Bowood 2013 #7: St George's Day Hare
I'm not quite sure why Saint George should be the patron saint of England, as he was a Greek officer in the Roman army and there is no evidence he ever came to England. He was mentioned among the martyrs by Bede but the earliest dedication to him in this country is in a church at Fordington in Dorset, as mentioned in the wars of Alfred the Great, but did not rise to the position of "patron saint" until the 14th century. Before then Edward the Confessor had been our traditional patron saint. George came in to prominence in the English Reformation of 1552, when all other saints' banners were abolished.
For me, April 23rd has more to do with our great bard, Sir William Shakespeare, whose birth and death dates, although open to speculation, are both given for this date.
The Romans were probably responsible for introducing the hare into this country and they have a mystical meaning in many cultures. In some lands, the Hare is the messenger of the Great Goddess, moving by stealth under the moonlight between the human world and the mountains of the gods; elsewhere he is a himself a god, both cunning deceiver and sacred world creator.
In Celtic mythology Eostre, was a goddess shape-shifter, taking the shape of a hare at each full moon; all hares were sacred to her, and acted as her messengers. Julius Caesar recorded that to eat hares or rabbits was taboo to the Celts. They used hares for shamanic practices and divination by studying the patterns of their prints; the rituals of their March mating dancing and prancing; and examining their entrails for mystical signs.
I was very fortunate to witness a pair of hares running through the grass at Bowood on St George's Day for quite a while, probably the best view I have ever had of them in my life. They were well aware of me but tolerated my presence as long as I kept my distance.
Later in the afternoon I called on a friend who lives by a river, and we were joined on the patio by a pair of mallard drakes who have lived on that section of the river for two or three years. They come into the house sometimes looking for tidbits. I put a couple of similar pictures I took that afternoon on to Flickr. One had the usual 20 views or so, but the other has had nearly 1,000 views and two dozen favourites in just a couple of days. I'd have blipped it if I hadn't wanted to post a hare shot, but I have put a link to it below.
Consecutive Blip #005
Bowood Daffodils #1
Bowood Daffodils #2
Gulls On Lake Field, Bowood
Soulful Bounding Leap
Mallards On The Patio
Lenses: Sigma 70-300mm, Pentax 17-70mm
Bowood 2013 (Flickr collection)(Work in progress)
The Hare Preservation Trust
Lozarhythm Of The Day:
Richard Thompson - The New St George (1972)
One year ago: Shakespeare Day