Thursday, December 10, 2015

Killer wildlife in our back yard

If you look close, you might spot one of the regulars in our yard, a varying hare (aka snowshoe rabbit, or Lepus americanus). The no-longer-wee beastie has been hanging around since early summer. It did a fair amount of lounging in the flower bed near the front door, and it would also loiter near the path leading from the back door to the driveway. It showed so little fear of us when it was a little tiny ball of fluff that I was sure it was going to be lunch for an actual predator any time. But, nope, it survived. And it's still around. As is typical of adults of many species, it's a lot more skittish now than it was when it was younger.

I always kind of wonder about the local wild rabbits, both the varying hares and the cottontails, because I see rabbits and hare tracks around fairly often, but almost never see very many of either tracks or animals. Like with this particular varying hare: it showed up when it was at basically the toddler stage. I know enough about hares and rabbits to be aware that there are usually at least 4 young in a litter. I also know that even though hares are born fully furred with their eyes open and able to be up and running almost immediately, they do keep returning to the mother for several weeks to nurse in the evening. So where was the mom? Never saw her. Also never saw any litter mates, just the one hare. But there can't be just one hare: it took at least two to produce the one we see all the time, and odds are that it wasn't an only child. Where did the rest of them go?


  1. Spooookkkyy. I can't see anything in the picture no matter how hard I try!

  2. Cool, rabbets tend to get out at night more than during daylight hours.

  3. Jenny, the varying hare is more or less midway between the bird bath and the tree but back farther than either of those toward the woodshed. I'd say its camouflage was working pretty good that day.

  4. OMG! The Dreaded Beast of AAARRRRGH! Bring out the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch! First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less...

  5. wild animals in your yard is a sign of a good hearted person

  6. As BBC said; rabbits tend to move mostly at night and usually move and stay close to heavy cover - blowdowns and such. It is not often you find them in the open as that makes them targets of owls and hawks.

    I leave all the apples on my apple tree and this time of year the deer visit my front yard almost every night... occasionally a moose.
    the Ol'Buzzard


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