Saturday 9 April 2011

H is for Hare – that is what H is for ...

European Hare

... the mad March Hares in April!  their noses are down, they are erratically running around, madly trying to find a welcoming woman ... then they’ll have a boxing match!

The female boxes the males to find the strongest, while the male boxes to see if she’s just by any chance ready to settle down.  So boxing matches abound in the British countryside around Spring and Easter times.

Hares less than one year old are called leverets; they live solitarily or in pairs, while a “drove” is the collective noun for a group of hares.  Out of interest – we have roads named ‘Droves’ down here as ... they were the old livestock routes  ..  I wonder why the collective of hares is a ‘drove’?!

Young Hare, watercolour and body 
colour, 1502, by Albrecht Dürer
You know they run fast ... did you know their bodies are capable of absorbing the g-force produced while running at extreme speeds or while escaping predators?  I think I’ll leave Stephen Tremp to explain G-force ...!

In modern paganism the hare (or rabbit) is associated with the spring goddess Eostre.  In some parts of Europe, especially Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium Easter is associated with the Easter Hare, rather than the Easter Bunny we celebrate here in Britain.

It is thought the Brown Hare was introduced to Britain in ancient times and has pushed the Mountain Hare north into the mountaineous areas.  The hare species is under environmental pressure while farmers are being encouraged to become more wildlife friendly, leaving field margins for wildlife to thrive in.

That is Hare - that is what H is for ..    

Part of the ABC - April 2011 - A - Z Challenge - Aspects of the British Countryside

 Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Anonymous said...

I never knew that much about hares. How interesting!


You certainly taught me about the hare, it was good to read.
All behind today as last night my broadband supplier decided not to work so had no pc until lunchtime today, well you can't win them all.


Unknown said...

For years I've been a fan of Durer, maybe it is because of him that I collect wonderful crackle glazed hares, and yes, I've even seen them boxing from time to time. Beautiful magical creatures, and do you know the story about the hare and the moon? There are so many moon gazing hares available, but mine is where it should be, outside in the garden, looking up at the moon on a clear night.
I didn't know the bit about 'droves'.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Standard Spicy .. good to meet you - thank you.

@ Yvonne .. glad you enjoyed the read .. sorry about the dis-connect .. and as you say 'things goes wrongs' - glad all's well though!

@ Carole Anne - oh great someone picked up the Durer painting .. up in the Lake District area .. I'm sure the hares dash around - especially now. I'm not sure I have ever knowingly seen one .. but loved the description.

They are beautiful creatures .. and the moon - again in the vestiges of my mind .. perhaps! So if you can tell us .. that'd be great?! Glad your hare is in the right place - in the crispy air watching the moon - clear night down here!

Just the coincidence of the collective noun, and the name of the old stock routes .. made me want to put the word 'drove' in ...

Cheers and thanks for stopping by .. Hilary

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
And 'H' is for Hilary :)
That's a very interesting and informative posting on hares and your detailed account is truly fascinating. Thus, thank you.
Sometimes, I'm not sure of the difference between them and a rabbit. Maybe I'm just 'splitting hares' :)
Must go now before I rabbit hare I go...

Bossy Betty said...

Thanks for all this information about these wonderful creatures!

Joanne said...

"H"ooray for the hares, "h"appy to be "h"opping about! Sorry about the "h"s, I couldn't "h"elp myself :)

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for a hair-raising post. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

As a child, the terms hare and rabbit confused me.

Chuck said...

That is more than I ever knew about rabbits (or hares). Thanks Hilary.

Mason Canyon said...

Enjoyed your post. Never knew these adorable little creatures are also quite interesting. Thanks.

Thoughts in Progress

50 foot QE said...

I really enjoy your informative style. I love to learn new things and your posts are full of interesting bits!

Thanks for your blog.

50 foot Queenie refers to lines in a PJ Harvey song and is a sort of war cry for the feminist (and a parody of the male gender's obsession with size). Thanks for asking!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I love rabbits. Had many over the years. They make great pets. Thanks, Hilary, for sharing all these facts. Fascinating.

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

Alright, Hilary, I've found the secret to my single status. I have neglected to don the boxing gloves to determine strength of soul!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Gary - you're right there! Love your take on hairs, hare, haring away .. etc and rabbiting on - fun cheerful comment to read early in the morning. Thanks so much for taking it one stage further!

@ Bossy Betty - great to see you .. they are wonderful in their ways aren't they.

@ Joanne .. thanks so much for all the H's .. you missed one "H"ilary!! Cheers .. have a happy,hopping, non- haring about Sunday! Lovely comment again!

@ Theresa .. pleasure - your comment take on the post is fun - no worries!! I think as we rarely see a hare - no wonder we mix them up with little bunnies!

@ Chuck - glad you learnt something .. well hope you did .. thanks for stopping by.

@ Mason - thank you .. so much escapes us in the learning process - there's always more than meets the eye! Good to see you.

Cheers everyone - have a lovely Sunday .. sunny - down here ..= happy Hilary!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ 50 foot QE - thank you so much! Delighted you enjoy reading them and learning new things. Pleasure - the blog's here to stay!!

50 foot Queenie .. ah! ok .. and not being musical (unfortunately) I can see how I would have had no idea! .. interesting war cry - you've made for yourself .. love it!

Thank you for replying .. more to the point.

@ Joylene .. I don't think we ever had a rabbit .. thought I've seen many in and out of houses .. I gather they make great pets .. and kids love them.

@ Amy ... ok ok .. I've think you've sussed my problem too - perhaps we can start practising together .. brilliant addition to the post .. thank you!! Fun ...

Thank you so much .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Very interesting Hilary and though I knew a young hare was a leveret but I don't recall learning that a number of hares is known as a drove.. I love the names we give numbers of things - " a parliament of owls" is one of my favourites. Dipping into your blog is like dipping into a goody bag of interesting and sometimes surprising, facts! Thank you :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deborah .. thank you .. I don't think I did either - it was in Wiki .. so I hope it's correct!! I agree collective names are wonderful .. I almost wrote about blooms of jellyfish .. but that led into a whole new ballgame and I decided I wouldn't bring that up!

Delighted you enjoy the goody-bag - and keep coming back for more dips! Wonderful to read - thank you!

Enjoy the rest of your week .. Hilary

Patricia said...

Oh Hilary,
I knew bunnies and rabbits and hares were associated with Easter - I just thought it was a total fertility thing?

My children so loved bunnies at Easter, they would try and purchase a stuffed one to add to the collection each year. Every counter top and buffet and chair was decorated with a bunny.

Several years ago coinciding with the last child leaving for college, a group of emergency workers asked for donations of clean stuffed animals to give to children in trauma situations - like ambulance rides. We donated all but one of our bunnies - there were so many we were given a $500 charity credit on our income taxes.
Thanks for teaching us something new and fertile!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. to a point it is .. from the old days .. but somehow Chocolate then came into the mix in England and we hung on to the chocolate idea .. the Europeans kept their hares!

Yes - my uncle's house, and my mother's flat were fairly full of stuffed animals - also given off to charity. Good for you giving yours away .. and $500 charity credit - says something.

Glad you enjoyed the boxing post! Cheers Hilary

Blue Bunny said...

I lieks chocolit teas.

and NOW I goeing to bed.

hare today, gone tomorrow, those wild littel bunnies. i lerned they does not maek good gerlfrends for me. i gonna meet a more civillized one soon, i hopes. at leest i haz jazmeene to keeps me kompany wen i drinking leminades in my jannies tree, until i finds a noo love of my lifes.


me BB

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi BB - me hopes U bee sleepin titely now .. dreeming of chocolit teas .. not chocolit bunnies and eggs ...

Did zay box U .. dat waz v noughty of de hares .. I hopes U meets a nice girl zoon .. but az U sez jazmeene keeps u laffing up de tree .. fun times ..

Seez you over at yours very soons .. cheers for now ... Hilree xoxoxoxxo