Today we Found…

A catbird nest from last year. It’s a flimsy construction, but that seems to be characteristic of catbird architecture. This one is made of loosely bound twigs and bark peels of paper birch, plus the horsetail species Equisetum fluviatile. The nearest E. fluviatile is about 250 meters away, and there are other, more abundant Equisetum species nearer the nest. But it seems that only E. fluviatile would do.

And we also found:

The remains of a snowshoe hare. Probably killed by a lynx, which specialize in hunting rabbits.

Poor rabbits.

In some traditional European cultures, a rabbit’s foot is a luck charm, especially if found on a Friday (it was indeed Friday), and especially-especially if found on a Friday the 13th (we missed that by one day). So we brought home the foot, which is now in the freezer to kill any creepy-crawlies that first claimed the foot. Poor creepy-crawlies. Later, I’ll make an amulet of the foot, and it will bring me good luck.

…which weighs almost nothing, and which has two kinds of fur: the upper side has straight, forward-pointing hairs, and the lower side has fuzzy, downward pointing hairs, which would be good insulation against the winter cold, and which would allow the rabbit to run on snow without sinking in much. The fur on the lower surface is amazingly soft. If you asked a friend to close their eyes, and then you brushed that fur over the palm of their hand, they would hardly be able to tell that anything was touching them. I was reminded of a line from Elizabeth Bishop’s poem The Armadillo, in which she describes a fire-fleeing baby rabbit she caught in Brazil: “So soft! – a handful of intangible ash”.

Poor rabbit.

Here’s a link to the poem, which is a life-long favourite of mine:

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