Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Find the Bunny

June 8, 2014
charcoal
my trusty Peugeot atop the bridge
Last Sunday morning, I bicycled to Peet's for a cup of coffee My route crossed Waban Arches, a tall stone bridge that overlooks Fuller Brook and the Charles River. Directly below the bridge is a forest and a small winding stream. As I gazed down at the sea of green trees and the tangled branches, I saw an interesting shape on a log resting on the ground below me. It was gray colored and motionless but it didn't look like part of the tree. If I gave my imagination free rein, I believed it was a small rabbit. Could it be? I was about 100 ft. above the ground and couldn't see all the details of "the bump on the log."

Annie Dillard, in her 1975 Pulitzer Prize winning book "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" suggests that the key to seeing animals in the wild is to assume that they are "artificially obvious." The "bump" didn't look like anything but part of the tree trunk. But to me, it was obviously (artificially so) a rabbit.  And, lo and behold it was! The "bump" finally wiggled one ear. Then it waggled its other ear. The spell was completed and the bunny soon began to forage on the leaves that were near the log. It did seem like an odd place to see a cottontail though.

I'm used to seeing rabbits assessing my carrots, lettuce and beet tops. These rabbits must be the Eastern Cottontail which was introduced into New England in the early 20th century. As a matter of fact, the native  New England Cottontail is flirting with "endangered species" status in Massachusetts. The culprit of course is suburban sprawl which converts rabbit habitat into people habitat. We have acres of National Parks for newly minted millionaires in metrowest Boston: long live the burghers of Wellesley and their progeny! The rabbits accept the crumbs and slums and just move further out …but I digress.

detail of the rabbit
the gray diagonal shape in the middle of this cell phone pic is the log. 
"Waban Arches" in Wellesley, Massachusetts. This the historic structure that I rode my bike on. The views are marvelous.

2 comments:

Klaus von Mirbach said...

The views are marvelous, yes, enviable!

Rob Dunlavey said...

Funny how such a grand place makes for bad drawings. The bunny drawing here is okay but I've done other drawings of the scene and they just fail me. It's like drawing the figure from life: the more perfect and beautiful the models are the worst the drawings seem to be. Better to have a few warts, scars and fat!

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