Irish hares are one my favourite animals. So I was delighted with this young hare visited our garden recently.
Young Irish Hare
The Irish Hare is native to Ireland and is a unique subspecies of a group of hares known as Mountain hares (Lepus timidus).
Like all hares, the Irish hares do not use burrows like their rabbit cousins. Instead they rely on cover of tall vegetation such as rushes, tall grass and heather. Often they will make a form in this tall vegetation. A form is like a nest on the ground, and it provides protection from wind and rain, as well as a place to hide.
Hares are most active early in the morning, or late in the evening and at night. They feed on a wide range of plants, such as grasses, sedges and heather. They will also browse on trees and shrubs like birch and swallow particularly in the winter months.
The young are called leveret. The mother hare will leave the young leverets in thick cover and only visit them once a night to feed them.
A week of so later and already he looks a bit bigger.
Guess How Much I Love You – one of my favourite children’s books by Sam McBratney.
There are lots of lovely activities here.
Guess How Much I love You
Hare and the Tortoise
No Sew Sock Bunny
For more information
It’s the time of year we often think of reindeer, but how much do we really know about these animals?
Reindeer (their Latin name is Rangifer tarandus) live in areas far north. In North America they are called caribou. They are well adapted to living in cold, harsh climates having a thick coat which is woolly and warm underneath and with hairs above that trap a layer of insulating air. They have large flat hooves which are good for walking on snow, but equally good at walking on soft ground.
Reindeer have big antlers which grow new each year. The males have the biggest antlers while the females have smaller simpler ones.
Reindeer like to stick together and so live in herds. They often migrate over large distances, moving south as areas get colder during the winter; and North again when spring arrives.
For more information about reindeer check out:
National Geographic Kids
For crafts and pictures:
Here are some reindeer crafts
Reindeer colouring sheet or click here for a realistic picture to colour
Cool reindeer paper-chain
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and fun filled festive season
We had a wonderful day of learning at our local nature school today. Woods are wonderful places to visit with children. This wood is a native woodland, being managed by traditional means such as coppicing. Bernard and Zane run many courses here including forest schools, wild foraging, school visits and woodland management courses. Today’s “Wonder of the Woods” day was a family day.
Coppiced hazel rods
We were there to help talk about the wonderful diverse wildlife from birds, insects to woodland flora.
Lords and Ladies
Devils’ coach horse beetle
The kids enjoyed running about, climbing, building shelters, making charcoal pencils, and leaf rubbings.
Afterwards we enjoyed sausages cooked on an open fire, and for dessert toasted marshmallows! A perfect end to a great day. And a big thank you to Bernard and Zane and all their family.