The hares were charming this weekend. Things had changed since our last visit, the two boys that were usually seated nearest to us now have girlfriends. Things appeared normal with the other pairs in the field, so we spent our time watching one of the new couples.
We snuck 'laneside' along the hedgerow to gain a better vantage point and tucked ourselves against an oak to keep ourselves hidden. Fat chance! They were onto us instantly with ears alert and eyes starring straight at us, but they didn't bolt. Although only about thirty metres from us, they assessed us to be no immediate threat and held their ground. Not once did the male take his gaze away from us and gave us the impression that he would like to move, but the famale - 'Blue-eyes' appeared to have made a scrape and she was reluctant to leave it. The male - 'Grey-back' fussed around her, being attentive, sometimes too attentive, resulting in the occasional box on the nose. All this suggesting that the bond is new and the male is making sure that the female dosn't lose interest in him.
Every now then a party of cyclists would pass by, their bright jersies startling the hares. This gave the male his chance to lead the female away from us, but not for long, moments later she would bundle back to her scrape with himself not far behind as if pulled on an invisible lead. Maybe this is where she will have her leverets.
During this time the farmer had been spraying his crops nearby. We noticed him moving his tractor to a field adjacent to the 'Hare' field, within seconds hares were appearing all shapes. It would have been mad trying to shake a stick at them, there were just too many. The dynamics were now in turmoil, with hares, haring all over the place. No boxing involved, but we discovered just how fast these magnificent creatures can motor when they want to, demonstrating what those unlikely lengthy backlegs were evolved for. Suitably warmed and entertained by the sojourn, we left them to settle down and restore order to an oversubscribed 'Hare fest'; we were off to suss out some woodlands.
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