Friday, 18 February 2011

The Cat of the Wood


Photograph copyright: Christine Gregory  used with her very kind permission

'The scutter, the fellow in the dew,
 The grass nibbler, Old Goibert,
 The one who doesn't go straight home, the traitor,
 The friendless one, the cat of the wood,
 The starer with wide eyes, the cat that lurks in the broom,
 The purblind one, the furze-cat,
 The clumsy one, the blear-eyed one,
 The wall-eyed one, the looker to the side,
 And also the hedge-frisker,
 The stag of the stubble, long eared..........'

 Translation from Middle English by Professor Alan.S.C.Ross.
 From the book 'The Leaping Hare' by George Ewart Evans and David Thomson

 The above is part of a long  poem written in middle english (and dating to the late thirteenth century) called 'The Names of the Hare in English' . It's an amazing piece containing over 70 names, and when read aloud has the most beautiful  pace and rhythm.

I have been intrigued and utterly beguiled by the enigmatic Brown Hare for as long as I can remember. For me (as I know is true for many others) there is something so otherworldly, so enchanting about this intriguing and sacred creature . It has a joyous and powerful hold on me, too difficult to put into words. I'm obssessed with  them :))

So imagine my delight to discover a marvellous new  book that's been recently published, called  'Brown Hares in the Derbyshire Dales' by Christine Gregory. I had to treat myself to a copy and what a wonderful volume it is!

The passion that  artist, photographer and writer, Christine Gregory has for these fascinating animals just shines out from the pages.  The book contains over 150 gorgeous original photographs (all taken by the author) of  brown hares and of the stunning Derbyshire countryside that is their home. The text is bursting with information and has a very strong conservation theme exploring amongst other the things, the effect that our modern agricultural methods, hunting, coursing etc are having on these magical creatures.

This book is an absolute labour of love, I wish Christine  great success with it!  I know I will return to it time and time when I need another hare fix ;)

If you fancy a copy  you can buy one direct from .  And please note that all profits from the sale of this book are being very generously donated to The Derbyshire Wildlife Trust .

Also if you want to find out more about helping  hares then pop over to the Hare Preservation Trust .

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend :) x