With Spring well and truly on it's way, April saw all the things that fill my heart with joy - birds becoming more active - more tuneful and starting to nest, fresh green buds on the trees, the first of the Butterflies emerging, an array of Spring flowers scattered along the country roadsides, and still some misty and frosty mornings, that then turned into lovely, mild Spring days.
I made several outings at sunrise, and each time called by the Bluebell woods on the farm I go to. Such a enchanting and peaceful haven, carpeted with blue, and with spider webs draped across here and there, catching my eye when the gentle breeze made them shimmer in the dappled sunlight. I always tiptoed through, in the hope I would spot a Hare in the Bluebells ...and so I did, on a few occasions, but trying to focus my lens through the trees and capture them before they scampered off, was always a bit tricky. Fortunately, I managed a couple of captures.
April is always one of my favourite months, as it is when the baby Hares (Leverets) really start to show, and it always melt my heart each time I spot one. They are quite chunky, in comparison to their parents ...with shorter faces, ears and legs, and just over all cuteness. And is certainly an April that I will never forget, as I ended up rescuing some newly born Leverets (baby Hares). I drove up a track to a local church one sunrise, and spotted a Hare from a distance, which hopped off into the field, so I continued to drive up and park. I got out to capture some misty sunrise shots. But then as I walked back and approached my car, I noticed a heap on the track, steaming very slightly, in the bitterly cold air. I could not believe what I then discovered - 3 newly born Leverets! Sadly, a forth looked like it was still born. Hares will always leave their babies somewhere for most of the day, then just attend to them a couple of times, minimising attracting the attention of prey. But these little ones were so tiny, and the temperature was freezing. So Even though I knew it was best to leave them alone (to prevent the mum abandoning them), I made a call to a wildlife rescue that I regularly use. They advised to monitor the leverets from a little distance ...and so I did, for some 13 hrs - standing back at around 80 meters, deterring walkers and cyclists etc, and redirecting delivery drivers going to the few houses near the church, preventing disturbing the little ones, and to wait to see if mum returned. It was a sunny but chilly day, and I was lucky to have refreshments brought out from the local farmhouse, and a friend called by with snacks for lunch. At some point during the afternoon, a couple of the leverets had vanished - but there was no knowing if they had gone into the undergrowth or if mum had snuck by and collected them. So I decided to get my lodger to drop off my night vision camera, to set up and leave at dusk. And by that time, I felt able to go home, knowing that there should be no more visitors calling by to the church. I left a little reluctantly though, as was concerned about their safety and dropping temperatures, but Hares are pretty hardy creatures. I attempted to get what sleep I could, then went back at dawn, to check. As I approached the spot, I could see that they had gone ...but it was the not knowing whether mum had returned, or if a predator had come by. I took my iPad with me, so I could upload any footage from the trail camera, triggered over night - and with sheer delight, it showed mum coming back and all 3 leverets reunited with her. A pure heart melting moment indeed, and absolutely over the moon it was a happy ending.