28 June 2018

Hare

On the high moors of Bleaklow, north of The Snake Pass, I moved quietly from one area of unnamed rocks to another situated two hundred yards to the south east. I had already walked for four or five miles in the mid-summer sunshine and I was looking for a place to rest where I would eat my apple and drink some water.

I moved quietly and looking south over the treeless wilderness, something caught my eye to the right - about twenty yards away. It was a mountain hare standing stock still amidst the moorland grasses and bog cotton. Lepus timidus is a well-named creature for hares are understandably wary of human beings and indeed most other creatures including foxes, stoats and airborne raptors.
Slowly, I reached for my camera like a hunter reaching for his gun. But unlike the hunter I didn't wish to blast that beautiful hare to smithereens. I just wanted to capture his image there in his familiar moorland environment. Peaceful. Enjoying the sunshine. Taking a rest from his endless grazing.

It was a rare privilege and the highlight of my five hour moorland ramble. On the way home, I pulled into the car park of the remote Snake Pass Inn where I treated to myself to a nice chilled pint of bitter shandy. Nectar of the gods.

43 comments:

  1. A few hares roam about this property...a couple of them are pretty big, too. They are part of the neighbourhood wildlife...as I am, too.

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    1. Wildlife? I thought you had been tamed Lee!

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    2. Not a chance in Hades, Yorkie!!

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  2. Beautiful, Neil! I think you should paint this hare. What do you think?

    Hares and rabbits are a sort of totem animal of mine. I was born in March, during the Wood Rabbit year in Chinese astrology. During a particularly joyous time in my life (when Gregg and I were engaged) rabbits kept appearing in my path at unexpected times, like a good luck charm. So your post tonight made me happy!

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    1. Why the comma between "Beautiful" and "Neil"? Perhaps I will try a painting of him - one day I know what you mean about wild creatures bearing meaning. I have the same thing about certain encounters with birds.

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  3. Well done, Mr. Pudding. You deserved that pint.

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    1. Thank you Mr C. Pity I didn't bump into a certain American tourist from Arizona in the pub. We could have whiled away an hour.

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  4. You find something special on all your walks.

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    1. That's the magic. You only have to look.

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  5. Nice captures with the camera! He was probably hoping you didn't actually see him but were just looking past him.

    What is bog cotton?

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    1. Eriophorum angustifolium - please google it.

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    2. Thank you, I did, and it is quite interesting. Very attractive too. But apparently can be an indicator of unsafe, boggy conditions, so that has deterred me from going around looking for it!

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  6. Beautiful picture of the hare amongst the lovely flowers and weeds. I remember that we have been to Snake Pass before.

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    1. We had a picnic at Hern Rocks and you danced in the heather like Margot Fonteyn. There were scotch eggs and cucumber sandwiches.

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  7. It looks so proud, as if it is posing for you. A beautiful capture Neil!
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. I still don't know if he spotted me. Perhaps standing stock still is a survival technique.

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  8. A 5 hour moorland ramble - how I long for something like that! It's been far too long since I was able to go on a proper hike with O.K. (or anyone else); somehow, our weekends this month have been so full with birthdays to attend and other things to do, and this coming weekend will probably be too hot for a hike (30 Celsius is forecast).
    Congratulations on having noticed the hare - and having the chance to capture it with your camera, great pictures!

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    1. Thank you my friend. When you next get out for a long walk you will enjoy it all the more.
      P.S. So sorry that Germany got knocked out of the World Cup! (he sniggers into his sleeve).

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    2. Snigger all you like, YP - I still can't believe I left work an hour earlier so that I could watch at least the 2nd half with my sister and some friends...! It was watching history - but of the negative sort... Good job my heart isn't in the whole footie thing. I shall be cheering for England now.

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  9. What a splendid creature that hare is.
    Alphie

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    1. I have never spotted one posing like that. They are usually flashes scurrying away.

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  10. What a splendid photograph of a beautiful creature, you were surely blessed that day.

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    1. Yes. I feel that way Thelma. Blessed.

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  11. Snake Pass is a great name. Good photo. Good story.

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    1. The road "snakes" along but that is not the reason it is called The Snake Pass. There was a snake in the heraldic crest of the Dukes of Devonshire. They sponsored the construction of this transpennine road.

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  12. A lovely shot. In all this heatwave we are having at the moment, you have made me crave a pint of bitter shandy!

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    1. Why not a gallon ADDY...with a pickled egg?

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  13. This fella is on full alert, assessing the danger. He was lucky you only wanted to shoot his image

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    1. If I was a mountain hare, I wouldn't trust a human being either.

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  14. Great pictures! It's always exciting to come across something so unexpected.

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    1. To me it was as exciting as seeing a lion on the plains of Tanzania.

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  15. That really is the most perfect photograph. You could give "villager Jim" a run for his money!

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    1. Who is "Villager Jim" Christina? You have got me stumped - as the Lancashire batsman said to the Yorkshire wicketkeeper.

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    2. He's the "unknown" photographer from Derbyshire. His work is outstanding! Google will show you.....

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    3. Thank you for this Christina.

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  16. Is he part white? and is this the kind of hare that changes to white in the winter. Lucky you to see this.
    Briony
    x

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    1. Yes Briony. Mountain hares do turn white in the wintertime and they retain some whiteness on their undersides in summer.

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  17. Great photo, you have been very lucky.
    Snake Pass: I can't beleive I've been over it thousands of times and not realised it's name doesn't relate to the road.
    Well done to the Duke of Norfolk and Devonshire.
    Is there any story behind the Woodhead Pass?

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    1. I could make a story up about Pinocchio!

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  18. That's a photo I wish that I'd been in a position to take.

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    1. You should have been up there with me Graham. We could have had a picnic amidst the unnamed rocks and you could have explained the rules of croquet - lulling me to sleep.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.