Summer Hares in Purple Heather
This summer I had big plans to photograph both the Mountain Hares and the vibrant and glorious purple heather; the aim was to get them together. The preparations started a way back in May when I started to recce a few potential locations. I now find myself taking a similar approach to that of a landscape photographer, research a location, determine where the best light will be and watch for a desirable weather window. The main difference would be the all important final element, the hare! This unsurprisingly proved to be the trickiest part of the project, photographing Mountain Hares is difficult enough in the summer months without having to stress about the other elements.
I was very fortunate, as my beloved hares didn’t fail me and gifted me some brilliant photographic opportunities. The last session involved spending over five and a half hours with one individual, one and a half hours of which entailed lying out in the a rain storm on cold and damp and uncofortable ground, towards the end of the session I was shivering so hard I could barely hold the camera steady.
This hare proved to be an absolute dream come true, she was relaxed, entertaining and knew exactly how to pose, on three occasions she positioned herself in near to perfect spots.
She preened, scratched, stuck her tongue out at me and at one point lay down and slept and all this just a matter of metres away from where I lay. It’s extremely difficult not to become emotionally attached to a creature that is so confiding and trustful and I will freely admit I really do love these creatures.
It was also interesting to see the jowls of this hare were just starting to turn white, this first indications of the autumn moult, I’ve noticed that the first areas of the hares to change colour are the ones most frequently scratched. It’s nice to know they’ll soon be lovely and white, saying that I like them in every stage of their amazing coats of many colours!
I’ve got a few more projects lined up for the hares but for now I’m keeping those to myself, I’ll keep you posted!