for 21. 4. 2019

Jackrabbit tracks 1 postgutenberg@gmail.com

Easter 2019 (3) postgutenberg@gmail.comWhere the outdoors matters more than indoors, and in the right habitat, today’s master of ceremonies is an elusive animal that last put in an appearance on this site three years ago — with an incontestable claim to being the true Easter leporid (sorry, fluffy bunnies, you know you did your best). Sightings of the typically solitary, nocturnal, hare — or certainly of the branch of the clan known as Lepus californicus or black-tailed jackrabbits — tend to be most common at this time of year. It is peak breeding season. Dazed by romance and romancing, these beasts can forget how essential extreme caution is to their survival.  

But the photographs here were taken two months ago, during an attempt to keep up with one — a doomed, quixotic chase, because although they run awkwardly, as clumsily as kangaroos waltzing, jackrabbits can travel at forty miles or sixty-four kilometres an hour. 

The paw prints stopped at a bush and not a rabbit hole (below) because jackrabbits do not burrow. They make nests and hide in shallow depressions in thickets, under the most dense shrubs they can find.

As disappointing as it was not to meet the paw print-maker in this series for the briefest encounter, the reminder of their skill at evasion was welcome. As one nature writer has put it — rather tactlessly, from a jackrabbit’s point of view — they exist to transform leaves into food for the coyotes and hawks that prey on them.

That’s not a welcome thought for anyone who cares about Osterhase-borne baskets of festive eggs, so let’s delete it immediately.

HAPPY    EASTER

Jackrabbit tracks 2 postgutenberg@gmail.com

Jackrabbit tracks 3 postgutenberg@gmail.com

Jackrabbit and human tracks postgutenberg.com

For comparison: jackrabbit and human tracks

 

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