We’re all mad here…

March is a new month, and I like to freshen up the old website on a monthly basis. While I don’t feel the need to reflect the month every time, on occasion it’s fun. What can you say about March? It’s usually a muddy mess here. This brings me to the hare.

March is the breeding month for old world hares. The season actually extends both directions past March, but that’s the popular belief and I’m going with it.

The old saying I remember is, “Mad as a March Hare.” Others have used, “Brainless as a March Hare.” So apparently old Bugs gets kind of offbeat during the mating season. They run around and chase each other, for the obvious reason. They stand up and box. They also sometimes randomly jump and do weird flips. In the rabbit circle, these jumps are called binkies.

But wait; rabbits and hares are actually different creatures. They’re related to each other, and look similar, but they’re different too. About the only fact is they’re both rodents, but so is a beaver and nobody gets him confused. As we’ve moved away from an agricultural way of life, they’re all just bunnies now. Bunny is a term of endearment, and not a proper name.

In general terms, rabbits are born blind and hairless. They live underground and are built more compactly to accomodate this lifestyle. A rabbit’s best defense is to hide from you. They like softer food like grasses and your vegetables. Rabbits make good pets.

Hares are longer and leaner. If you look at him, he’s built for speed. He generally has bigger feet and longer ears. Hares are born fully furred and can see from day one. They are capabable of moving about an hour after birth. Their fur is generally tipped in black. They nest above ground. If he see’s you, he’s going to run. While there is some crossover in foods, hares are more browsers than rabbits. Hares are more likely to go for bark, the tips of branches, or leafy shoots. Hares are the ones that kill your trees in tough winters. Hares do not make good pets. They aren’t named after the fact that they have hair from birth. My research says it’s actually a twisting of a German word meaning grey.

If you think about life above ground, running is a decent way of staying alive. When you have a handy burrow, or warren if you’re being proper, you don’t need to be as fast.

Now it gets crazy mad.

Jackrabbits are actually hares.

Cottontails, which nest above ground, are still in fact rabbits. Some cottontails have black tips to their fur – still rabbits.

The March Hare, from Alice in Wonderland, is usually illustrated with straw on his head. This is because that was a popular way of illustrating the mentally deficient way back when. I have no idea why this came to be. If you know, tell me in the comments.

If he turns white in the winter, he’s a hare. Not all hares turn white. The blacktailed jackrabbit, which is a hare, does not turn white in the winter. The whitetail jackrabbit, still a hare, does turn white. No rabbits turn white in the winter.

Out west, when something or someone runs, we call it jackrabbiting. But all jackrabbits, regardless of species are hares. Hares tend to run, get it?

Both rabbits and hares have a hare lip. Why make the hare the example? I have no idea.

Rabbit is so good to eat that it’s actually commercially raised for that purpose. You can choke down a hare if you’re in survival mode, but wouldn’t order it on purpose.

We use many terms dating back to the hare in our modern language. Most folks forget where they originate. I’ve aleady mentiontioned the hare lip, but in basketball we have March Madness. There are March Madness sales at stores too. The tortoise, which is not a turtle, did not race a rabbit he raced a hare, which may have been a jackrabbit, which is still actually a hare.

So for March, “We’re all mad here.”


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63 responses to “We’re all mad here…

  1. Those are some strange looking Jackalopes. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After reading all that and trying to make sense of it, I understand the “mad” reference.

    Love the new site look. 🙂 🐇

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That kinda made me dizzy. Then hungry.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yoo Hoo I have a question. Hare/hair of the dog is a different thing right? Is this going to be on the test? I know that was two questions. I think whatever you have today is contagious. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh the things we learn from blogs. 🙂 Love the exchange with John Howell. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Being mad isn’t so bad. Around here, I think it actually helps…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Consider me educated…and confused. I guess that means I’m “mad” too.
    Love the new blog look. I like that you did something out of the box instead of going with Shamrocks or something along those lines.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Even just 100 years ago, people lived closer to the earth. I’d guess both rabbits and hares were so widespread that their behavior would have been familiar to almost everyone. Nobody would have to guess what the references meant.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve missed your blog. I always learn so much here. Now that you mention straw on heads of “mad” people historically, all I can think of is the straw man in Wizard of OZ needing a brain. I couldn’t find any reference to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to get someone to chime in on that. It seems an odd way to depict madness. I’ll wager the straw man was put together with that idea though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • As for my rabbit, I like it Bar-BQ’d. When they cleared the area for the huge Lake West Point on the Chattahoochee River, rabbits were running everywhere. A large group of my dad’s friends went on a hunt and brought back hundreds. All his CB radio friends put up a tent, invited bands to play and we had an impromptu party riverside. There were huge boiling vats of rabbit that were then laid out on the grill and sauced. Cole slaw, potato salad, and rabbit Brunswick stew was served alongside. Some of the best eating ever.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s sad to see those riparian areas go away, but using the rabbits is certainly better than making them all roadkill as they fled the area. I’m sure it was good.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Hares tend to be tough to eat (because of all the running), but you can make a tasty stew with them. Jugged Hare is basically marinaded and casseroled in red wine – so you cook it long and slow in the oven and that makes it a little less chewy! 😉 The boxing and frolicking around ritual is amazing to watch – they run around really fast!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Part of the research that I left out said that if you scaled down a cheetah to hare size, the hare is something like four times faster.

      Reminds me of an old recipe for carp. Take one cleaned and descaled carp. Wrap in fresh manure and roast slowly over hot coals. Remove and allow to cool. Unwrap the carp, throw it away and eat the manure.


  11. I bet it was a year ago, I finally looked up the difference between a rabbit and a hare. That South African photographer I follow had posted some snaps of hares. A particularly large male was specified, and I looked up his weight, which was metric, and my eyeballs almost fell out of my head, because we don’t have thirty-pound rabbits round these parts! lol So that’s when I educated myself on these matters.
    Still your post was a pleasant read 🙂
    I like rabbit stew, I do, but not as much as I enjoy the rabbits when they’re alive.

    The straw thing makes me think of Scarecrow, too. I may need to Google that. It’s interesting…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this post for so many reasons. It’s fun, fascinating, and adorable. I hope you’ll do more like this in the future. Love the wallpaper too!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ali Isaac

    LOVED this post, Craig! Lots of rabbits round here, and hares appear in my garden from February, usually, but I’ve not seen any this year. Although I’m not at home much anymore, so that’s probably the reason. Ours dont go white though. Sadly, a lot of fox roadkill around recently, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Cleaved by Sue Coletta | Entertaining Stories

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