Tuesday, 8 March 2011

March Memories and Brown Hares

   Soon, I am going on a 'Brown Hare Day' with talks and walks and - fingers crossed - sightings. Can't wait!    It's been arranged by my local branch of the PTES - People's Trust for Endangered Species.  And yes, they do extend membership to the faere-folk - if they promise to behave.

  Now hares you see, are much thought about in March. Moon gazing hares, Mad March Hares they are as they race and box and display in the early morning dews.

   Tony (fabuloius photo above) describes the hare as  'England's most magical, mystical and enigmatic animal' and how right he is. Tony has been talking a lot about hares recently in his lovely blog. Hares are associated with the Gods and Goddesses, the myths and legends of countries the world over.

   From the Celtic Goddess Oestre's totem spirit hare to Norse Goddess Freya's hare attendants, and to the flaming torch carrying hares owned by Germanic Goddess Holda. From stories across the Indian religions to the great continent of Africa the hare is revered.

  I wonder, did you ever see tiles like the one below?  Handcrafted with images and calligraphy, rippling with poetry. They will make one specially for you if you wish. Muddypond just loves these - do click on the link and visit the pottery here!
'For tomorrow may rain, so, I'll follow the sun'

'Young Buck' from a selection of paintings and jewellery by Hannah Willow

 The hare is a totem, a magical symbol of strange, fey undpredictability. He is said to be cunning, intuitive and clever. He likes to appear at night, sitting still under the moon - where many legends say he can be seen. Look carefully as the moon waxes half full at the western edge of the face. In Sanskrit, the word for Moon is 'Sasanka' which means - having marks like a hare.
Do you remember the excitement surrounding Kit Williams' book 'Masquerade', with its puzzles and buried treasure?

Author Kit Williams with the 'Masquerade Jewel' . Picture from The Smithsonian 1982

   When I was just a faerysprig - very young in fact - my soft spot for hares was formed and fixed by the 'Little Grey Rabbit, Squirrel and Hare' stories by the great country writer Alison Uttley and published by Collins. I fell in love with every one of the illiustrations by Margaret Tempest and had, still have - the whole set.  Here are two favourite Hare pictures:

From 'Hare and the Easter Eggs' by Alison Uttley - illustration - Margaret Tempest

From 'Hare and Guy Fawkes'  by Alison Uttley - illustration - Margaret Tempest

   I hope one day to stay in these gorgeous holiday cottages, famed for the hares living in the area - do have a look - how lovely - what possibilities hey!  Bleasdale Cottages - for hare watching and a gallery of photographs by Ann and Steve Toon.

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