I did manage to find a clue about Catherine of Aragon and a hill. The jewelled hare was actually buried at Catharine of Aragon's Cross at Ampthill which cast a shadow at a certain time of the year pointing to the burial place.

Does anyone else remember the book?

No comments: