Saturday, 29 August 2015

More animal distractions

It was going to be a day for serious work.
Oodles of doodles
I’d been faffing about for too long planning the next assignment of my children’s book illustration course. Today, I was determined to sit down and do a finished pen and ink drawing of cartoon elephants.

I estimated it would only take a couple of hours, and then I’d have the rest of the day to polish off another chapter of my novel. Easy-peasy!

I set out my drawing materials and realized something was missing. Tea. I needed tea.
On my way back from the kitchen, I happened to glance out of the window – and instantly forgot all my good intentions.

The field opposite our house had just been harvested and there in the middle of it, sitting up in full view, was this beautiful hare.

(If you’ve seen my other blog you’ll know that one of my ambitions is to get a good photo of a hare. I’m lucky enough to live in an area where hares are fairly common, but I usually only catch quick glimpses of them running away into the distance.)

I grabbed my camera and took some shots through the window. To my surprise and delight the hare didn’t move, so I went outside to see if I could get a bit closer. With those big eyes and huge ears, I was sure it had noticed me, but it didn’t seem too concerned. It was definitely looking and listening very intently at something though.

It began to move. A few steps this way, stop, turn, a short run that way, pause … A great photo opportunity for me, but what was it up to? I lowered the camera and saw the bigger picture. Its wanderings weren’t as aimless as they appeared. It was carefully zigzagging across the field, ready to run away at the first hint of danger, but gradually getting closer and closer to the allotments.           
A quick dash

Stop, look and listen.

Sneak in here

Now, what's for lunch?

When I came back indoors, my tea was stone cold. Never mind, it was coffee time by then. So I made some coffee and then uploaded my photos onto the computer. I couldn’t wait to see what they were like. (There's one that I'm very pleased about, but I’m not posting it here in case I can use it somewhere else!)

Right, what was I supposed to be doing? Ah, yes, back to the drawing board. Elephants. I had to think about elephants … but while my mind was deciding which would look best, curly elephants or shaggy elephants, my hand was sketching hares. 


joanne fox said...

Wonderful! Hares are such beautiful creatures. You were so lucky to get these great shots and be able to watch it going about its business.

Jan Baynham said...

A lovely post, Linda. How great it must have been to be able to photograph them first hand. I love the bronze sculptures of hares that are in a number of the garden centre and National Trust gift shops at the moment.

Susan A Eames said...

How lovely! Who wouldn't be distracted by that hare? The elephants aren't going anywhere, but the hare couldn't wait, could it?

Wendy's Writing said...

I've never actually seen a hare in the wild. What a wonderful sight.

Linda D said...

Thanks everyone!

Joanne - Lucky is the word. Definitely a case of being in the right place at the right time. You can't plan for things like this.

Jan - I try not to have favourite animals - I find them all fascinating - but my heart always leaps when I see a hare (even a bronze one!)

Susan - you're right, but I also hope to see elephants in the wild one day.

Wendy - we're lucky to have them here in the Cambridgeshire fens, mostly thanks to enlightened farmers and conservation groups, but they're usually very shy and hard to spot. The best time to see them is when they come out to feed in the early evening, but then the fading light makes it even more difficult to get good photos of them. This one was unusually bold, out in the open in bright sunlight, so I'm guessing it was a young one.

Suzanne Furness said...

What a lovely surprise that must have been. Some great shots too, well done for the quick camera work. Hope you get to draw your elephants too, they look very cute.

Linda D said...

Thanks, Suzanne!

Nicola said...

Super pictures, Linda. And even though it wasn't your intention to focus on the hare, it is all creative work and sometimes being taken away from well thought out plans can spark off new and wonderful ideas. Also, that was certainly not a moment to be missed. Pity the tea went cold though :) Have a lovely weekend.

Linda D said...

You're right, Nicola, I've got several outlines of stories featuring hares waiting in my Ideas File.(But not enough time to write them all!)

Anonymous said...

What great photos of the hare, Linda! I've only ever seen one once and it moved too quick to get a photo. You're sketches aren't bad either!

Anonymous said...

We have lots of rabbits, but never seen a hare that close up. Your ellies made me laugh, they're fab, but so is the hare. Looking forward to the finished book.