Monday, May 20, 2013
So, I did my best to commune with the rabbit. Telegraphing pleasant thoughts in its direction, I began indian-stepping his way: back corner of the heel down, then slowly lower the rest of the foot. Little to no footfall noise. I had about 100 feet to get within range. Remarkably, the bunny sat tight and allowed me to get within 20 feet.
Note its large ears, a trademark of the hares. He has molted from a winter coat of white into the brown summer pelage, although the animal retains white feet and flanks. Because of the seasonal change of color, some people call Snowshoe Hares the "Varying Hare".
Check the size of those feet! Snowshoe Hares are named for their enormous hoppers, which allow them to move about easily on the surface of snow.
Snowshoes have a huge distribution, ranging across northern North America from Newfoundland to Alaska. They are shrinking back from the southern edges of their range, and the northern lower peninsula of Michigan - where I made these images - is about at their southern limits these days. The locals report that they were once more common and widespread in this part of Michigan, but are becoming harder to find.